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David Bradforth on games.

Despair is one of those things that's somewhat self-defeating. Sorry? Is that somewhat cryptic for you: please accept my apologies. Last time, I wrote of how the games market was somewhat quiet. I didn't, at the time, know of the wealth of releases the games companies (and some others) were planning in the run up to Christmas and the New Year season.

In what follows, you'll receive details of what I can tell you now: the next issue of RISC World, in the new year, will include the complete Christmas/New Year run down of games-related releases. Anyway, let's get right into it: there's so much to do, and so little time...

RISC User Nutshell: Edition 2

The RISC User: In a Nutshell CD-ROM contains a wide variety of games, utilities, articles, etc, etc. Edition one was produced to coincide with the last issue of RISC User magazine, and contained a large number of items in their original form; with the exception of the articles in which there were a number of alterations. However, these were available only to RISC User subscribers; leaving a lot of people without a very useful little CD-ROM to add to their collection.

Nutshell An updated RISC User: In a Nutshell CD-ROM brings Desktop Hacker to RISC OS 4 for the first time.

R-Comp Interactive, at the RISC OS 2000 show, launched an updated edition of the RISC User Nutshell CD-ROM containing, amongst other things, a RISC OS 4 compatible edition of Desktop Hacker. A number of full game titles are also included on the disc, both commercial and RISC User originals - if you're a programmer type, then the source code for some will also be useful.

The new edition is available for 32 from R-Comp Interactive, on 01925 755043 or by email to rci@rcomp.co.uk. Give them a ring, should you wish to enquire about CD-ROM upgrades. We'll be taking a look at the additions to this disc in the next issue of RISC World.

Best Games Collection 3

The two 'Best Games' CDs from APDL have done really quite well for themselves. As is usually the case when products sell, what do we all think this means? Yes there's to be a new Best Games CD-ROM from APDL. In a previous life ... well two actually ... I've reviewed both of the previous CD-ROMs, and they basically consist of twenty-odd high quality freeware/shareware games; all of which are modified to allow high scores to be saved to a single location on a hard disc.

I have not, as of yet, properly delved into this collection, but - as you should be able to see below - there's a good selection available, covering most gaming genres; from chess through alien blasters, strange tetris variants to classic games most of us know of.

BestGames More games than you could ever imagine: again!

The disc is priced at 7.90 - should you wish to obtain further details first, please contact APDL on 020 8778 2659, or view their website at www.apdl.co.uk. We'll have a full review of this disc in the next issue of RISC World.

Logic Mania on CD-ROM

Back at the Acorn World show in 1996, The Fourth Dimension released Logic Mania, a value for money compilation consisting of four games requiring more thinking than daring do. They've been somewhat quiet of late, but we're pleased to announce the release of a new CD-ROM edition of Logic Mania. As I write, the price of the CD-ROM has been set at a special offer of 20, until the end of the year.

In addition to the four original titles - Atomix, Tilt, Gloop and Blindfold - this edition includes Master Break and Hostages, two strategy games from the Superior catalogue.

I was responsible for the updated edition of Logic Mania, and shall therefore refrain from further comment - we have, however, included the original review of Logic Mania as published in Archimedes World. I wrote this before I became involved with The Fourth Dimension, and therefore the conclusion is just as valid today as it was then.

Should you wish to order the Logic Mania disc, please call R-Comp Interactive on 01925 755043, or email proaction@rcomp.co.uk. Until the end of the first CD-ROM run, this disc also includes Technodream.

Spheres of Chaos

How many Acorn users have a long memory? I'd have to say my gaming memory as far as Acorn/BBC computers is concerned is pretty good: Spheres of Chaos was originally released by Matt Black in Peterborough, back in 1992. Best described as a somewhat up to date version of Asteroids, Chaos adds more action elements - including multiplayer options - to make a classic last longer!

BestGames
Spheres of Chaos in its pretty much original form [uses some 500K]...

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this new release of Chaos is it's recently gained multi-platform potential. Whether it's down to practising his C or just cos he wanted to we'll never know, but Iain McLeod has written RISC OS, Windows and Linux versions of Spheres of Chaos - all of which are available as shareware, for you to pay for if you continue using.

The Windows version 95/98/2000 (which uses DirectX and, as a result, doesn't work on ME or 2000) needs about 12 MB of free memory, DirectX 5 (available from http://www.microsoft.com/), a mouse, an SVGA video graphics card, a P90 processor and a sound card - all of which should be configured as per the usual 'trial and error' method of PC gaming.

The RISC OS version is somewhat demanding for an Acorn game; requiring 12Mb of RAM to even consider working correctly. That old bug-bear, the 'Monitor Definition file' needs to be installed into your system before the game will even consider working; but other than that it's somewhat of a classic addition.

We've taken the liberty to include on this month's disc the Acorn version of Spheres of Chaos. Just for the record, we at the Games World office prefer the Acorn version to the PC version: it seems to have a little more in the way of class. It's all a matter of taste, though.

One problem, though: it does my eyes in.So what of future developments?

    I can't reveal exactly what's coming, but I can give little sneaky hints.
  • One company will soon have more classics than even they know what to do with.
  • Another, occasional, contributor to the games sphere is planning a new games compilation.
  • A BBC classic is shortly to have a desktop comeback for RISC OS.

The full details will be revealed in the next issue.

David Bradforth

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