Saturday, 10 February 2018

Is the Crash annual a Crash Smash?



Crash magazine, dedicated to all things Sinclair ZX Spectrum, was a staple of the 8-bit computing scene in the 1980s with its memorable cover art by Oliver Frey. I would pore over reviews and adverts for upcoming titles in the school playground at lunchtime.

Crash was soon joined by sister publication Zzap!64 when I was gifted a Commodore 64 in the summer of 1985. Alas, an Atari 800XL, the Porsche of 8-bit computers, remained elusive and something I covet to this day.

Rob Wainfur, the founder of The Bearded Trio, reviews the recently released Crash Annual from Fusion Retro Books.

Can it evoke the retro feels ahead of the release of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One?

Guest post by Rob Wainfur

It's here! My Crash Annual arrived yesterday and it's everything I was wishing for.

I could have ordered the annual on its own but decided to go for the one with all the extras. Price is £15 for the book or £25 with the goodies. I really wanted that enamel "Crash Smash" pin badge.

The annual itself is of exceptional quality and the smell had that new annual smell. It instantly took me back to the early eighties when I would get a new annual for Christmas. The first thing I would do is sniff the pages. Memories...

Anyway, the book is packed with colour throughout and there are pages of reviews, cheats and... Well, you get the idea. It's a Crash magazine. I'm pleased to say they've not changed the format at all.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many new games there are for the good old Speccy. Did you know there is a new graphics engine for the Spectrum called Nirvana? It enhances the graphics and does away with the infamous Speccy colour clash. Modern games designed by fans now look like a top quality Commodore 64 game. It's worth checking out some of the new games on YouTube, I have a feeling you will be pleasantly surprised.

The other items in the pack were a 2018 calendar featuring classic Crash covers, another badge and a map of Ultimate's Pentagram illustrated by Oliver Frey. I can't recommend this enough. It may seem a little expensive but the quality shows, and I have a feeling that the book will become quite collectable in years to come.

Speaking of the book, it's published by Fusion Retro Books and I did not realise they have a series of retro books. There's one on the classic games company, Ocean. There's also one on the Commodore 64 and I've heard rumours there is a book on the way for Zzap!64 lovers. Stay tuned.

Graphics - 92%
Getting Started - 91%
Addictive Qualities - 93%
Value for Money - 85%
Overall - 92%