RETRO GAMER: OLD PiG, NEW TRiCKS

This magazine might seem like a strange addition to the blog but there is method to my madness. In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago I announced a pig pal by the name of David Crookes had been able to score a chat with Jon Williams, the coder of the OiNK computer game released back in 1987. This was set to appear in the latest edition of Retro Gamer (#221) and it’s now available to buy in your local shops, supermarkets or via Future‘s website.

Unfortunately the article begins with a couple of errors about the comic itself, namely the oft-cited falsehood that OiNK was meant to be a children’s version of Viz and then that the creators of the comic approached CRL, the publishers of the game. It may have been IPC Magazines but definitely not the OiNK editors because they had little to nothing to do with the game, which in turn had very little to do with the comic.

But the latter point may be Jon misremembering so please don’t let this put you off. The interview with Jon really is rather interesting with details about the start-stop nature of the game’s development, the rush to get it completed with a tiny budget and the shortcuts Jon took which inevitably had a big impact on the finished product. I was surprised to read much more input from the comic’s team had apparently been promised and as a former obsessive with the Commodore 64 I found the technical aspects mentioned alongside some of the design documents fascinating.

By sheer coincidence the feature right before the one on the OiNK game might also be of interest to readers of our piggy publication. It’s an in-depth look at the creation of the Spy Vs Spy games based on a hit comic strip from Mad Magazine, which actually was one of the influences cited by the creators of OiNK! I have very fond memories of playing all three of these in the early 90s with my friend and only many years later finding out about the strip.

Towards the back of the issue is a list of all the main games covered in the issue and the average prices they can go for if you’re interested in picking up the OiNK game on the C64, the ZX Spectrum or Amstrad CPC machines if you happen to own one. The game itself will get a full review here on the blog when we reach that point in the comic’s real time read through.

Elsewhere there’s one more little link to OiNK hidden away in a great interview with Violet Berlin, who I used to watch on Bad Influence on ITV and Gamepad on Bravo. Yes, that’s our very own Frank Sidebottom aka Chris Sievey popping up on one of Violet’s earliest shows!

If you’d like to read any of these, Retro Gamer #221 is available now for £6.50 in the shops or just £5.20 including postage if you order it online at the Future shop. For the completist OiNK collector it’s an unmissable addition to your shelves.

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