Yet another Beyond Belief game which was planned and mentioned in the interview with Jim Scott.
Information on Shove Off was a bit scarce, as all we knew was that this game was to be a 100 level puzzle game starring Biff, who was a character in an adventure game of the same name.
But step forward Jonathan Cauldwell who tells more….
Shove Off is was a simple Soko-ban type of game with one or two additions and 100 levels. It got released in various forms on the ZX Spectrum, but there are roots to a C64 release…
Actually, Shove Off isn’t the original title of this game – but it was initially going to be called ‘Pushover’ The game was first written on the ZX Spectrum in 1990 by Jonathan Cauldwell, shortly after his Egghead 2 game and was sent to GTi software, a small budget software house based in Newton Abbot, who Jonathan had met at a computer show in London. Approximate date from a GTi letter which Jonathan still had was 30th October 1990.
Jonathan demoed the game, he was paid an advance and he was shown the cover artwork commissioned (Which Jonathan still has a colour photocopy of somewhere). Unfortunately GTi ran into a few problems and declining sales meant that a Spectrum-only version might not make any money. GTI’s Amstrad programmer mostly programmed in BASIC (As GTi published a lot of football management and strategy games), so a CPC conversion looked unlikely. Then also Ocean Software decided to release a game called Pushover at precisely the wrong time. Despite the game being renamed, GTi decided not to publish it.
It was then the rights reverted back to Jonathan, and the game was sent off to Beyond Belief instead. It was either Jim Smith from Beyond or Tony Lock of GTi who requested a C64 conversion from Jonathan, and Jonathan put an advert in Micro Mart looking for C64 programmers to convert a Spectrum game. Jonathan had a couple of replies, and Jonathan chose a guy called “Eric” (Whom sadly Jonathan cannot recall their surname) who sounded the best candidate.
Eric was sent the game, and with each conversation over the phone – it seemed like he was going fine. Exactly how far Eric got or what was eventually done with the game is anybody’s guess, but with the collapse of GTi and Beyond Belief (We are not sure with which company Eric was developing the conversion for at present), the code was wasted.
According to Jonathan, Eric was from somewhere up north, Yorkshire or possibly Lancashire… but its a very long time ago now. Could be an up hill struggle to determine the full name and get a lead.
With the Spectrum version, Jonathan gave up and sent it to Your Sinclair in 1993, but then they closed down and it still never got published. Eventually the game was put on a compilation pack via mail order, and the game’s rights were picked up by Retro-Soft (So distribution is currently denied).
Well, this is it for now… but Jonathan hopes to dig out the GTi contract for us to get a date and also see if the original Pushover artwork has survived.
Who is Eric?…
Contributions: Jonathan Cauldwell, Andrew FIsher