April 1995 was a grotesquely poor month for Amiga games. On review were Super Skidmarks, ATR, Kingpin, Akira, Pinkie, Super League Manager and Vital Light. They received, respectively, 86%, 38%, 47%, 16%, 20%, 89% and 11%.
Sadly, such sweeping badness was to become the norm, with Points of View's crimson arrows of doom hammering down the page as if showing the path of a flyleaf parachutist.
ATR or All-Terrain Racing, the 38%-er, was a singular disappointment, as it was the third time Team 17 had tried a racing game after the dull 3D one and the dull overhead one. It was a dull isometric one.
Kingpin was an accurate simulation of ten-pin bowling, scored 47% and was memorable only for the introduction, "Sttrriiikkke! This game off your shopping list," which was the single funniest joke Paul ever wrote for AP.
Team 17's response to AP's reviews was to issue a lawsuit demanding we stop lying about their games, that we never again lie about them and that we immediately hand over the names and addresses of any companies or individuals to whom we had communicated our lies seditiously. And that the issue be withdrawn, natch. The word "malicious" appeared a number of times.
(Displeasingly, the lawsuit, retained as a work of art for the AP archives, vanished between offices. Even now our sinister agents are trying to track it down for some quotes.)
The argument of the lawsuit was that we'd barely played Kingpin before giving it 47% (which was news to Paul, who was under the impression he'd been playing it on and off for a week; more than usual, in fact, because he was convinced there was something beneath the apparent repetitive tediousness that needed to be teased out over hours, before finally conceding he was wrong and it was as boring as it first appeared) and that ATR, which received 38%, had been reviewed in a style not affording the gravity demanded by a racing game. From Team 17.
In effect, the lawsuit was arguing that we clearly hadn't done our jobs in reviewing the games and arriving at different conclusions to a dozen cited mags, all of whom thought ATR and Kingpin exciting and lovely and not worth 38% and 47% at all. Their opinions, the argument went, were correct, while ours were actionably wrong.
Naturally, the lawsuit was laughed out of Simon The Publisher's office. We stood by our marks of 38% for ATR and 47% for Kingpin and Team 17 could jolly well get on with making better games instead.
In fact, they chose to join US Gold, Alternative, Millennium and Amiga Technologies and pretend we didn't exist. And all because of a ten-pin bowling game three percent less than average and an isometric racer not quite worth nine more than 30%. Makes you think.