February 1987 - Collision Course, Pick-A-Letter

Editor Notes Commodore bringing its PC clone to the United States, mentioning the clones (that would totally dominate the landscape for the next generation after Amiga and ST)... also a vague reference to what was likely the ill-fated PS/2 venture, an attempt to make less clone-able hardware.

One thing I've noticed that I've had to fireup the C=128 emulator from time to time is how prominently "Microsoft" is displayed, in a way it wasn't on the C=64 boot screen...
So it's amazing, even without Microsofts' genius deal with IBM to keep control of MS-DOS, which let the PC/clone dominance happen, they and their BASIC would be remembered as a dominant force in the home computer era. (Of course, BASIC was one of Gates' big hands-on programming achievements...)

Also, I'm sort of amused by the sincerity with which some reader went and underlined passages in this month's article on printers. They were really giving it a lot of attention and thought!

The Games

Collision Course - Mark Tuttle

"You've never seen road conditions like this" says the front cover... unless of course you've played Dodge 'Em on the Atari 2600 or one of like a dozen clones of Sega's 1979 Classic "Head On". So this is a very attractive version of a rather bad game. You drive counter-clockwise, a computer opponent drives clockwise and wants to crash into you, you can switch lanes when at the middle of any of the 4 sides, and press fire to go faster. And you're picking up dots. (I wonder if this was one of the first "dot collection" games, the genre Pac-Man mastered? If nothing else it's a decent way to force a player to move all the way around a maze...) Rating:3/5

Pick-A-Letter - Michael Blackmon

A Wheel-of-Fortune variant, though instead of a wheel the arrow zips along the row of points, and the card symbols are bonuses or hazards. I guess if someone typed this in they'd have a slight advantage since all the solutions are unencrypted in the DATA statements. Rating:3/5

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