Review: Hewson's Hints & Tips For Videogaming Pioneers - The Album

Like many fans of ZX Spectrum gaming, Hewson were one of my favourite software houses back in the Eighties, producing classic after classic such as Cybernoid, Dragontorc, Avalon, Stormlord, Exolon, Uridium, Quazatron, Marauder, Ranarama - the list just goes on and on!

Hints & Tips for Videogaming Pioneers is an excellent book from Andrew Hewson, the man behind Hewson Consultants, and charts the rise and fall of one of the finest 8-bit publishers. I recently got my hands on a copy of this companion music album that highlights some of the choicest cuts from Hewson games, remixed by the legendary artists behind such hits.

Kicking off with the suitably medieval and bucolic Firelord - Orchestral Mix, this is an album that will delight any fan of game music and mixes a fascinating contrast of styles. From sturdy sci-fi influenced themes such as Jeroen Tel's Eliminator and Cybernoid 2 to Steve Turner's guitar-enhanced reimaginings of Avalon and Ranarama, each of the 11 tracks is catchy and enjoyable even if you are not familiar with the original game.

My personal highlight is Matt Gray's theme to Deliverance: Stormlord 2, but that's not to put down the rest of this great set of tunes - they're all awesome!

Hints & Tips for Videogaming Pioneers The Album is available from the Hewson website. What are you waiting for? Go get!


History of US Gold Book reaches Kickstarter target

Chris Wilkins, the man behind the brilliant History of Ocean book from last year is at it again, this time with another glossy tome covering Ocean's great rival, US Gold.

Like Ocean, US Gold occupied the upper echelons of the UK software market in the Eighties and its story is sure to make fascinating reading. The book will contain an extensive history of the company courtesy of founder Geoff Brown and also many contributions from other US Gold staff and coders.

It's already been funded on Kickstarter, but Chris has added stretch goals and as of typing there are still 21 days to go. To make your pledge click here:

Gordon Sinclair of Replay Events chooses his 5 worst video games for the BBC

Replay Events, organisers of many excellent gaming events around the UK were contacted this week for comment on the recent excavation furore in New Mexico.

Asked to name his top 5 worst videogames, Wizwords is proud that he selected Cascade's Cassette 50 as one of his choices! Check out my full article on the making of Cassette 50 and in the meantime can you watch Gordon's interview here:-

Replay returns to Blackpool this coming weekend and once again looks set to be a retro gaming extravaganza.

Retro Gamer Issue 128

The latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine is out soon. Subscribers will be getting their copies right about now and the magazine is in the shops from Thursday.

Packed full of the usual amazing features including:-

The Making of Golden Axe

Scrolling Beat 'em ups


Gameboy Celebration

Cheating Special

Lore Design Archives

Rare Who Dares Wins game sells for mega bucks

The eBay sale for my previously reported rare Who Dares Wins game by Alligata on the Commodore 64 was concluded tonight.

The three-day auction ended at 20:47 BST 16th April and jumped from £150 to £440 in an incredible final few seconds.

I'll report back in a few days on how the sale went...

Rare Who Dares Wins Commodore 64 game found

Rllmuk forum regular Mike Pierce was about to go home from his local carboot at Needham Lakes, Suffolk when something caught his eye. "This guy had bags of tapes, all bundled up with about 30 in each bag, but the one I got was the only one with real games in, the rest looked like copies, albeit all printed labels etc. I could have unknowingly walked away from a boot full of pre-release demos or something!" laughs Mike.

What Mike did actually walk away with was a bagful of standard Commodore 64 releases together with one rarity: Alligata's Who Dares Wins. Not Who Dares Wins 2 (which is very common) but the first game in the series which was withdrawn pronto when Elite Systems, holder of the Commando license, threatened legal action.

"There was not really anything of note (that I thought of anyway) in the bundle, I checked all the names on ebay to see if it was worth listing any of them separately, none seemed to go above £3 or £4 so figured I would sell the lot as a bundle." says Mike. However, soon the keen-eyed car-booter was receiving considerable interest in just one game from the bundle...

"It wasn't until I started getting quite a lot of questions about Who Dares Wins and an offer for over £75, that I thought I had better take the listing down and get some more information about it." he says. The game is currently off-eBay as Mike ponders his next move. An auction starting Sunday with a reserve price is the most likely outcome and Wizwords will be keeping a close eye on the listing's progress! Meantime you can check out the pics below...

Footnote: Alligata released the excellent Who Dares Wins 2 shortly after the legal threats from Elite. Save for the addition of a few buildings here and there, the game was identical to its controversial forebear. Yet strangely Elite were non-plussed second time round...

Play Expo Returns to Blackpool

Replay Events, which organises the annual Play Expo in Manchester, is returning to its roots this year as it hosts another weekend of gaming fun and entertainment at Blackpool's Norbreck Castle Hotel on the 3rd and 4th of May.

The hotel was the location for the first two successful Replay events in 2010 and 2011. This year, in addition to the usual array of classic games consoles and computers there will be a special presentation of the "Together in Electric Dreams" fictional play which documents the first encounter between Alan Sugar and Clive Sinclair. Retrocollect, Amibay and The Retro Carnival are all due to appear, making Play Blackpool an unmissable event for any retro fan!

Click on for more information and tickets.