Quicksilva was a British games software publisher active during the early 1980s.

IndustryVideo games
Founded1979; 44 years ago (1979)
FounderNick Lambert
Defunct1990; 33 years ago (1990)

Quicksilva was founded by Nick Lambert in 1979. The name Quicksilva was inspired by a particular guitar solo in a track on the album Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service.[1] Quicksilva mainly released games for the ZX81, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, but also did conversions and some original games for the VIC-20, Dragon 32/64, Oric-1/Atmos, BBC Micro and Acorn Electron home computers.

One of their earliest titles was QS Defenda (originally QS Defender), a clone of the Defender arcade game for the ZX80 and ZX81 home computers.[1] Greater success followed with later releases, including a Star Raiders-style game entitled Time-Gate which reached the top of the ZX Spectrum charts in December 1982.[2] Amongst the company's other successes were Jeff Minter's Gridrunner (1983),[3] Bugaboo (1983, a.k.a. La Pulga) and Fred (1983, titled "Roland on the Ropes" on the Amstrad), two titles licensed from Spanish software house Indescomp S.A. Sandy White's Ant Attack (1983) for the ZX Spectrum featured revolutionary 3-D graphics for which a patent application was made.[4]

In early 1984, they published their first licensed title, The Snowman, an adaptation of the 1978 book by Raymond Briggs.[5][6] Software Manager Paul Cooper ruled out an adaption of Briggs' When The Wind Blows stating "nuclear war can upset a lot of people".[5]

Later years edit

In May 1984, the company was bought by Argus Press Software[7][1][8] which later became Grandslam Entertainment. Paul Cooper and Managing Director Rod Cousens left to establish Electric Dreams Software in 1985 when Argus moved the company from Southampton to London.[9][10]

The company continued to publish licensed products, including the first official home computer conversion of Atari's Battlezone, Eric Bristow's Pro Darts,[11] two different games based on Strontium Dog from the 2000 AD comic[11] and Fantastic Voyage (an official licence from the 1966 film),[12]

In late 1984 they developed The Thompson Twins Adventure (an adaptation of the Thompson Twins single Doctor! Doctor!) which was published by Computer and Video Games magazine on a flexi-disc,[13] and published Sandy White's follow-up to Ant Attack, Zombie Zombie.[14]

The following years brought further tie-ins including games featuring Rupert Bear in Rupert and the Toymaker's Party,[15] The Flintstones in Yabba Dabba Doo![15] and Max Headroom[16] It also produced popular original titles such as Glider Rider and two more arcade ports, Taito's Elevator Action in 1987[17] and the final[citation needed] Quicksilva game, Namco's Pac-Land in 1989.[18]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c A first-hand account of Quicksilva and its part in the birth of the UK games industry, 1981–1982
  2. ^ "Top 10". Popular Computing Weekly. Vol. 1, no. 36. Sunshine Publications. 30 December 1982. p. 31. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Code Britannia: Sandy White". Eurogamer. 8 March 2013.
  4. ^ "3D Ant Attack". CRASH (1).
  5. ^ a b "Quicksilva goes soft with the Snowman". Your Computer. No. 3. IPC. March 1984. p. 49. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Now book is a game". Home Computing Weekly. No. 49. Argus. 14 February 1984. p. 6. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Quicksilva Introduction". Computer Gamer. No. 1. April 1985. p. 85. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Your Spectrum 06 - Frontlines".
  9. ^ Goodwin, Simon (September 1985). "Planning our Future". CRASH (20). Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  10. ^ "Births, marriages and deaths". Sinclair User. No. 39. EMAP. June 1985. p. 5. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Norman's on the warpath". Popular Computing Weekly. No. 38. Sunshine Publications. 20 September 1984. p. 5. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Fantastic Voyage". Crash. No. 16. Newsfield. May 1985. p. 132. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Meet The Pop Twins!". Computer and Video Games. EMAP. October 1984. p. 11. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Deserted City". Popular Computing Weekly. No. 40. Sunshine Publications. 4 October 1984. p. 68. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Taskset".
  16. ^ "Max Headroom". Popular Computing Weekly. No. 15. Sunshine Publications. 10 April 1986. p. 24. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Elevator Action". Computer and Video Games. No. 65. EMAP. March 1987. p. 38. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Ultimate Guide: Pac-Land". Retro Gamer. No. 127. Imagine. 27 March 2014. p. 72.

External links edit