Crash Annual 2019 is the follow-up to the hugely successful Crash Annual 2018 from Fusion Retro Books, for those not familiar with either annuals they are based on a gaming magazine of the same name that was published here in the UK between 1984 to 1992 and covered all things Spectrum.
Firstly, Oliver Frey has exceeded himself again with another sublime cover design, simply whetting your appetite for whats to come within the annual itself and again the design closely follows that of the original magazine which is what is to be expected but the guys really have done another superb job here. Its packed full of content, reflecting the current Spectrum homebrew scene and much more, essentially the annual is issue 100 of Crash – Chris Wilkins, Roger Kean and Oliver Frey wanted to continue the theme from the previous annual, being bold and colourful with lots of humour is front and center here.
The annual opens with an editorial from Mr Kean himself, and a lovely homage to those from the industry we have sadly lost recently, and I’m talking about the great Ben Daglish and Bob Wakelin. Then you get into the reviews, the Spectrum Homebrew scene is alive and well, lots of new titles have been released over the last few years, lots of those games have been covered, games like Tourmaline, Ray’s Reprisal and the fabulous Circuitry from John Blythe and his Rucksack Games label.
There is a lovely feature on Monument Microgames owner Graz Richards, reading about how Graz started out and his passions for the scene was the reason we at RVG started Bitmap Soft, to publish more games like Graz does with his label and spread the word about this awesome scene that continues to go from strength to strength and this latest Crash Annual utterly shows off what an awesome and vibrant scene we have at the moment and I again salute the team that all worked on this latest annual. There is tons of content like this, I won’t go in to it in anymore detail for the purpose of not spoiling it too much for those wishing to read it for themselves.
Finally, this betters Annual is easily on par with its predecessor, for £15 its a complete bargain, you will not regret purchasing this, I guarantee it. Will there be more? The short answer is no, the plan was for two annuals, that could change with people power so don’t give up hope.
Another fine example of what a retro publication should look like and more importantly how to engage people with the chosen content.