News And The Internet

By Dave E

Originally published in EUG #69

Impact Posters Available Again!

When Impact Posters were doing the rounds in the mid Eighties, they had the enlarged artwork for a number of spectacular BBC and Acorn Electron games on offer for just £1.95 per poster. In some cases, it seems, the artwork that graced the cover of the latest release was originally significantly bigger; almost a 'widescreen' version in fact.

Now the posters were long thought irrecoverable as they were sold in such limited numbers, and then to schoolchildren who pasted them up on their bedroom walls and, by now, had probably thrown them away. But no, Dave M of Stairway To Hell, recently tracked down all six of the posters Impact originally offered - Codename: Droid, Palace Of Magic, Elite, Crazee Rider, Ravenskull and Zarch (An Archimedes game). Technology having increased in leaps and bounds over the past two decades too, he was able to create perfect reproductions of them - which in turn led to him setting up a whole new eBay business producing retro gaming posters. Indeed, if you attended at any of the recent exhibitions these posters, and a multitude of other artwork for other formats, were on sale for a few quid each.

And just when you thought refurbishing your living room in an homage to famous 8-bit computer games couldn't get even better, it did. For a short while, Dave M also had access to a box canvas printer, of the ilk that seem to be very popular these days, which allowed the posters to be printed onto very durable canvas. Five of these prints are now gracing the walls of our own studio shoebox in London giving cheer to an otherwise dull room.

Unfortunately, the prices of the box canvas prints were beyond the means of the majority of punters so this service has now been scapped. However, the posters are still going strong and Dave M would welcome any orders over at the Stairway To Hell web site.

Launch Of BBC/Elk Retro Software Label

A number of regular contributors to the Stairway To Hell forums have also established Retro Software, a brand new BBC/Electron software label. Although this is its first mention in EUG, it has now been going for over a year and managed to get hold of the original sequel to Repton 3, which was almost completely finished but apparently shelved because Superior/Acornsoft wanted to take the Repton franchise in the direction of further screens designed with the in-game editor, rather than introduce the new puzzles and characters included in the 'official' sequel.

In spin-doctoring reminiscent of the Labour party, Retro Software originally bigged up Repton The Lost Realms as the find of the millennium, even going so far as to post out one screen demos of the game to those regularly creating things for the BBC and Electron world (EUG even received a copy!). The game also took pride of place at the recent Retro Fusion and Byte-Back events. Curiously though, it has still yet not been released some sixteen months later. The word is because an Electron version is also being developed and versions for all formats will be released simultaneously.

The Retro Software web site can be found at and, at time of writing, the main page is proudly boasting the release of its first game, Zap written by Jamie "Qwak" Woodhouse. Fans of Superior/Acornsoft cover art will note the style has made a welcome, if modified somewhat, reappearance here.

This first release is a BBC only title, and the next anticipated release The Krystal Connection is also flagged as Beeb only. So it looks like Repton The Lost Realms, or any Electron release, is still some way in the future...

You will find a short article describing how Dave E created the Retro Software loader elsewhere in this issue.