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12.Feb.2016



Quick review: PDF magazine Amigaville, issue 4
November last year Brian Hedley started publishing his PDF magazine Amigaville, releasing a new issue every month. Having released just three issues, each downloaded "several hundred times" (Hedley), the author decided to switch to commercial distribution: Amigaville #4 needs to be purchased for 2 GBP. We had a closer look at the review copy kindly provided by Hedley.

Amigaville Cover

At 36 pages, Amigaville #4 is slightly thicker than the previous issues. The design stayed pretty much the same: a mix of single column (a rather odd choice, given the A4 page size) and three column layouts as well as pages with or without background pictures or patterns. The lack of justification and hyphenation results in a slightly jagged and amateurish appearance, many of the embedded graphics seem to have a low resolution - the full page ads included for nostalgia being the worst offenders - or have clearly visible JPEG artifacts.

The design does continue to improve with every issue though. Should the remaining problems get fixed in future releases, the mag's appearance is absolutely adequate given the price asked for it.

With regard to contents, Amigaville is still covering all aspects of the Amiga scene. The current issue features news, reviews of old games (Pacmania, Prince of Persia, Heroquest, Deluxe Galaga und Castlevania), an overview over First Person Shooters on the Amiga, an indepth look at Amiga Anywhere's destiny and the cover story "Should Hyperion port OS4 to x86?". The final two features are Hedley's personal history with computers ("My Amiga experience - or lack thereof") - which eats up no less than six pages - and the "Grumpy old Git" column.

Amigaville Cover

The quality of the content matches that of your average retro blog: Hedley's texts are entertaining to read and he's offering an interesting mix of topics - while research or fact checking seem to play only a minor role during the writing process. Additionally, the author's lack of Amiga experience is clearly evident in many cases. The Amiga Anywhere article is a good example: While it does provide a decent overview, several technical terms get mixed up and it gets a few historical facts wrong. Plus, its conclusion starts with "for all the good intentions that Bill McEwen and Fleecy Moss had" - nobody who witnessed the whole thing would ever word it like that.

Our conclusion: If you prefer having information presented in the style of a magazine, Amigaville is not that bad of a deal: you'll get a fair amount of entertainment for your 2 GBP, even if the switch to commercial distribution came too early and should have been delayed until several minor issues had been fixed.

Comparing Amigaville to the competition doesn't do it any favours though: Every other month, you can buy one issue of Amiga Future (6.50 Euro, 50+ pages, professionally printed) or two issues of Amigaville (5.40 Euro, about 70 pages, PDF only) - and all of a sudden, the newcomer's price/performance ratio doesn't look all that good anymore. (cg) (Translation: cg)

[News message: 12. Feb. 2016, 21:55] [Comments: 0]
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