NZ Amiga Magazine
The first issue of NZ Amiga Magazine was released over the December
1992/January 1993 period. The original intention was to publish every 2
months until becoming established and then publish monthly. This was
dependent on subscriptions and sales. The magazine took great pride in
announcing that it was produced entirely on Amiga computers!
Name change to Amiga Down Under
NZ Amiga Magazine lasted a mere 2 issues before changing their name
to Amiga Down Under to incorporate the Australian market:
The magazine lasted a further 7 issues, but with Commodore NZ long
into liquidation and the Amiga market dying, the magazine closed with
May 1994's issue 9.
Issue 1 was almost entirely black and white and contained a large
section on tutorials for various topics. Future serious applications
were mentioned, but there were no game reviews to speak of.
From issue 2 onwards, a game review section was added aswell as a
games mastery section that dealt with cheats and solutions. The
games had usually been reviewed by all the big UK magazines 3-4
months earlier, but the reviews were to co-incide with the games
being released in the local stores. This was something you had to
put up with as a New Zealand or Australian Amiga user in the 80's
and 90's. The cheats seemed to be mainly copied from the big UK
magazines or cheat text files that were spread around BBS's.
- Graeme Cheesman was the editor throughout all 9 issues.
- Each issue cost NZ$7.95, and AU$5.95 when it became Amiga Down Under.
- Issue 1 contained 56 pages, issue 2 increased to 72, and the
remaining issues were all 80 pages.
- Game reviews and cheats were added from issue 2.
- Each issue added more and more colour.
- The magazine purchased in the newsagents did not include coverdisks.
- Coverdisks were purchased separately at NZ$3.00 or A$2.50 per disk.
- Subscribers paid extra to get the coverdisks with the magazine.
- Starting with issue 3, 2 disks were given away to subscribers. The first
contained recent game demos, and the second contained a selection of PD software,
code listings from the current issue and games solutions.
- You could purchase back issues disks for NZ$5.00 or A$4.00 per issue when
you subscribed to the magazine.
- Legendary New Zealand coder Mark Sibly (of Blitz Basic fame) started
out reviewing games in issue 2 and remained a contributor throughout
the magazine's lifetime. He wrote a lot of Blitz Basic tutorials and
several articles about coding.
- Simon Barton co-opened a local Amiga shop called Micro-World in Auckland
and contributed games for review as well as writing several reviews himself.
The NZ coding team Vision Software were located just around the corner from
the shop and regularly visited Micro-World to show off their latest demos and
games. Simon was probably best known as Bad Barty/Reality and used to import
games from overseas bulletin boards before tacking intros onto the games.
- Dudley Storey III reviewed the majority of the games from issue 4 onwards.
- Jason Gibson also contributed a handful of reviews.
A small magazine produced in New Zealand and launching at the end of 1992 was
never going to take over the world, but it was New Zealand's only magazine and
had a small but loyal following. The articles were generally well written, but
piracy was rife in NZ and making money out of the Amiga was a tough ask.
Writeup by Codetapper