Unusual or Experimental or just New or Quirky Presentations of Software

When it was all new software vendors had to work out the best way to sell their wares. In the beginning ,there was no absolute consensus ,and so there were some original and interesting styles that later died out.This thread will be about looking at these unusual ways . Maybe these styles just did not catch on . But at that time things were being worked out ,at bit at least , "on the hoof"

One example would be the TAPE approach .For instance calling a compilation like this " a TAPE" . There is an example called "THE EDUCATION TAPE" for infants and juniors . Print labels on backing paper are included in the cassette with the name of each game printed on each label ,presumably so that the user could make up their own separate TAPE copy for each game rather than relying on the tape counter method to locate each game .

Then there is an additional strip of paper with a set of mini instructions for each game . The attention to detail with some of these approaches is very good Unfortunately ,the EDUCATION TAPE , by M.B.Games does not appear to have sold in huge numbers and so this kind of approach remained "on its own" .There must be other similar "unusual" software approaches ie presentations of software that for some reason just did not catch on.


  • edited September 2019
    I think some of the US Gold Ultimate games had an "Ultimate Head Cleaner" cassette that went with it.
    I've got one in my Gunfright box but it may have came with Cyberrun instead (and got misplaced)?
    Post edited by cole on
  • Reply to cole

    That is a good example

    Interfaces were unusual eg Shadow of Unicorn
    And the Lenslok games

    So far we have:-
    1) Extraneous/spare additional print labels
    2) Head Cleaner Tapes
    3) Interfaces
    4) Lenslok
  • Add some games that loaded from turntables, and the Codemasters CD collection.
    I was there, too
    An' you know what they said?
    Well, some of it was true!
  • Telesoftware on micronet, teletext etc
    Robin Verhagen-Guest
    SevenFFF / Threetwosevensixseven / colonel32
    NXtel NXTP ESP Update ESP Reset CSpect Plugins
  • edited November 2019
    Special codes required to Play the Game:-

    Another type which is quite uncommon (in relation to the overall number of games published mostly without this requirement) is where there is a requirement to enter a special code from the cassette inlay or special instruction sheet . This was done as late as 1991 with Quattro Skills by Code Masters . In this example two of the four games on the cassette require a code entry from the cassette inlay .Surprisingly the price for this cassette of games is listed as unknown in the WOS archive . (and I thought Code Masters stuff had a huge audience). My copy has a £3.50 label stuck on it so that may be a clue! However this is less than the 1992 game "Wild West Seymour" which is listed on WOS at £3.99 . So it appears that "right at the end" of the "Spectrum Games Retail Era" the price of ordinary games showed signs of going up.
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • edited December 2019
    Special Maps in an Ordinary Cassette Case .

    This one is CONVOY by Budgie . I came across it as part of my exploration of Strategy Games .

    This must be the biggest single sheet of paper I have seen in an ordinary cassette case . The Map measures 8 ins * 15ins and is on the reverse of the cassette inlay . It is on very thin paper and is folded twice to fit inside the case.The Blurb says "Special Offer : 10 Additional Maps only £1.00 including post and packing " (I assume they mean 10 additional copies of the same map) .

    This may be an example of a type of game genre that failed . I have not played the game yet as it requires a minimum of 2 players . So maybe it was envisaged by the game developers that .people wanting to play the game would get their "mates round" and play it in a big group . I know from experience that it is difficult to get groups like this together (maybe this is one reason the board games have had such a resurgence) .Even group LAN based games are now not often played . If you want to play a game with another player generally it is easier to go online.So I am guessing a bit, that this type of "compulsory" 2 player game genre failed . But the idea that so much effort was put into this game shows that they had high hopes for it .The one map I have is so frail ( just about to fall apart) and creased I had to "iron" it flat and then laminate it ! It will have to be stored in a bigger box!

    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • Homebrew

    I see this term is frequently used by sellers on Ebay to describe rare or limited edition Speccy stuff . But what is homebrew ? Does it count as being "published" and is most of it MIA anyway? And, if it comes with a proper but "home brew" looking cassette cover, is this type of offering really any different from the hundreds of other small scale "cottage industry" software publications? Is "homebrew" just another term for CIC software ( Cottage Industry Creations!)?
  • There were also a few things that were distributed on flexidiscs - the debut issue of Big K had one, for example.

    Capital radio broadcast a few games over the air, which I doubt anybody ever got to load given the bandwidth of '80s AM radio.
    Thanked by 1harriusherbartio
  • Surf champ which came with a plastic surfboard to stick onto of the keyboard.

    There was recently this article on the bbc about it:
Sign In or Register to comment.