RGCD is a new downloadable CD-ROM based magazine containing the very latest retro reviews, features and developer interviews, providing its readers with an essential one-stop resource for all their retro gaming needs. RGCD’s main focus is on the new releases for 8/16-Bit computer platforms, but we also dedicate a good percentage of our reviews and feature space to retro look-and-feel PC-based remakes and independent games, so if that’s what you’re into then you are in the right place.

Release notes:

I’d love to be able to say otherwise, but RGCD #04 has been the most difficult issue to compile so far; with one team member gone AWOL and several others tied-up with real-life issues, its development has been exceptionally labour intensive for the loyal few of us left (and I’d like to say a big thank you to all involved for their contributions). However, all this hard work has been worthwhile and I’m proud to say that the standard raised by the release of our previous issue has been upheld (even with a smaller number of dedicated staff writers this time round). With over 31,000 words, 24 full reviews, 10 extra features and a wide range of platforms covered, there’s enough content in RGCD #04 to keep you busy long after the festive season has run its course.

As with the equally productive summer holiday period, the long winter nights have bought about an explosion of retro homebrew coding activity – we’ve really tried our best, but to be honest there was no way that we could have covered all of the new 8/16-Bit and indie PC games released since the last issue. Notable titles that didn’t make the final cut include multiplayer releases M.U.L.E. Wars and Speed Up! Gold for the 8-Bit Atari, Wizard of Wor, Egghead 5 and Phantomasa 2 for the ZX Spectrum, Bag Man and Penguin Mind on the MSX, the English translation of Black Sect for the Atari ST and many others that I’m too tired to list – so expect some of these to overflow into the next issue!

However, the good news is that this over-fruitful period has resulted in only the best (and some of the worst) titles being cherry-picked for review in RGCD #04, with the featured game (Transcendence) and its covermount-competitor Battleships Forever being particularly exciting PC titles. And whilst on the subject of PC games, as well as the regular reviews of top titles such as Pen Pen Christmas Olympics, Iwanaga, Wizball and Varia there’s also a new addition to the magazine in the form of our ‘Homebrew Retrospective’, featuring mini-reviews of some of our favourite PC freeware releases from those dark days before RGCD. This is set to become a regular fixture in the mag and we’ll be taking a look back at our most-played homebrew releases for the wide variety of computers and consoles out there, with the focus being on a different machine in each issue.

As mentioned above, there have been an insane number of new releases for 8/16-Bit platforms recently – including the much anticipated full versions of Tongueman’s Logic (PC Engine) and Crownland (Atari XE/XL) (as originally previewed back in RGCD #01). Other highlights include reviews of horizontal shooter Star Sabre (Amstrad CPC), single-screen avoid ’em up Get It (Commodore Plus/4), Aleksi Eeeben’s Redrunner (C64) and the awesome Yoomp! (Atari XE/XL) complete with in-depth developer interview. In terms of the number of new games it’s almost as if we’ve gone back in time 20 years to Christmas 1987!

But RGCD isn’t just game reviews and previews; Issue #04 also contains the second half of Mike Bevan’s acclaimed Llamasoft article, and on the technical front, RGCD/Cosine’s T.M.R has contributed a detailed essay explaining some of the problems faced by programmers whom choose to develop software for the most challenging gaming platform of them all; the good old Atari 2600.

Well, that just about wraps it up. From all of the RGCD team, I sincerely wish you a happy Christmas and all the best for 2008!