Oricians in the know might recall A&F Software released a couple of titles for the old underdog and in this double page spread ad from the July 1983 edition of Your Computer, whilst being short on any Oric tape cover art, the advert does reveal where the Oric 'enhanced' program conversions came from...
ABOVE: Did A&F stop there with just two converted adventure games for the Oric or did they bring out further releases?
The other thing to note is that 'Zodiac' as an Oric tape name has at least three 'forms' or flavours, so collectors need to be careful as to which is which.
There's the original old Oric-1 packaged Zodiac - which can be found in different colour variants...
Then there's the latter Tansoft clam-case release of the same game/name -
...and finally there's the A&F game version (very different and "very poor, very rare and also known as Adventure II" according to a reviewer)
Unfortunately, Oric.org doesn't have a picture of the inlay...and neither does Google, so I show the original Atom version...I must check my copies upstairs!
Anyone know of any other incarnations of the Oric Zodiac game/name?!
Also, is it just me or does this advert actually show the company as A+F Software?
My final query is with Oric.org - they have software listed, it would appear, under the English software house A&F and also for another software company, very likely to be french, who also go under the name of...
If it'll let me - here's a pic of some Oric tapes from A&F. (It's loaded but click on it to see full image.)
They tended to use the same generic packaging with the 'target' image. The cassette box came with a card sleeve which showed other titles on the back. Sometimes there was a little sticker with the title, as shown here for Painter - but often there was no label. I have Painter and Zodiac.
I THINK this Zodiac is different to the Tansoft one, but I'll have to load it up to check.
I notice that "Painter" was released for all their platforms - Oric, Speccy, Beeb and Dragon - I wonder which was the "best" graphically / sonically etc? ORIC of course!!
Was this game called something like "Amidar" in the arcades? I could easily be getting it mixed-up with something else...I never did quite get into it but was it a kind of a shape-filling in frenetic exercise, either up against another player or the computer?
I've 2-3 A&F tapes somewhere in the attic too - must dig them out and compare what we've both got.
I tell you what, I've never heard of that Oric title called Return to Atlantis - I wonder if that's a bit of a rarity to find?
Yes, I think the Zodiacs are different games.
The Tansoft original is meant to be quite playable (although written in BASIC) whereas the A&F effort is meant to be dreadful!
Good old retro computing and early text adventures.... you can't beat em, Steve!
Isn't it weird when you begin a thread on some subject or another...and then something almost taps you on the shoulder - from an unexpected direction - and lo and behold you discover something else to add which you'd never seen or heard of before.
Steve very kindly uploaded a pic of his A&F Painter software and he's also got Zodiac (yes, one of us must compare the two Zodiacs, Steve!) so it led me to look through my collection.
Anyhow, getting back to this strange coincidence, I'm heading up to the attic with me camera in hand, when I suddenly remember I've got a little parcel to open of Oric tapes.
Lo and behold, within the box, there's only an A&F tape AND TWO A&F Adventure Clue Sheets - if you look carefully at the pics you will see they are watermarked with the 'target' logo that Steve mentions above... so odd... I've never seen these before and they appear in a parcel which I suddenly remember I've still to open, just as I go in search of the A&F tapes from my collection!
Strange, but true...
ABOVE: 8BB's A&F collection featuring Painter (got 2 copies if anyone's interested in swaps), Adventure 1 and 2 - which must be Death Satellite and Zodiac and also a back-up copy of Death Satellite. Note how the clue sheets are watermarked with the A&F target.
PS. If anyone wants a copy of the A&F Adventure clue sheets - just drop me a PM.