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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Amiga Force

First issue: Autumn/Winter 1992 Final issue: March 1994
Publisher: Europress/Impact Magazines Coverage: Games
Country published: United Kingdom No. of issues: 16
Medium: Paper Status: Dead
Web Address: None

Amiga Force was a relative later comer to the Amiga, launched towards the end of 1992 by Europress Impact. Its brief life span lasted for just 16 issues before being dragged down with its publishers. Despite the lateness of its arrival the concept behind the magazine stretches back to the tail end of the 8-bit computer boom.
In 1988 a Commodore magazine called Zzap! began to cover the growing Amiga market. This would continue until 1991 when it becomes clear that the Amiga has grown beyond the coverage of a dual format magazine. Zzap! is forced to choose one platform and drop the other. In direct contrast to CU Amiga/64, it chooses to revert back to 64-only coverage. An idea sparks that will eventually result in the launch of an Amiga equivalent of Zzap!
This idea finally becomes reality when Newsfield enter liquidation and are bought by Europress, becoming the subsidiary, Europress Impact. The first issue of Amiga Force, dated Autumn/Winter 1992, goes on sale around September of that year. The magazine switches to monthly publication soon after.

The first issue of Amiga Force shows many similarities to other Europress Impact titles. It is almost a spitting image of sister magazine, Sega Force. The similarity stretch far beyond the aesthetic, both magazines share a similar target audience. Like Europress' Amiga Action magazine, Amiga Force was aimed at the games market. However, it had more of a console-feel to it, using bright distinctive colours, as well as focussing upon action rather than puzzle games. It became clear that the magazine was aimed at a slightly younger market than Amiga Action (roughly 8 - 14), the game player who was unwilling or unable to spend £4 on a magazine. At the price of £1.95 (or £2.25 during 1994), the 84 page magazine was sold as a soft games title. This is contrasted by Amiga Power's die-hard gamer image. The magazine target range is emphasized through the choice not to mount coverdisks on an issue.
Force Rave- for games over 90%

From the makers of Zzap! 64

Despite the magazines Zzap! 64 origins it was never able to live up to its predecessor. For a start the market was completely different, more competitive and commercial than in previous years. The magazines console feel meant that it only scratched the surface of the Amigas power, treating it simply as a games machine. This style only became appropriate with the launch of the CD32 during 1993. The magazine was a mere shadow of the Newsfield heyday with a few issues featuring cover art that had  previously graced Crash and Zzap! 64. The fantastic Oli Frey artwork (usually made up of blood and guts) had been toned down for the 90's. Although impressive it had become dated, lacking the buzz that other Newsfield titles had.

Over time the editorial staff changed. The first few issues were written by the Zzap!/ Commodore Force team. The expansion of Impact Magazine (formerly Europress Impact) resulted in Amiga Force and Sega Force Mega being farmed off to a team in Newton Abbey. Under the editorship of Chris Marke the magazine took on a style of its own.
Unfortunately the magazine still patronized its readers. In issue 15 the PD section reviewed a Spectrum game, passing it off as an Amiga title. Failing to mention the game was being run under an emulated Spectrum. Perhaps they didn't think their readers could understand what an emulator is!
Amiga Force- New Logo
In January 1994 the magazine was handed back to the Impact team in Ludlow. The editor, Chris Marke could not hide his obvious bitterness at the move, stating the Newton Abbey team were moving onto bigger and better things. The issue 15 next month page displayed a 'Software Failure' and rebooted, to be relaunched in issue 16 as a competitive title once again. Under the editorship of Nick Roberts the magazine took on a new life, adding a spine rather than using stapled pages, a fresh new look and a feature on Codemasters. The rating system was given an overhaul, ending the ridiculous high scoring that had plagued previous issues. Future issues promised original features, such as 'The AF Challenge'. A quest to find the best Amiga game players. These were to be special challenges played in different schools and colleges each month.
Force Approved- for games over 90%
Unfortunately the March 1994 edition was the last issue of Amiga Force published when, for the second time the Ludlow-based publisher went bust. Even if this had not happened it is doubtful that the Amiga market would have been able to support a floppy-less magazine during the next year.

Amiga Force Issue 1 Amiga Force Issue 2 Amiga Force Issue 16

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