This interesting dual scrolling title was written by the brother (?) of musician Nigel Grieve, but didn’t seem to have any company attached to it. Was it intended for Hewson maybe?
Well, thanks to contributor Gaetano Chiummo, it has been discovered that the game was reviewed in Italian magazine MC Microcomputer issue 65 and was to be newly distributed by a company called Italvideo. In the review the publisher is listed as Italvideo/Ocean.
Interestingly, Kevin Grieve worked on V – The Computer Game, Knight Rider and Super Bowl for Ocean Software a year before, so was Zolo indeed pitched to Ocean from Kevin? It does seem indeed that there is a certain connection, which only Kevin might be able to reveal. We hope also that Grant Harrison may know more too, as he worked with Kevin a number of times.
The game is a little rough round the edges, but has a nicely animated ship and the tunes are OK by Nigel.
We suspected that the Italvideo link may have been a pirate label, as there were quite a few Italian pirated tapes sold of common commercial titles from the UK, but then Zolo had retained its name. Certainly it was pirated and released under the name of Sistema 2001 by Game 2000.
Thanks to Stadium64, he directed us to a page on the Retrocollector website which shows that this was a limited Ocean connected release in Italy via Italvideo. Just why Ocean didn’t release the game in some form in the UK, we are not quite sure yet. But this indeed was released somewhere.
So there seems to be more of a story to dig out with this one.
Contributions: Gaetano Chiummo, Stadium64
For a couple of months ago, I added an entry for this game over at retrocollector.org:
pics are from an eBay listing, looking at the product ID for the inlay and comparing with other titles from Italvideo, this seems to be first thing they released.
Ah that’s very interesting – so a limited Italian release of the game with an Ocean connection. Very strange overall why this wasn’t released in the UK. Hoping Grant Harrison will know more, as he worked with Kevin and i’ve pinged him a message.
After a quick google search I’ve found this italian magazine, MC Microcomputer issue 65 (https://issuu.com/adpware/docs/mc065), where the game is reviewed (p. 86). The review says: “Another videogame published and distributed in the whole Italy by the newborn Italvideo: Zolo”. As you can see, it also says “Italvideo/Ocean”, not Hewson as I thought! I’ve never seen an original copy of the game, but it could be found (with different titles) in the main “newsagents tapes” of the time… I hope this information can be useful for further research!
That’s a brilliant find Gaetano, and what I didn’t realise at the time was that Kevin Grieve did a number of titles at Ocean along with Grant Harrison … so there is a link. I will see if Grant knows anything about the game. I’ve updated the page with the details and new info, so thank you!