Over in our interviews section, ex editor Simon Forrester despairs that they’d spend all month slaving over the mag – only for people to chuck it to one side and just play the “free” games tape that was stuck to the front. Step forward Scott…
Soon after getting my C64, I was in my local newsagent. On the shelf I saw a painting of theTeenage Mutant Hero Turtles. I was a massive fan at the time and as I looked closer, I realised that it was a magazine for my new computer. I pestered my Mum and she bought what turned out to be Commodore Format 14 (November 1991) for me.
I was a late starter to the C64. I’d never read computer magazines before. I had no interest. But CF was about to change that forever.
When I got home and I started to read, I realised that the ‘free’ covertape had a demo of the new Turtles game on it. I thought that ‘demo’ meant that it could only be watched! So I loaded it up, stared at it and my turtle just stood there. When I used the joystick, he moved. I was amazed! For a mere £2, I had got a ‘mini’ turtle game.
I played it to death…and then started on the other games. In the beginning, I wasn’t interested if it wasn’t Turtles! But I loaded Aliens and got lost in no time, followed by Tilt which was an addictive little puzzler, but then I spent hours playing Terror Of The Deep. Did anyone ever find the Loch Ness Monster? I just swam around in circles.
Finally, I started reading the magazine (wait. This games tape had a mag taped to the back of it? – Ed). I saw cheats, maps, techy stuff, and The Mighty Brain’s letters page. I was hooked straight away.
Memories? I do remember that the Early Warning! preview scanner never appeared to make much sense. As time went by, games would float back and forth and some would just vanish! I also remember noticing that they did a review of a game I liked called Slightly Magic. CF said it was rubbish and gave it 32%. Boy was I puzzled!
I was gripped by The Clyde Guide, too. That feature would spawn into a game I still love –Creatures II.
So off the back of all this, I started getting Commodore Format every month. I couldn’t afford many games myself, but their tapes were great. I loved Sphinx Jinx, Cyberdyne Warrior, Head The Ball, Mission Impossabubble and the demos of Creatures II and First Samurai! I was truly hooked.
And this went on until issue 41. After that, local stores stopped getting it. The mag just vanished. I used to wander the shops in vain but I never saw it again.
After a while, I phoned Future Publishing and asked someone what was happening. I remember being told that the magazine was still around. Eventually I saw it in WH Smiths Birmingham City centre and there it was – a shell of its former self. Paper thin, no reviews and the cassette was in a cardboard box.
The end was so disappointing for me. Vanishing and then reappearing in that state was like a pet going missing and coming back all out of shape!
But twenty odd years later, I love that I still have access to Commodore Format at its best and I still like a quick browse. It brings back great memories of my childhood. Memories that will never go away. CF