• Category Archives DOS
  • PC Player (April 1994)

    Source: PC Player – April 1994

    PC Player was a U.K. based magazine for PC games. PC in this case means DOS. The April 1994 issue includes a cover featuring one of my favorite game series of all time and includes:


    • News
    • Competition: US Gold
    • Games Round-Up
    • Column: CD Revolution
    • Back Issues
    • Subscription Offer
    • PC Problems
    • Letters


    • John Nichol Interview
    • Book Review
    • Intercept


    • Air Force Commander
    • Archon Ultra
    • Championship Manager ’93/’94
    • City 2000
    • Conspiracy
    • Doom
    • Evasive Action
    • Gettysburg
    • Great Naval Battles
    • Hired Guns
    • Hornet Naval Strike Fighter
    • In Extremis
    • Merchant Prince
    • Nomad
    • Operation Desert Storm
    • Pro League Football
    • Reunion
    • Shadows of Darkness
    • The Journeyman Project
    • Wizard


    • Al Qadim
    • Star Trek: 25th Anniversary CD
    • Sim City CD
    • Tie Fighter
    • Theme Park

    Players’ Guide

    • Shadowcaster
    • TFX

    …and more!

  • ActionSoft (1988)

    Source: The Games Machine – February 1988

    This ad is sort of odd in that it is more of an introduction to the company making the games than an ad for the games themselves. This ad appeared in the U.K. based magazine The Games Machine in 1988. ActionSoft (or Action Soft…it is written both ways in the ad) was a U.S. based companies and their first two games, Thunderchopper and Up Periscope were originally released in 1986. As far as I can tell, these are the only two games released by ActionSoft though here they are two years later selling them in the U.K.

    Both of these games are simulations and that seems to be what ActionSoft was going to be all about. Thunderchopper is a flight simulator. The ad says that it “simulates the flight characteristics of high performance scout/rescue/attack helicopter”. In addition to being grammatically incorrect, it’s also sort of vague. This doesn’t appear to be a simulation of a specific helicopter. I never though flight sims worked very well on 8-bit or even 16-bit computers. The graphics weren’t really good enough and more importantly the frame rates were usually pretty abysmal. Having said that, there were a number of pretty realistic ones at that time given the hardware that was available. This one seems to have been a pretty average one overall.

    Thunderchopper (Commodore 64)

    Up Periscope! is a World War II submarine simulator. Like Thunderchopper it is kind of non-specific in terms of what is being simulated. It is a generic World War II sub that has the equipment and weapons of subs of that era but if it is simulating a specific sub, it isn’t specified. This game is somewhat similar to the earlier Silent Service. It isn’t a bad game and I think this kind of simulator works a lot better than flight simulators on computers of that era.

    I don’t really know what happened to ActionSoft. I remember their ads in the U.S. for these two games but I don’t remember any other games coming from them nor can I find a reference to any. They seemed to have milked these two for a while and even marketed them internationally (at least in the U.K.) but they just sort of disappeared after that. I did find a reference that says ActionSoft licensed the graphics for Thunderchopper from subLogic. Also, there is a later DOS version of Thunderchopper that seems to have been released by subLogic and is compatible with Flight Simulator scenery disks. So perhaps subLogic acquired them….

    Up Periscope! (Commodore64)

    Thunderchopper was available for the Commodore 64, Apple II and DOS. Up Periscope! was available for the Commodore 64 and DOS. The screenshots above are from the Commodore 64 versions of Thunderchopper and Up Periscope! If you want to play either one you’ll have to find original copies or resort to emulation. While it matters less for Up Periscope!, DOS is probably better for simulations during this time. At least you will get better graphics and frame rates.