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Crapshoot: The brief period when videogame reviews came on VHS

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Crapshoot: The brief period when videogame reviews came on VHS 2

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, if you want to know what to play, press Play!

Back at the start of the 90s, the PC was still at war with the Amiga and the Atari ST, nobody yet felt like roadkill on the information super-highway, mullets were finally an endangered species, and adding the word ‘cyber’ to a word made it the most proto-radical thing since, like, something totally triumphant. But on the plus side, Gremlins 2 was brilliant and some other things were okay.

Click isn’t simply a nostalgic glance back at those days. It’s a video time capsule that lasted just two issues, I suspect due to the difficulty of persuading stores to fill their shelves with VHS tapes, and its then-staggering cost of £5. Let’s crack it open and take a peek at its secret juice.

Commercial failure or not, I remember being sad that there was never a third issue of Click. Rewatching both episodes now, it still seems like a shame. This was long before YouTube and CD-ROM made video ubiquitous—the only real way to see games in motion without buying them was to hold a magazine up to your eyes and jiggle it around a bit. Simply getting to see something like Elite or Double Dragon 3 in action was cool, with each of Click’s reviews offering a good couple of minutes of sexily cut-together footage to enjoy. And not (always) just from the intro/first levels!

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