Cast your mind back to September 1988. What do you remember about
this period? The SDI debate? The music? While these were gaining
attention, the 16-bit market had been steadily growing. Both Commodore
and Atari had launched their second generation 16-bit machines (A500
& A2000) and were attracting a stream of game players. To tailor
for this market EMAP launched 'The One for 16-Bit Games'.
For just £1.50 the reader would receive a 116 page multi-format
magazine that covered the emerging Atari ST, Amiga, and PC games
market. At the time the ST was gaining most attention, while Amiga
had to settle for ST ports a few months later. In third place the
PC was getting a cursory glance. It would be at least five years
before anyone would take the PC game player seriously. After a few
months the magazine began to reflect a change in the 'old' order
- games were reviewed that took advantage of the Amiga hardware,
and the ST was beginning to look like the poor relation.
A look at the magazine during 1989 reveals it to be the year of
announced, but unreleased games. Issue 8 (May 1989) previewed the
upcoming film and game, Watchmen. This was based upon the Dave Gibbons'
graphic novel of the same name. To celebrate this announcement,
the cover featured the famous blood-stained 'smiley' badge. The
design was later used by the acid house label 'Summer of Love'.
The film was later cancelled and the Ocean game was put on indefinite
hold. There was also a brief mention of US Gold's 'A Nightmare on
Elm Street'. This news was followed by the announcement of classic
titles such as 'Atomic Lunch', 'Randolph the Robot' (and its revolutionary
two-button joystick), and 'The Flaming Carrot: Armed and Ludicrous'.
Perhaps they were cancelled for sounding stoopid!
Despite the number of titles that failed to appear, The One recorded
1989 as a time when the quality of games produced had vastly improved.
In August, Rainbow Islands scored a respectable 94 per cent, beating
Xenon II by one mark. The Americans were also showing the world
how to make games with the release of Spectrum Holobyte's 'Falcon:
The Mission Disks'.
In addition to the dozens of game reviews, the magazine bought an
unique perspective to many of the hot topics of that period. In
a two page article on Artificial Intelligence they revealed that
the world expert on soya beans was a computer. Their approach was
different and more entertaining as a result. The industry obviously
agreed with this assessment voting The One for 16-Bit Games "Magazine
of the Year" in February 1990.
The award did not make the writers complacent. In June 1990 the
magazine went through its first major redesign. The changes were
brutal, dropping regular features that were unpopular and changing
the layout and appearance of the magazine. The original logo confused
many readers, causing them to believe the magazine was called 'O
The NE for 16-Bit Games'. This was changed to a more user-friendly
motif (that can be seen at the top of the page).
By 1991 the ST and Amiga market had blossomed, resulting in the
appearance of dozens of single format titles. The One for 16-Bit
Games found itself competing against both Amiga and ST titles, and
losing. The decision was made, in a publishers' meeting, to split
the magazine into two platform-specific titles- 'The One for Amiga
Games' and 'The One for ST Games'. PC games coverage was relegated
to the recently launched PC Leisure (later renamed PC Review). The
magazine had evolved to the changing market and was ready to fight
on a whole new level!
Back to The One Index
Forward to The One for Amiga Games