Microfair Madness

Delbert the Hamster Software (1991) / The Adventure Workshop (1992) / Zenobi Software (1992)
 

Written by Gareth Pitchford & PAWed by The Spud (Scott Denyer)

Today was the day of the 'Personal Computer Whirled Show', the 100th Microfair, and you eagerly held a copy of your latest adventure in your sweaty little hands to give to the publisher, who had a stall there. Strange things were sure to happen when you reached 'Sir Clive's Exhibition Hall', and the space ship hovering overhead and the dragon in the entrance hall did nothing to dispel your fears!...

Microfair Madness was a three-part text adventure game initially produced for the ZX Spectrum. It came in two versions, the standard 48K game and a greatly-expanded 128K edition with more puzzles, additional text and two extra mini-games.

Microfair Madness features the following mini-adventures:

A PAWed Amstrad CPC/PCW CP/M version of this title was produced and sold by Philip Reynolds of The Adventure Workshop (originally sold via The Guild) in 1992. The planned Quilled, Commodore 64 port by Tony Collins of The Guild was never completed. A rebuilt Amstrad CP/M version, with various tweaks and improvements, was produced in 2019, as well as a new DAAD-powered Commodore 64 edition!

When Delbert the Hamster Software closed, the ZX Spectrum 128K version of Microfair Madness was distributed by Zenobi Software.

In 2019, the original lost 1992 Amstrad version was discovered in the Zenobi archives. This version (unlike the rebuilt 2019 edition) includes elements from the Spectrum 128K version of the game, such as the extra mini-games. It also replaces many Sinclair references (such as Clive Sinclair, Your Sinclair, and Zenobi Software) with Amstrad-specific ones (like Alan Sugar, Amstrad Computer User, and WOW Software).

The mini-adventure The Quest for the Holy Snail formed the basis of a later, full adventure-length release. There was a half-sequel to Microfair Madness produced, called Personal Computing Whirled!. Adventuron (PC) versions of the Microfair Madness mini-games The Hoppit and The Quest for the Holy Snail are also available as well as a standalone version of The Great Caravan Caper for Spectrum 48K / Amstrad gamers.

 

ZX Spectrum Screenshot

ZX Spectrum Screenshot

ZX Spectrum Screenshot
     

Downloads:

  • Microfair Madness - The original mention in Your Sinclair, Issue 43 in July 1989
  • Behind the Scenes: Delbert the Hamster Diary (by Scott) - from 'From Beyond' fanzine
  • Behind the Scenes: Interview with Gareth Pitchford in Issue 1 of the Classic Adventurer magazine
 

Reviews:

  • Your Sinclair, Issue 75: "Microfair Madness is... more polished, more inventive and it even manages to be funny when it tries to be. (A rare thing indeed!) It's a challenging game for the inexperience adventurer, and should even give the hardened pros a bit of a run for their money." Full Review
  • Crash - Issue 95: "Microfair Madness is an hilarious PAWed game that ranges from terrible puns to side-splitting send ups. [It's] a great game and well worth the money." Full Review
  • From Beyond Issue 10: review page 1 / page 2 / page 3 / page 4
  • Sinclair User Issue 123: mention
  • CPC Attack Issue 4: mention
  • Zzap64 Issue 91: mention
  • Adventure Probe, Volume 6 issue 1, review
  • The Adventure & Strategy Club, U-19, review (Thanks to Mark Howlett for the image)
  • Adventure Probe, Volume 6 issue 6, Amstrad review
 

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