David Bradforth explains about our exclusive, and winds up the volume with a roundup of the latest games news.
As promised last time, this month's RISC World disc contains something of a gaming exclusive. Wizard Apprentice, originally priced at £34.95 is on our disc. This isn't a demo - it's a full version which includes all the levels with only a few non essentials removed to fit it on this (rather full) CD.
You can get the original CD-ROM for a postage and handling charge; details of which are in our index. We recommend that you read through the reviews and manual, both of which are linked from the main index. Here you'll be able to find out what people though of it when they first looked at it, along with my updates to reflect inaccuracies.
We hope you enjoy the game - if you want more of the same, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall attempt to place further games into the next volume.
More woes for Artex Software
Artex Software don't seem to be having much luck with their publishing affairs. Back in 1998, they'd agreed that Acorn could publish the then imminent Tek 1608. This was shortly after followed by the departure of their main games contact. No problem - just change to somebody else. Then, of course, September 1998 occurred and Acorn itself pulled out of the desktop computer market; leaving Artex without a publisher for their stunning game.
Much to their credit, they're still developing it. I don't wish to provide screenshots here, as I'm optimistic that the game will change further before it's finally released. Exact details of publisher, release date, and so on are yet to be confirmed.
The future for Iron Dignity was looking somewhat more positive. The reception of the PC market to the trailers (one of which was recently included on the PC Gamer CD in the UK) had been immensely positive, and with development progressing rapidly its ultimate transition into a RISC OS version would not have taken long.
Enter problem two: Topware Interactive, the German based publishers of the PC version, have requested an insolvency order. This essentially means they are unable to continue trading, leaving Artex yet again without a publisher. This time, however, the PC version of Iron Dignity is pretty close to completion. Artex have announced that the development is still continuing, and the game will be released on schedule.
This will then allow for its transition into a RISC OS version to occur, and a lot of very happy Acorn games players to continue playing.
We'll keep you informed on the latest developments, but for those on the internet do visit www.iron-dignity.de for the latest information on that game title. (Don't forget that R-Comp Interactive are the UK distributors for Ankh and Exodus - visit www.rcomp.co.uk for information.)
Eat My Shorts... sorry... Dust
Nathan of VOTI seems to be turning into something of a celebrity. Not content with having brought the Acorn market Chaos Engine, closely followed by an update to StarFighter 3000 his group is developing a new racing game, codenamed EMD. Specific details are changing rapidly, so I'll pass on comments - but the game looks set to take the throne of king RISC OS racer away from the likes of Drifter, Burn Out et al.
Visit www.visionsoftheimpossible.co.uk for the immediate information.
A deeper descent
Just before Phoebe was due to be released, R-Comp Interactive announced the release of Descent, a RISC OS conversion of the classic Interplay game. Set in space, your task is - basically - to survive. It's a compulsive sort of affair, even for those who may not play the game properly.
Anyway, the RISC OS Descent packs include a Descent II CD-ROM, which shall shortly be usable under RISC OS. Yes - they're releasing a Descent II driver disc, allowing access to the full game; but probably not the cut scenes which appear every five levels or so.
Acorn Arcade have a full preview available, but we'll be waiting for the final release until we cover the game in any detail.
To view the Acorn Arcade preview, go to www.acornarcade.com. For further information on Descent II, call R-Comp Interactive on 01925 755043 or preferably email them as email@example.com.
And what of the rest?
Since RISC World was launched, we've offered previews of a number of games yet to come to fruition. Of these, the one I've most been interested in is Skirmish, which two years ago looked like it was due for imminent release, with Tau Press named as prospective publishers. The latest reports are that the game will be finished, but as the authors are completing degrees it's taken a bit of a back burner.
This time next year? Let's hope for a much increased RISC OS market, with the influx of the Omega allowing for games such as F16: Fighting Falcon and the 24 bit version of Repton to finally get released. Oh yes, and I'd like to win the lottery too! See you next time.