Saturday, 3 November 2012

Retro Fusion Issue 3 - Out Now!

Issue two of Chris Wilkins' retro magazine "Retro Fusion", hit the shelves of Gamestation stores up and down the country and landed on door mats way back in July 2006, selling over 1000 copies.

Since then things have been rather quiet, as work and raising a family have taken over much of Chris' spare time. This changed earlier this year however, when once again he got the retro bug and decided that it was time to get another issue put together and eventually released.

The problem with producing a magazine is that it requires a massive financial outlay, and this was the big stumbling block. Realising this, Chris turned to crowd funding web site Kickstarter, in an effort to generate the funds needed before any production took place.

Support from the retro community came in thick and fast, and after some nail biting from Chris the project eventually reached the required total.

Here's Chris;
"The Indiegoo camaign to raise funds to print Issue 3 of Retro Fusion was a roaring sucess with nearly $3k raised with the camaign itself, and a number of other donations made to the magazine independently".
Issue 3 came through my letterbox a week or so back, and now that I've had a chance to read it from cover to cover, I thought I'd report back.

The thing that hits you right away is the level of production that's been lavished on this latest issue. Gone is the flimsy cover of early issues, and in its place is a nice glossy card cover. It may be a small thing, but it just gives it a real feel of quality.

This standard is maintained as you open the magazine. I have no knowledge of paper grades and standards, but I can tell you that the pages are thick, and the print quality on each is excellent. This gives many newsstand publications a run for their money!

Okay, enough pawing over the look and feel of the thing, what's the content like? Well, you'll be pleased to know that it's also up to an extremely high standard. The contents for issue 3 is as follows;

- Retro News - C64 hits 30, Dreamcast Dux, Blazeblue sequel
- Hi Octane - Ex-Bullfrog employee, Alex Trowers, talks Hi Octane
- Alien Breed Music and Sound - Allister Brimble remembers his role on the Team 17 classic
- Fusion Love - The classic that is Walker on the Amiga
- Plok - A look back Plus Pickford Interview - An exclusive RF interview
- Crash - Favourite Issue by Roger Kean - Newsfield's founder reveals his favourite issue
- Ocean Software Ltd - A day in the life of ex-Ocean employee Mark Jones - Pt 1
- 10 Great Sci-Fi Games - The games you must play before you leave this planet
- Alien Legacy - RF celebrates the films and the games
- Bitmap Brothers Interrogation - The makes of Z talk to RF
- Homebrew Review - The best of this year's homebrew games
- Encyclopaedia Galactica - Brand new Spectrum game
- Atari XEGS - Kieren Hawken takes a look at Atari's obscure console/computer hybrid
- Asteroids - Celebrating the classic
- Back O' The Arcade #1 - Escape From The Planet of the Robot Monsters
- Sea-Monkeys - The pet that lives forever
- From Screen to Toybox - RF looks at the best toys that have come from the big screen
- Fusion Love - The 1979 Disney film - The Black Hole
- Sci Fi Roborgs Top 10 - The 10 best non-human film characters

As you can see, the issue's certainly a packed one, and not only is it packed, but the content is of a really high standard.

It's difficult to pick my personal favourite sections of this issue, because there was so much I enjoyed reading, but if I was forced to name drop I'd have to go for the Plok and Allister Brimble interviews, with my absolute favourite part of the entire magazine being the Ocean Software article by ex-employee Mark Jones. It's an amazing read, and I can't wait for the next part.

I don't know if or when Chris plans to release issue 4 of Retro Fusion, or if it'll require another Kickstarter project, but here's hoping that the wait's nothing like the gap we experienced between issues 2 and 3.

If Chris can keep the momentum going I'm certain the number of copies sold will increase issue on issue. His biggest challenge now is trying to keep the quality of the content up to the standard of this latest release. It's going to be hard work, but from looking at the editorial contributors section he's certainly not short of people willing to help.

The print version of the magazine is priced at £4.95 (for a limited time only), and can be ordered by going to A PDF version is also available to download, priced at £2.50.

Those who wish to play Jonathan Cauldwell's Spectrum game "Encyclopaedia Galactica", reviewed in this issue, can download it for £2.00, or order the cassette for a very reasonable £5.00.

Now, get your order in!

(This blog post has been edited, as when originally published the contents listing accidentally missed out the Atari XEGS feature)


  1. What about the Atari XEGS feature?

    1. Whoops. You're right. I missed it out of the list! Looking back through the magazine's contents it's not listed there!

      I'll certainly add it to the list in this blog.

      Apologies for that.