Friday, 22 December 2017

Dredd Over Eels (ZX Spectrum Game)

First, Monsterbytes Software brought you the game of Zombo, featuring the eponymous semi-undead flesh-gnawing anti-hero, (actually quite nice once you get to know him)...

Then, Santa went mental, (and started puking up Christmas trees or something), in Zombo's Christmas Capers...

Now, from the pages of 2000 AD comes a new game for the ZX Spectrum featuring Mega-City One's most famous lawman battling interdimensional entities in a future-shocked world!

You are The Law.
You are Judge Dredd.
This is Dredd Over Eels...


Cockney gangster Jimmy The Spug has decided to get into a more respectable line of work and has opened a chain of eateries providing 'authentic London cuisine' to the citizens of Mega-City One. Unfortunately, the food is not quite as authentic as advertised. Jimmy has cut corners and saved money by 'acquiring' illegal dimension-jump technology. Instead of importing sea-food from the shores of Brit-Cit, he's been obtaining stock directly from parallel universes. But these interdimensional eels are sentient and aren't too pleased to find themselves grabbed from their oceanic worlds to sate the appetites of greedy bipeds. Now the eels and a host of other displaced creatures have escaped and overrun the city, causing mayhem wherever they roam and/or slither.


Judge Dredd is tasked with exploring the city and tracking down The Eel King, before shooting it dead. It shouldn't be too difficult - it's just a collection of eels. However, on his way he'll encounter the other beasts transported across the aether because of Jimmy The Spug's restauranteurial ambitions. Some are harmless and may prove useful, others mean no harm but are dangerous due to their intense curiosity, some will block Dredd's path, and others are from a dark eel dimension where all marine-life is a crime.

Also be on the lookout for Justice Department's new Mechanismo Mini units. These malfunctioning machines have become violently unstable due to eels getting up inside them, and must now be destroyed. Dredd will also encounter friendlier robots that can transport him to areas otherwise impossible to reach.

Go carefully. For the purposes of gritty realism, Dredd has only one life, (and the 3D Game Maker program I used didn't give me the option of adding more).

What the Drokk is that?

  • Kempston Joystick
  • Sinclair Joystick
  • Cursor Joystick (or keys, 0 = jump)
Up - Move forward
Left + Right - Rotate
Down - Fire
Fire - Jump
A - Quit game
ALT and F4 - Exit bundled emulator
Zip file includes the instructions and mock inlay shown above, tzx, tap, z80 and sna files, PLUS a version you can run straight away without setting anything up! Just extract the files, click on "Dredd Over Eels.bat", (or "Dredd.exe" in the 'PC' folder), and you'll be up and running. You can even use your favourite control pad by selecting 'Kempston' from the options.

Dredd Over Eels is a completely unofficial, not-for-profit fan-game by Malcolm Kirk.
Created using Iain Christopher Hayward's 3D Game Maker.
Judge Dredd™ Rebellion A/S, © Rebellion A/S.

Created in conjunction with the 2000AD MESSAGEBOARD ADVENT CALENDAR 2017.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Crash Annual 2018

I was originally going to mention this in an addendum to a post I'm writing for tomorrow, but I thought it deserved a post of its own, so...

Available right now from Fusion Retro Books is the Crash Annual 2018. A 120 page hardback featuring news, reviews and features on subjects relating to the popular 1980s 8-bit computer, the ZX Spectrum.

Not showing the cover 'cos I know some folk aren't opening their's
'til Xmas and don't want it spoiled. Seems a bit daft to me, but you
know what geeky folk in their 40s and 50s can be like. Tch, eh?

The original Crash magazine was published from 1984 to 1992 and this book continues from where it left off, with the same look, the same variety of articles and some of the same people involved, bringing it bang up to date with the latest goings on in the thriving Speccy community. It's almost like it never went away, and well worth a look if you used to read it back in ye olden times or you've got a thing for retro computer systems. There's Oli Bugs in it and everything.

The book is the result of a recent Kickstarter campaign, but is available to everyone from the Retro Fusion Books website for the reasonable price of £15. There are also a few copies left with the Kickstarter perks for an additional tenner.

It's obviously way too late to order a copy and expect it to turn up in time for the 25th, but a Spectrum's not just for Christmas, is it? 

Order a copy here.

...and if the Spectrum wasn't your 8-bit of choice back in the day, then you may like the news that there's a Zzap!64 Book planned for next year for the Commodore lot.

So, "why are you mentioning this annual here, Malcolm?" I definitely don't hear you ask. Because my Zombo Spectrum game is reviewed in it for one thing, (incidental review related tip : use the version of the game in the Mint Choc Chip folder if the key pressing thing is annoying you), and the post I'm writing for tomorrow regards matters of a related nature.

Interested? I'll see you here tomorrow then. 

Scream The Horror Magazine : Issue 46 Jan/Feb 2018

Another page of my 'deadvertisements' appears within the brand new issue of Scream, the horror magazine.

The Jan/Feb issue, (46) , is out now in branches of WH Smith, costs £4.50 and has 100 pages of news, reviews, interviews and features on all things horror.

Available from WH SmithsForbidden PlanetHMV and Fopp in the UK, Easons in Ireland, and will also be available a few weeks later in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Scream Website :
Scream Facebook :
Scream Twitter :

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Back From The Depths Presents : Hallowscream! Hallowe'en Special 2017

Size... of a horror comic... 

The nasty ninth edition of the Hallowscream! Hallowe'en Special has arrived! 48 pages packed with peculiar and paranormal perils!

Here Are The Download Links (right click and 'save as') :

Lo-res Version (file size = 19.9mb) :       MEDIAFIRE     DROPBOX

Hi-res Version (file size = 61.4mb) :       MEDIAFIRE     DROPBOX

You can also read the issue online at :      ISSUU

 These are the full contents behind the demonic djinni cover by Ken Best...

Page 3 : Be Careful What You Wish For  Story by Mark Keenan, Art by Carol Kewley
Page 7 : Peril In The Park  Story & Art by Tim West
Page 9 : Java Dreams  Story & Art by Denise Van Hulst
Page 12 : A Brush With Death  Story & Art by Gordon Innes
Page 13 : Fate Worse Than Death?  Written by Marta Tanrikulu, Illustrated by Pramit Santra, Coloured by Joshua Jensen, Lettered by Micah Myers
Page 15 : Bestiary of Beasties : Jersey Devil / Home-Made Jampire  by Malcolm Kirk
Page 16 : Terrorvision Guide  by Malcolm Kirk
Page 17 : The Dock of Sorrow  Story by Troy Vevasis, Art by Klaudia Bezak, Letters by
Adam Wollet
Page 19 : Bloodlust  Written by Paul Bradford, Art by Luciano Fleitas, Letters by Marx Blum
Page 20 : Hades Recruitment Drive  Story by Tunc Pekmen, Art by Patrick Halpin
Page 30 : TV Dinner  Story & Art by Gordon Innes
Page 33 : Knights of The Beige Workbench  Story & Art by BP Johnson
Page 34 : The Ikuchi  Script by Christopher R. Matusiak, Art by Loc Nguyen, Letters by Nikki
Page 35 : Caught In A Moment  Story by Tim West, Art by Boris Peci
Page 37 : The Deadfast Club  Story, Art & Letters by Ricky Perez
Page 40 : A Wine For Every Occasion  Story by Tim West, Art by Ken Best 
Page 41 : Dinnertime  Story by Kae Verens, Art by Philip Sneyd
Page 42 : Deadvertisements  by Malcolm Kirk
Page 43 : Do Skeletons Dream of Psychedelic Beer?  by Philip Sneyd
Page 44 : Terror of The Sheep 2 : Chapter One  Story & Art by Malcolm Kirk 
Page 47 : Notforthenervousment  (sometimes they come back)
Page 48 : Back Cover Skull  by Malcolm Kirk

Previous issues of Hallowscream are available to download from or you can buy real-life monochrome paperback versions from Lulu.comHAPPY HALLOWE'EN!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Scream The Horror Magazine : Issue 45 Nov/Dec 2017

This is proving to be a very Screamy October for me. A new issue of Hallowscream! will be out at the end of the month, there's a brand new official Hallowe'en special of the comic it's based on, the classic 1980s Scream!, (with some input from Misty), and I've got a couple of pages of 'deadvertisements' in the magazine you see above.

The Nov/Dec issue 45 of  Scream, (the horror magazine), is out this friday, costs £4.50 and has 100 pages of news, reviews, interviews and features on all things horror, and a damn good read it is too. I mean, just take a look at all that stuff mentioned on the cover.

Available from WH Smiths, Forbidden Planet, HMV and Fopp in the UK, Easons in Ireland, and will also be available a few weeks later in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Scream Website :
Scream Facebook :
Scream Twitter :

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Hallowscream! Nightmarish Ninth Issue Submission Guidelines

It's that time when we at Back From The Depths are once again looking for contributors for our freaky free, annual pdf horror comic, HALLOWSCREAM, so here are the submission guidelines...

Submissions should be horror orientated and must be weird or spooky to make the final cut.

We are mainly looking for completed comic strips between 1-7 pages in length. Anything already completed is far more likely to make it into the comic.

Script submissions should also preferably be around 1-7 pages in length.

Eerie illustrations and artwork along with interesting horror/comic articles, scary short stories, petrifying poems or anything just plain creepy will also be considered.

To get an idea of the sort of stuff we're after, you can download previous issues of Hallowscream here.

If you're looking to illustrate something, get in contact and we'll give you details of available scripts to see if anything suits your fancy.

We'll also consider material previously published elsewhere, as long as the contributors own the copyright.

Completed artwork can be either colour or black and white, and should preferably be A4 (21cm x 29.7cm) 300 dpi jpeg or png.

Submissions can be sent to or

As this is a non-profit, small press publication, contributors will not be paid but they will retain copyright on any material submitted.


Scripts, articles and text submissions : Monday 31st July 2017

Artwork : Tuesday 17th October 2017

Completed strips : Tuesday 24th October 2017.

The finished issue will be available online as a free pdf by October 31st, with a physical copy becoming available via, shortly afterwards. You can also keep up to date with Hallowscream news via the Facebook Page.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Whoops! Yep, some of the links don't work.

Dropbox recently made public folder links inactive, (which is something I was informed of a few months ago but completely forgot was happening). As a result, a lot of the links on this blog no longer work. Apologies if you've been unable to download something because of this. I'll try to update the relevant links over the next few days and get everything working again. I'll post a blog update when I've finished.