Saturday, January 2, 2021

Game On 05/90

Scantily-clad feminine robots were quite the thing during the eighties, popularized by the Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama's detailed illustrations of gynoids. 1989 saw the release of Blue Angel 69 (geddit?), a puzzle game that contained loads of chrome erotica clearly inspired by Sorayama's work. The game's C64 version was created by members of X-Ample Architectures who also worked on several titles released on CP Verlag's diskmags. It's no wonder then, that the subject matter also made it onto one of their diskmag covers.

The connection is tenuous at best, but the artwork is related to one of this issue's games: In Alien you play a female engineer who has to fight a worm infestation on an alien planet. However, in the game she's not a robot and she's not dressed as if she just got out of bed. I guess some false advertising was taken into account to sell some more copies based on the cover alone.

The artist did a good job reproducing the chrome style, though, and avoided any serious anatomical blunders, compared to previous efforts. Her left arm looks a bit longer than her right. But it's not an actual human anyway, thus unusual proportions could be on purpose.

The background is a bit of a hellscape and seems to be on fire permanently. The environment in Alien is more like a futuristic city and less like a sky texture from Doom. This is probably again a case where the artist only got a rough description of the game and just did their own thing.

Cover Lines
  • Alien is described as an unsolvable mission. Could that be a hint that the game is broken and can't be completed? Luckily, no. Finishing the game certainly is a considerable task but not impossible to achieve.
  • The claim that Suprally is an action-packed BMX simulation is simply false, as you are racing in rally cars, not on bikes. The "action-packed" part is also a bit of a stretch.
  • Space Ace's cover line is at least correct in that it's a space game. I can confirm that a brief part of it indeed takes place in space. Whether it is a fantastic space game remains debatable.


When I first witnessed the intro picture scroll into view, I couldn't help but see the lower part as a giant, deformed fist and the obelisk as a metallic middle finger. Of course, the obelisk is supposed to stand on a very narrow cliff that is so high up that it reaches into space. It's quite a striking image, if only the cliff were rendered a bit better.

  • The introduction article describes the struggles the CP Verlag staff had to endure each morning when the mail arrived. Software submissions were sent by floppy disk, but the way they were packaged varied wildly. Some arrived in overly cautious wrapping that was near impossible to open. Others arrived already damaged because they were sent in simple envelopes or in no envelope at all (i.e. just a disk with a stamp on it).
  • The reader mail section gets extremely German this time, as it resolved the question whether the readership wants to be adressed with the formal "Sie" or the less formal "Du". The latter wins.
    One reader complains about Game On 02/90's games and states that they were all complete duds. I couldn't agree more. Especially MegaParatrooper! was an aggravating low point.

Notable Games
Space Ace

Judging by the complaints in the reader mail section, CP Verlag probably received quite a bit of criticism for the rather poor quality of the games in the last few issues of Game On. While Alien is a passable but somewhat frustrating game, it can't outweigh Space Ace and Suprally which are both rather lackluster.

There wasn't a lot of choice for affordable games back then, at least in Switzerland, so I still shelled out CHF 7.50 every month in the hopes of some digital entertainment. Let's just say I was a slightly hopeless optimist in that regard.

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