The ZZap! 64 Annual 2019 is based on a gaming magazine of the same name that was published here in the UK between 1985 to 1992. It was the magazine of choice for C64 owners not only for its frank and honest reviews but also because of the humour people like Gary Penn and Julian Rignall put into their writing.
Following on from the success of Crash Annual 2018, Fusion Retro Books deemed it appropriate to pay homage to the C64 computer and so ZZap! 64 Annual 2019 was born. What’s instantly apparent is how close to the original magazine this annual is. After reviewing the Crash Annual 2018 I guess I already knew what to expect, but it’s still fantastic to see the level of detail the guys at Fusion Retro Books have gone to.
Inside you’ll find the content is made up of games from the very active C64 Homebrew scene, including games from Knights ‘n’ Grail, The Bear Essentials, Sam’s Journey and many more. The coveted SIZZLER award returns as does the GOLD MEDAL award for one awesome game and I’ll not spoil it for anyone by revealing the game. The reviews are written by various people from the C64 scene including some more notable names like Jaz Rignall and Robin Hogg, both of whom, worked on the original magazine.
The annual is packed with feature articles, one in particular is called ‘Pub Chat’, here some of the Commodore 64’s most recognisable names like Archer Maclean and Matt Gray reminisce about the golden years, its written very much like you get when you take minutes from a meeting a work. There is much more besides, including articles from Simon Butler and Mel Croucher, all adding to what is a fantastic homage to the halcyon days of the magazine.
So what do I think? This is a great annual, for £15, you get a bucket load of content crammed in, most of which I’ve not mentioned so as not to spoil your enjoyment of reading the annual yourself, if I am to have a gripe, it’s a poor one, I wanted more and more pages, I just didn’t want it to end.
Retro head and key holder of RVG.