News - The most recent happenings in the Atari scene

Compo Software Closes

Major ST and Falcon hardware and software suppliers Compo Software have called in the recievers.

The company famous for products such as That's Write, PC Speed and the Falcon screen expander Screenblaster 2 closed at the beginning of April.

Specialist Magazines, a subsidiary of Compo Software and publishers of Atari World, also closed which will be a big blow to the Atari market. There are rumours that a syndicate headed by Karl Bandt of System Solutions is attempting to obtain the rights to the magazine, however it is unlikely that any AW subscribers will get refunded. Writers for the magazine were owed a total of around £15,000 when it closed.

If the magazine is saved, it is likely that it will continue as a bi-monthly release. An announcement regarding the future of the magazine is expected soon.

US Jaguar price drops

The price of the Jaguar in the USA has dropped to just $49. Industry trade publication Computer Trade Weekly speculated that this move could be an attempt by JTS Atari to clear stocks before dropping the console. However, Atari insists that it is a temporary measure to increase the Jags user base.

The official price for the Jag in th UK is £99 but some stores such as Debenhams currently have the machine on offer at only £69, and if you have a Debenhams Store Card, you also get three games in this price.

Floppyshop drops Floppyware

Floppyshop, the successful PD library has drop it's Licenceware range - Floppyware. When the scheme began, there was a lot of interest, but this seems to have tailed off. During the last quater, sales for Floppyware were extremely poor, and Floppyshop had been running at a loss. Floppyshop still supports PD and Shareware along with an impressive range of commercial products.

LAPD's Licenceware range however, is still going strong. They stock probably the biggest range of Licenceware currently available, and sales are respectable.

Jaguar News

Some of the long awaited Jaguar games have now been released.

Atari Kart, the Mario Kart clone is the first. The game look as though it could do a lot for the Jag. The game supports 1 or 2 players, and features excellent graphics and sound.

Fight For Life, the 3D beat 'em up has also been released. It features smooth texture mapped graphics in 65000 colours. There are a number of opponents and you can build up your skills as you progress.

NBA Jam TE is also available now. From what I can tell, it looks very similar to previous incarnations on other platforms including the Playstation. The game features support for the Team Tap adapter, and therefore can be played by upto four players.

Other new games are Missile Command 3D, Battlemorph (Cybermorph 2), Primal Rage (CD), Highlander (CD) and I-war.

Other games to be released soon:

Worms                Team 17/Ocean           
Towers 2             Telegames               
Breakout 2000        JTS Atari
Iron Soldier 2 CD    JTS Atari
Battlesphere         JTS Atari/4Play
Zero-5               JTS Atari/Caspian
Mortal Kombat 3      Acclaim
Quake                iD Software

Incidentally, JTS Atari recently dropped plans to release Towers 2 the eagerly awaited first person role playing game. However, the game is rumoured to have been taken up by Telegames.

User Groups

A number of new user groups have appeared catering for the Atari.

Firstly, WAG - Wessex Atari Group, has been set up by Roy Goring. It is caters mainly for Atari users in the south of Britain. They have a message area on 42BBS, home of the Falcon FacTT File. If you are on line, why not get involved.

The Falcon FacTT File has set up a new newsletter aimed at all Atari users. AtariPhile is available direct from FFF, Goodmans PDL or can be downloaded from 42BBS. The magazine is in HTML format and you'll require access to the excellent CAB or something similar in order to read it. It contains loads of information, and written in an excellent way.

Paul Walsh has set up the TOS User Group, If you're interested, contact him over netmail or he can be found in the 42BBS local message area.

AAA - The Atari Authors Association has been set up by Croft Soft Software to cater for Atari authors. See the information in this newsletter for more details.

CSAUG is another new group, this time in Lanarkshire catering for Atari Users in that area.

Finally, the Atari Wrinklies Club has been set up by Jim Hornby. The group is aimed at all you older users. Contact Jim by writing to: 60 Crumpsall Street, Abbey Wood, London SE2 0LR or you can e-mail him at:

Atari Shows

Goodmans International has announced two Atari Shows on the 28th and 29th of September at Birmingham and London respectively. The shows are also being sponsored by ST Format. A number of exhibitors have already been confirmed for one or both shows. Hopefully, we'll be there too. Meanwhile call Goodmans for details.

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