Don't worry, I'm not abandoning The Oink! Blog for a new venture, I'm just spreading my wings. But first things first.
In June last year I put together a special post about the Oink! computer game for the 8-bit machines of the day, on the date of the release of a very special edition of Spectrum magazine Crash. Inside there was an extra issue of Oink! no less, a 16-page pullout featuring some of our favourite characters from the game and comic as well as the usual random extras we'd all come to know and love from the fortnightly piggy publication. If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about you can read all about it here.
It was four years after the original release of the game before I received my own first computer, a Commodore 64. I'd already started to collect Commodore Format and had never read an issue of the infamous Zzap64 which had temporarily disappeared from the shelves by this stage. At the time of the build-up to the game it seems Crash wasn't the only one with access to Uncle Pigg's underlings, though Zzap didn't interview the editors and instead had a more traditional preview but with some information the other magazine had left out. Oh, and they also had what looks like a run-in with none other than Snatcher Sam himself!
Below is the preview and as you'll see my previous research which concluded the Oink! team had nothing to do with the game has actually proved incorrect! This snippet of info is enough on its own to make me want to play the game, despite the actual gameplay been somewhat unrelated. But enough from me, have a read yourself:
Scans from the public domain site Archive.org.
While Commodore Format may not have even been available at that stage, its second issue (about a year before I started collecting it) actually gave the full game away for free on its covertape!
This leads me on to the reason behind this post; the launch of a new blog.
RECOVERING FROM A SCRATCH
After quite a few years of financial difficulties I successfully cleared myself of those problems a few months ago. Debt-free for the first time in what felt like a lifetime I decided to celebrate and purchased a refurbished Commodore 64 computer, a few accessories and a couple of games. However, even though it was delivered at the end of September it's remained inside its box ever since as you can see below. The bigger box is the computer itself, the smaller Sky one is full of a handful of old issues of Commodore Format, games and a few others bits'n'bobs, all waiting for a certain date before being opened to the world again:
Why the wait? Over a whole calendar month beginning on 11th December I'm off for a whopping 25 days from work, so I'm saving the Commodore opening for that first day. I'll even be wrapping it up and placing it under the tree! But you'll find out more about this over at Recovering from a Scratch, the new blog I'm setting up (putting it together on my Mac just like this one, a device which has also helped rekindle my love of writing, hence the picture at the top) to chronicle what I'm planning to do with this greatest of retro devices.
I'm not going to give too much away here, after all you're here to read about pigs, plops and pimples, and that's what the new blog is for after all. But the first post is up today.
Next year The Oink! Blog will be changing somewhat and the new Commodore 64 one will develop alongside it, but you'll find out how when the time comes.
UPDATE: The information above about a new blog and the Oink! blog itself changing are now out-of-date. The second blog is no more and this blog was relaunched eventually in the spring of 2017 as Phil's Oink! Blog and Beyond and continues to this day... obviously!