|Editor||Matt Bielby (May '91 – Jul '92)|
Mark Ramshaw (Aug '92 – Mar '93)
Linda Barker (Apr '93 – Jan '94)
Jonathan Davies (Apr '94 – Jun '95)
Cam Winstanley (Jul '95 – Dec '95)
Tim Norris (Mar '96 – Jun '96)
Steve Farragher (Jul '96 – Sep '96)
|Categories||Video game journalism|
|Circulation||55,173 (Jul – Dec '91)|
60,184 (Jan – Jun '92)
50,222 (Jul – Dec '92)
54,184 (Jan – Jun '93)
54,124 (Jul – Dec '93)
48,147 (Jan – Jun '94)
46,326 (Jul – Dec '94)
30,486 (Jan – Jun '95)
18,704 (Jul – Dec '95)
|First issue||May 1991|
Amiga Power (AP) was a monthly magazine about Amiga video games. It was published in the United Kingdom by Future plc, and ran for 65 issues, from May 1991 to September 1996. It was somewhat a successor to Your Sinclair, which shared many of the same staff.
Amiga Power had a number of principles which comprised its philosophy regarding games. Like almost all Amiga magazines of the time, they marked games according to a percentage scale. However, Amiga Power firmly believed that the full range of this scale should be used when reviewing games. A game of average quality rated on this scale would therefore be awarded 50%. Stuart Campbell offered some rationale for this in his review of Kick Off '96 in the final issue of the magazine:
"Giving something like SWOS [Sensible World of Soccer] 95% is utterly devalued if you also give, for example, Rise of the Robots [a famously overhyped fighting game, rated 5% by the magazine] 92%. Percentage ratings are meaningless unless you use the full range, and you can't give credit where it's due if you're pretending that everything's good. What encouragement does that give developers to produce quality? They might as well knock it out at half the cost and in a third of the time if they're only going to get another 3% for doing it properly. Of course, the market will die much faster if people get continually stiffed by crap games, but hey - there's always another machine to move to and start the cycle again."
Amiga magazines at the time tended to give "average" games marks of around 70%, and rarely gave scores below 50%. Because the public was not used to this method of grading, AP gained a reputation among publishers for being harsh and unfair. AP occasionally hinted that game reviewers were being given incentives by game PR divisions to mark games highly.
APATTOH, meaning Amiga Power All Time Top One Hundred, was a yearly feature. It originally started in AP issue No. 0 (a special "preview issue" of Amiga Power given away as an addition to an issue of Amiga Format), and later appeared approximately in every issue whose number was divisible by 12, plus 1.
APATTOH ranked games depending on how the staff liked them. This meant that games which got good press at the time when they came out could end up very low (or entirely absent) on the list. A notable example is Frontier, which every other magazine touted as the greatest space flight game ever, but Amiga Power ranked #100 in their top 100 list (emphasising the point by placing it one place below a public-domain version of Pong).
There were two games which held an iron grip on the #1 spot in the list. The first was Rainbow Islands, a coin-op conversion platform game which the magazine controversially deemed the Amiga's finest game for the first two years of its existence. The second was Sensible Soccer, which took over the top position in the first AP Top 100 after its release (the game came out too late for the 1992 chart), and never relinquished it (except to its own sequel Sensible World Of Soccer) for the rest of the magazine's existence.
In its later years, Amiga Power started advertising a fictional refreshment beverage called F-Max, the lightly sparkling fish drink, with the slogan an ocean of refreshment.
In early 2019, an Amiga Power fan launched a Kickstarter campaign to create an officially-licensed AP tribute album containing remixes of assorted Amiga game tunes, accompanied by a booklet featuring contributions from former members of the magazine's team. The campaign was successful, and in July 2020 the finished album was officially released.
Most of the remixes were created by the original composers; among those who contributed to the album were Alistair Bowness, Allister Brimble, Fabio Cicciarello, Mike Clarke, Adam Fothergill, Olof Gustafsson, Jon Hare, Chris Huelsbeck, Carl Jermy, Barry Leitch, Jogeir Liljedahl, Alex May, Anthony Milas, Jason Page, Matthias Steinwachs and Tim Wright.
The physical album took the form of a small hardback book, with two CDs attached to the inside of the front and back covers, and the 100-page Mighty Booklet sandwiched between them. The first CD – subtitled AP's Pick Of The Pops – featured remixes of music personally selected by AP team members (including former editors Matt Bielby, Mark Ramshaw, Linda Barker, Stuart Campbell, Jonathan Davies, Cam Winstanley, Tim Norris and Steve Faragher, plus others), while the second CD – subtitled The AP Bonus Coverdisk – featured remixes inspired by games and demos that appeared on the magazine's cover-mounted disks over the years. The Mighty Booklet contained detailed information about each of the tracks featured on the album, including interviews with the musicians, behind-the-scenes facts, anecdotes and asides from the AP team and full song lyrics; a special The Last Resort section written by Rich Pelley; adverts for F-Max and a Canoe Squad movie; a feature entitled The 'Bum Line, based on The Bottom Line, listing other albums of interest; and an ongoing storyline (following on from the events of AP65) in which the AP team are restored to life by The Four Cyclists Of The Apocalypse so they can attend a concert in their honor.
As of August 2020, the album remains available to buy via the original Kickstarter homepage and is also on the websites of C64Audio.com and 010101 Music.