Zzap 64

Status: Preview, Findability: 3/5

Zzap 64 were always a magazine to have a laugh at times, and they did it in style with one particular April edition of Zzap! 64 with this “amazing” looking game introduced one day back in 1986. Here are the Zzap articles to show what happened.

Mindsmear was promised to consist of the most advanced graphics and game play that the C64 had ever seen – with fully moving, smooth scrolling bitmap backdrops. All created by Bob Stevenson, and looking very impressive indeed.

What caused a small amount of chaos, was when Zzap announced that the creators of Mindsmear needed a publisher. It resulted in many top C64 companies ringing Zzap’s Ludlow headquarters to enquire about the game and find out more.

Unfortunately, their faces fell as Zzap told them that this so called wonderful game was all but a April Fools joke. Bob Stevenson had joined together with Zzap to create a couple of mocked up screenshots to fool people, and it worked a treat!

Even one poor musician composed music in the hope that it could be used in the game. That was Barry Leitch, and the music you can download below. The late Anthony Lees also did music too, as well as others. We’ve over the years added what we believe to be a large selection of compo tunes that were meant for the game in the downloads section below.

Zzap announced the prank to the world in the very next issue, and apologised to a member of a certain company who really fell for it in a big way.

So, there was never anything playable of the game at all – just a series of screenshots. You can thankfully at least download a demo of a selection of the screenshots which were mocked up (press A to advance through the sequence).

There is one screen missing with the map overlay, which we hope to find someday (This may have been mocked up by Zzap themselves separately from the demo). If you have a copy of this, please let us know!

Contributions: Jason Kelk, Andrew Williams, Steve Hutton, Steven Day

Supporting content

Update history

  • 26/08/20 – Major tidy up, as the write up was very messy.
  • 08/14/14 – Added an unused logo and fixed credits
  • 20/12/13 – Added a large series of tunes which we believe were compo entries.
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