The Werewolf Software stand
Werewolf Software's (email@example.com) stand featured various games for sale, including Werewolf's own releases, Tanks and Shuggy. There was a small, lone poster for Artex's new empire simulation, Exodus, but, at least on the Sunday when I visited, Werewolf didn't seem to be trying to sell anything. Nobody on the stand bothered to speak to any potential customers - I hung around watching the stand quite a lot throughout the show, and I never once saw anyone paying attention to the visitors. They only spoke to themselves, other exhibitors and their computers. Can you spell "unprofessional"?
On about my 15th visit to the stand I managed to get to speak to Dane Koekoek, head of Werewolf, about Sheep Racing Deluxe, the strange-looking betting game which has been previously advertised in newsstand magazines. For those not in the know, Sheep Racing Deluxe has been advertised with a colour screenshot of a game that appears to use the Dolly The Sheep school of cloning for its graphics (perhaps it is intended as a political statement, but somehow I doubt it) - you can see it on page 29 of the November 1997 issue of Acorn User, for example, or in the news overview. The advert claims that the game features "256 colour VGA graphics", "five wacky and varied levels chock full of hilarious surprises", "2-5 player serial link up option!", "easy to use WIMP interface" and "four way parallax scrolling". It has also "been optimised for use on a StrongARM Risc PC". However, when I spoke to Dane he told me that he hadn't actually ever seen a working copy of the game, and it transpired that all he really had was the same screenshot given in the magazine. The programmer had let him down, he said. Still, it's probably all for the best since Sheep Racing Deluxe looks like it wouldn't be worth 50 pence, let alone the staggering £27.45 that Werewolf are asking for it (including P&P).
So do Werewolf currently have any plans to publish anything else in the future, other than the delayed Sheep Racing Deluxe? Dane evidently didn't really want to speak to anyone, but he eventually whispered that they "might be", but that he couldn't say. I'll take that as a "no", then.
The main contribution of Werewolf to the show seemed to be to inflict the terrible "music" from Shuggy upon the entire complex. You could hear it from the show theatre sometimes. That said, however, they were selling a couple of things that couldn't be bought elsewhere at the show, including the ancient game Repton 3, now re-released by ProAction along with Repton, Repton 2 and various other games. ProAction fliers were available, detailing extortionate prices such as £24.95 for the said Repton 3. They are also selling BBC Micro titles for those who really do want to play old games - and you require either a BBC Micro or a suitable emulator to play them. Also announced were forthcoming 32-bit ports of Orlando's Frak and Zalaga.
Werewolf were also selling Stuart Tyrrell Developments's products.
Perhaps by Sunday Werewolf had just had enough and given up trying. I hope so, because otherwise I don't know why they bothered attending the show. At least by the end of the day they'd given up on Tanks and upgraded to a single-tasking game of Connect 4...
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