Starmaker was a strategy game/management game released for the ZX Spectrum in 1986 by R&R Software.
The games coder Dave Hawkins also went on to develop adventure games such as Wizards Warrior and Stranded.
This game was something different on the Speccy - where most games player were used to arcade games, adventure games or platform action.
The aim of the game was to run a music band and drive them to commercial success.
After choosing your skill level you would begin. After naming your band you started with a small amount of cash, although you do have the option of borrowing from the bank. If you want you can go straight into it and start on the long road to pop stardom. I wonder if Simon Cowell used this to hone his skills?
You can choose from varying options from making a record (either a single or an album), performing a concert, advertising (only if you have a record to advertise) and also producing some merchandise such as posters and T-shirts.
To generate cash you have to sell records, starting with singles before moving on to albums. If you get it right your bands popularity will increase and you will generate more money. Other positives will happen such as deejays interviewing the band, slots on tv will reap more cash and so on. Just watch out for dodgy geezers selling fake tickets to one of your concerts!
A rocking gig in this classic game:
If you play it right you may never have to borrow from Mr Jones.
The interface is nice and easy to follow, with icons and options clearly displayed allowing you to make your next managerial choice (the phone ringing icon when you phone Ron Static to produce some merchandise is excellent!)
At each month end you see what position in the charts your single reached and how much of your merchandise you have sold. This in turn will give you a figure of revenue generated - hopefully at a profit!
All in all this classic game was very enjoyable back in the day, and you know what, it's still fun to play all these years later.
This game picked up a bit of a cult following back in 1986 and did reasonably well. It was never a huge hit but a lot of gamers enjoyed it as it was playable and something different (I was more of an arcade games player but really liked this back then). At only £2.99 it was great value too.
The test of time:
Like I say this classic game is still pretty playable. It's got oodles of retro charm, is easy to use and once you start generating some cash is plenty of fun. Give it a go.
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Starmaker for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Management Game
RELEASE DATE: 1986
RELEASED BY: R&R Software
DEVELOPER(S): Dave Hawkins
PRICE: £2.99 - UK
Star making those stars in classic gaming action:
Arcade Games, Classic Games and ZX Spectrum Games