It must have been over a year since I last updated the PC Zone archive on here but that’s all changing. Last week, I received the single biggest donation since I started this whole endeavour in the shape of a big box full of what must be hundreds of cover disks. Thanks very much Stewart!. I’ve started going through all these, figuring out which I’ve already done and which are missing. I’ve also been given two of the magazines that currently have only been photographed which will be getting proper scans in due course.
So far, there were a handful of floppies from the first 25 issues which have all been done and I’ve added the DVD’s for 8 or 9 of the later issues over the weekend (including the very last issue). I’ll be chipping away at the other disks in the coming weeks. The main hindrance is the lengthy upload time for these DVD’s.
I’ve previously avoided drawing up a list of exactly what I’m still missing given just how much of it there was. This is going to plug most of the gaps I expect so I’ll be putting a full list together once I’ve gone through uploading everything new. That will probably be a month or two but in the meanwhile, if you happen to have a big pile of cover disks sat around (especially anything from the very early issues), I’d still very much like to hear from you.
I’ve been buying up more PC Zones so I’ve skipped forward and scanned the last two issues ever published from October and November 2010. There are some decent games covered in these as well as a lengthy look back at 17 years of the magazine. PC Zone ran for an impressive 225 issues of which I’ve now got scans of 113. That means that about 7 or 8 years after I started I’ve only just crossed the half way point. A lot more scanning to be done if I’m ever going to get there but the pace is clearly a lot brisker than it was. The scans are in the same place as ever at https://www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk/PCZone
I’m going back (or technically forward) to fill in a gap with the PC Zone scans this week. This issue includes far more previews than actual reviews with Curse Of Monkey Island, Blood, Pandemonium, Little Big Adventure 2, etc.. There are some notable reviews as well with Outlaws and Interstate 76.
During most of the 90’s the only readily available source of information for many PC gamers like myself were video gaming magazines. The first of these to purely focus on PC games in the UK was PC Zone which started up in April 1993 and ran for about 250 issues until September 2010. The reviews were irreverent and laddish but largely reliable if you wanted a guide of what was worth spending your pennies on. The quality waned after a while but it was by far my favourite of the available magazines in the 90’s.
I’d seen numerous requests for PC Zone scans on the web since then but there was precious little available. I’ve made liberal use of other people’s old magazine scans and wanted to contribute in return so a year or two back I came up with the ambitious and unlikely aim of getting a complete set of scans and cover discs together up to the end of 2001. As so often with this sort of project my interest ultimately waned but with help I did get about half of them done. The site hosting all of these has gone down since then and I’d hate for them not to be available somewhere so I’ve dumped them onto my webserver for anyone who wants them. I may add more issues at a later date but if any reader wants to take up the baton in the meanwhile then any additions would be gratefully received.
I usually like to keep this site strictly on the topic of Origin but I was asked the other day about magazine scans relating to X-Wing and this sounded like a good excuse to search out some articles on one of my favourite games. I expect a lot of other Wing Commander fans will have fond memories of the X-Wing series as well so without further ado here is a review of X-Wing from the May 1993 PC Review:-
And another from the May 1993 PC Zone:-
Moving onto Tie Fighter, this is from the October 1994 PC Games magazine:-
And one last review from the September 1994 PC Format:-
While I’m off topic, I don’t imagine that many gamers can have missed the recent buzz about Kickstarter being used first by Tim Schafer to fund a new point and click adventure and then by Brian Fargo for Wasteland 2. Anyone who knows me at all wouldn’t need to be told that I’ve contributed to both of those. Further to this, it was announced on Tuesday that there will be a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new Tex Murphy game starting up in a couple of months. I’ve been waiting for that particular sequel for 14 years and the only question is how much money I’m willing to throw at it.
I’d like to give a quick mention to another much smaller Kickstarter gaming project. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective was a series of FMV based adventure games that started right at the dawn of the CD-ROM era long before games like 7th Guest actually persuaded us all to get the required hardware. The original developer wants to remaster these for modern PC’s and iOS/Android and is trying to raise some funds.
I can’t say I’ve ever actually played any of the original games but as one of the few fans of FMV and someone who has read their way through every Sherlock Holmes story I’ve been intrigued by them since seeing the original reviews. The project is after a fairly small amount of money and you get 9 cases (originally sold as 3 games) for an investment of $9 which looks like a good deal to me. I have a strong suspicion that it won’t get the required funding but if it sounds like your sort of thing head on over to Kickstarter and prove me wrong.