|First issue: Autumn/Winter
||Final issue: March
||No. of issues: 16
|Web Address: None
Amiga Force was a relative later comer to the Amiga, launched towards
the end of 1992 by Europress Impact. Its brief life span lasted
for just 16 issues before being dragged down with its publishers.
Despite the lateness of its arrival the concept behind the magazine
stretches back to the tail end of the 8-bit computer boom.
In 1988 a Commodore magazine called Zzap! began to cover the growing
Amiga market. This would continue until 1991 when it becomes clear
that the Amiga has grown beyond the coverage of a dual format magazine.
Zzap! is forced to choose one platform and drop the other. In direct
contrast to CU Amiga/64, it chooses to revert back to 64-only coverage.
An idea sparks that will eventually result in the launch of an Amiga
equivalent of Zzap!
This idea finally becomes reality when Newsfield enter liquidation
and are bought by Europress, becoming the subsidiary, Europress
Impact. The first issue of Amiga Force, dated Autumn/Winter 1992,
goes on sale around September of that year. The magazine switches
to monthly publication soon after.
The first issue of Amiga Force shows many similarities to other
Europress Impact titles. It is almost a spitting image of sister
magazine, Sega Force. The similarity stretch far beyond the aesthetic,
both magazines share a similar target audience. Like Europress'
Amiga Action magazine, Amiga Force was aimed at the games market.
However, it had more of a console-feel to it, using bright distinctive
colours, as well as focussing upon action rather than puzzle games.
It became clear that the magazine was aimed at a slightly younger
market than Amiga Action (roughly 8 - 14), the game player who was
unwilling or unable to spend £4 on a magazine. At the price
of £1.95 (or £2.25 during 1994), the 84 page magazine
was sold as a soft games title. This is contrasted by Amiga Power's
die-hard gamer image. The magazine target range is emphasized through
the choice not to mount coverdisks on an issue.
From the makers of Zzap! 64
Despite the magazines Zzap! 64 origins it was never able to live up
to its predecessor. For a start the market was completely different,
more competitive and commercial than in previous years. The magazines
console feel meant that it only scratched the surface of the Amigas
power, treating it simply as a games machine. This style only became
appropriate with the launch of the CD32 during 1993. The magazine
was a mere shadow of the Newsfield heyday with a few issues featuring
cover art that had previously graced Crash and Zzap! 64. The
fantastic Oli Frey artwork (usually made up of blood and guts) had
been toned down for the 90's. Although impressive it had become dated,
lacking the buzz that other Newsfield titles had.
Over time the editorial staff changed. The first few issues were
written by the Zzap!/ Commodore Force team. The expansion of Impact
Magazine (formerly Europress Impact) resulted in Amiga Force and
Sega Force Mega being farmed off to a team in Newton Abbey. Under
the editorship of Chris Marke the magazine took on a style of its
Unfortunately the magazine still patronized its readers. In issue
15 the PD section reviewed a Spectrum game, passing it off as an
Amiga title. Failing to mention the game was being run under an
emulated Spectrum. Perhaps they didn't think their readers could
understand what an emulator is!
In January 1994 the magazine was handed back to the Impact team
in Ludlow. The editor, Chris Marke could not hide his obvious bitterness
at the move, stating the Newton Abbey team were moving onto bigger
and better things. The issue 15 next month page displayed a 'Software
Failure' and rebooted, to be relaunched in issue 16 as a competitive
title once again. Under the editorship of Nick Roberts the magazine
took on a new life, adding a spine rather than using stapled pages,
a fresh new look and a feature on Codemasters. The rating system
was given an overhaul, ending the ridiculous high scoring that had
plagued previous issues. Future issues promised original features,
such as 'The AF Challenge'. A quest to find the best Amiga game
players. These were to be special challenges played in different
schools and colleges each month.
Unfortunately the March 1994 edition was the last issue of Amiga
Force published when, for the second time the Ludlow-based publisher
went bust. Even if this had not happened it is doubtful that the
Amiga market would have been able to support a floppy-less magazine
during the next year.