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stoob

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  1. Another little Dixons/Tynesoft connection I've discovered: One of the Dixons re-releases on the ZX Spectrum was Calisto's Wally Kong, but they changed the cover - - and that new cover is from Climb-It, an Amstrad game released by Tynesoft in 1984, which was also re-released by Dixons.
  2. There are 11 Adventure International (US) titles re-released by Prism on Atarimania so it looks like Prism acquired the games after they went bankrupt in 1986. The Prism Electric Starfish has new artwork while the Dixons release re-uses the original Calisto artwork. So that fits with the theorised 1985 date for the Dixons releases.
  3. That's one of Paxman's logos: I have no idea why they had two different logos at the same time! On other platforms those "O Level" titles were originally released by Calisto, I don't know if they released the original Atari versions. and I notice that Tynesoft seem to have "edited" their cover in the same way as the Dixons Waxworks cover:
  4. Another thing I've noticed is that the Paxman release has the address of Adventuresoft: So the Paxman releases can't have been any earlier than 1986 as Adventuresoft didn't exist until then:
  5. Yes, but as I mentioned earlier Paxman/Prism's business model was to buy up surplus tape stocks and resell them. There are also Paxman Mysterious Adventures releases that have the original purple Digital Fantasia tapes.
  6. Finally! I've found a connection between Microdeal and Tynesoft: Tynesoft re-released Pengon on one of their Micro-Value compilation releases. They also put Callisto's Cannibals on one too:
  7. AI UK became AdventureSoft - there's an article about it in Retro Gamer 135 - but it tells us nothing about Paxman or Tynesoft...
  8. Yes, although I'm not convinced that Paxman, Dixons and Tynesoft published "all 11 games as well" when that site itself only has covers of 10 Paxman releases (across all platforms), three Tynesoft releases and two Dixons. There's more information on the Mysterious Adventures series in issue 3 of the free pdf magazine The Classic Adventurer, including how the rights went from Digital Fantasia to Channel 8 and then to Adventure International UK. The use of the modified Channel 8 artwork on Waxworks means they definitely couldn't have been released before 1985.
  9. Paxman/Prism have nothing in common with Tynesoft other than their ability to produce software as cheaply as possible! Their strategy was to buy up old tape stocks when other publishers went under, and then print new covers for them. They did this with Alligata, Digital Fantasia, Christopher James Software, Abbex Electronics, Silversoft, Fantasy Software, Quest Microsoftware, Blaby and Artic Computing. Paxman would be my second choice for being the producer of the Dixons tapes, but I would have expected more of those defunct publishers titles to have appeared. Also, most of Paxman's releases appear to be from 1986 onwards, while the Dixons tapes seems to be from 1985. Prism themselves don't exist until 1986, prior to that they were "Geoff's Records".
  10. Hello @Fred_M, I've been looking into these Dixons releases from the ZX Spectrum side and I think you might be interested in some of the information I've discovered. Firstly, your Ten Little Indians is not a Dixons release - it's an original Paxman Promotions. As shown here, Paxman re-released all the Mysterious Adventures but they made their own artwork for them rather than re-using the Channel 8 Software covers. Secondly, some of your tapes don't say "Dixon's Pack" - that's because they're not from Dixons packs, but they are otherwise identical. For example, here's a Waxworks that's not Dixons: So, there's a company that was providing titles for Dixons and selling standalone versions. There's an overwhelming amount of evidence that that company was Tynesoft. The Dixons Pack titles I've found are: from Artic Computing: Bear Bovver (SPEC/C64), 3D Combat Zone (SPEC), Spectrum Chess II (SPEC), Mr. Wong's Loopy Laundry (SPEC), Mutant Monty (SPEC), Monkey Biznes (SPEC), World Cup Football (SPEC), Millimon (SPEC), Engineer Humpty (C64) from Tynesoft: Bingo (SPEC/C64), Fireman Fred (SPEC), Super Gran (SPEC/C64/AMS), Climb-It (AMS), Munch-It (AMS), Olympiad (C16), Rig Attack (C16), Zap Em (C16) from Micromega: Codename MAT (SPEC/AMS), Haunted Hedges (SPEC), Starclash (SPEC), Braxx Bluff (SPEC), A Day in the Life (SPEC), Jinn Genie (C64) from Walltone Software/Callisto Computers: Cybo Run (SPEC), Frog Hopper (SPEC), Wally Kong (SPEC), Artist (ATARI), Cannibals (ATARI), Electric Starfish (ATARI) from Alligata: Here Comes the Sun (SPEC), Son of Blagger (SPEC), Blagger (C64), Eagle Empire (C64), Bat Attack (C64), Bug Blaster (C64/ELK/AMS), Haunted House (C64), Killerwatt (C64), Panic Planet (C64) from Adventure International UK: Waxworks (SPEC/ATARI), Sunday Golf (ATARI), Tutti Frutti (ATARI), The Golden Baton (ATARI) from Samurai Software: Castle of the Skull Lord (SPEC/C64), Rooster Run (AMS) from Microdeal: Pengon (ATARI), Mr Dig (ATARI), Cuthbert Goes Walkabout (ATARI), Danger Ranger (ATARI) Bug Off (ATARI) from Software Invasion: Vortex (ELK), 3D Bomb Valley (ELK) from Creative Sparks: Special Delivery (ATARI) plus double packs for the Spectrum of: Combat Zone + Spectrum Chess II, Cybo Run + Super Gran, Frog Hopper + Codename MAT, Haunted Hedges + Waxworks, Millimon + Wally Kong Tynesoft themselves re-released titles from Alligata, Artic Computing and Software Invasion so they certainly had licensing agreements with them. They were distributors for Adventure International UK, which was Mike Woodroffe's company - and he also owned Callisto Computers. Tynesoft also re-released the Mysterious Adventures "Escape from Pulsar 7" and "The Time Machine" on the Spectrum, the rights for which had been bought from Channel 8 by Adventure International in 1985. Just like Waxworks, they've re-used the Channel 8 Software artwork, but removed the "from Channel 8 Software" part. Very cheaply produced, like the Dixons Pack titles, but it's easy to print very cheaply when you own a printing works like Tynesoft did. Dixons Packs also included three Micromega titles from Derek Brewster, a known associate of Tynesoft, who went on to set up Zeppelin with ex-Tynesoft programmer Brian Jobling. If that wasn't enough, Tynesoft provided Dixons with titles for their ZX Spectrum +2 bundles in 1986: On the left is Tynesoft's Witchfiend/Odd Job Eddie double pack, on the right is the Dixons Haunted Hedges/Waxworks release. Certainly very similar! Then there's the Atari Tynesoft catalogue: The C16 and Electron catalogues also have the same titles for sale that were bundled with their machines "Dixons Packs". All of this is circumstantial, there's no definitive proof that Tynesoft were behind the Dixons titles, but I'm convinced they were!
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