Clearly everyone exhibiting at ECTS Spring 96 tried to make themselves look as excitingly successful as possible. However, I didn't feel the undercurrent of doom and gloom that might have been expected following some of this year's cutbacks in the games industry.
Then again, I suppose it depends what you mean by the games industry.
If the phrase conjures up names like Atari, Sega and Nintendo, there wasn't much to see. Although there was some variety - one stand even featured Amiga titles - the show was dominated by PC CD-ROMs.
If the games industry also conjures up images of games like Doom, that's too narrow a view: a lot of CDs are aimed at the edutainment market. There were dozens of examples at the show, from suppliers such as Anglia Multimedia, BMG, Dorling Kindersley, Europress, Grolier, Maxis, Notting Hill, Philips and Softkey.
Barbie is perhaps a sign of the emerging industry. Funsoft showed three Barbie titles in development, and they all looked good. One lets you dress the onscreen Barbie in a range of outfits, colour them in, and print out the results. Cut out the patterns and stick the tabs together (no sewing required!) and you can create clothes to dress a real Barbie doll.
Barbie Fashion Designer will apparently be followed by a series of multimedia titles designed to exploit other Mattel toys including Cabbage Patch Kids and Polly Pocket. I can't see Joy Stick liking them, but the idea that there's a PC software market amongst pre-teen girls is interesting.
Hasbro - another big name in the toy business - had a stand featuring computer versions of Monopoly, Cluedo, Risk and other established games.
Yes, I know we've had rip-offs since the days of the Commodore Pet, but this is serious.
Even Activision got into the act with Muppet Treasure Island, with Kermit and Miss Piggy appearing in person. This Muppet adventure is based on the next Muppet movie, and the game
Dell EMC partner 'very keen' to make acquisition
Robotics company UiPath claims to now be valued at $3bn after $225m funding round
Struggling security titan makes three board appointments after investor took 5.8 per cent stake last month
Commvault ousted its CEO in May and has since undergone a radical refocus