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First program for the Amstrad to appear from the Llamasoft fold is Psychedelia, light synthesiser and photon engine. Containing no competitive elements, Psychedelia is not a game. The idea is to slap some music on the Hi-Fi, preferbably something that sounds best played loud and boot up the program. Keeping in sync with the music, you can create, save and replay multicoloured and 'psychedelic'patterns.

Once loaded, a white cursor sits in the middle of the screen. You can move it about with the joystick. Pressing fire causes the default pattern to appear at the cursor position. Moving the joystick about drags the pattern after the joystick leaving a trail of similar shapes fading across the path you've travelled.

Included in Psychedelia are eight preset shapes. Keys 1 to 8 enable you to select them. Keeping to Minter's previous reputation on the Commodore, one of them is in the shape of a Llama.

The S key controls the symmetry of patterns created. Once booted up Psychedelia defaults to quad symmetry, mirroring your patterns through both the X and Y axis. Using the symmetry control it is possible to have patterns mirrored through the axis of your choice.

The main set of controls are contained in two distinct groups. Variables and Others. Variables allow you to fine tune things to your preference while the helpfully named Others contain miscellaneous commands including save and load controls.

Cursor speed, pulse speed and various other twiddly bits are covered under Variables. Because of the nature of Psychedelia it is possible to finely tune things while the pattern is being generated. This gives largo scope for mixing and creating different effects with different patterns and speed settings

Included in the Others section is the record/playback control which allows up to half an hour of light show to be recorded. The sequencer also included is different because you don't create your show in real time as with the recorder. In the sequencer you can create and edit patterns, switching between different presets as you go. In the variables section, a sequencer speed control is included for playback. You are allowed up to 255 steps.

Once the program is altered to your satisfaction, or you have completed your light masterpiece on the sequencer, shift S saves out all you've edited and changed, including all the variable settings. The eight presets included can be edited into your own shapes. Since Psychedelia has to work over the Amstrad's large 16K screen, the more detail included in your shape, the slower things get.


  1. I like the idea of light synthesisers very much and although the program does work a lot slower than its Commodore counterpart, since it has sixteen times the screen memory to contend with, even the slow update can be used to good effect and. it's good points outshine its shortcomings The idea of sitting there in the dark, toggling the joystick doesn't particularly grab me but the ability to prerecord the light structures is a great feature. Perhaps I'm biased to a degree as although my musical taste Is varied, on the whole I'm addicted to the same unfashionable music that led to Minter's inspiration.

  2. Eluding adherence to any Particular genre. Psychedelia is hard to place. Having used the various other versions of Psychedelia, I was pleased to see the program taking advantage of the Amstrad's large colour pallette. The graphic update is slow because of the Amstrad's large screen memory but you can make things run smoother by messing about with the buffer settings. I enjoyed using Psychedelia thouph I have reservations as to its appeal for other users. It's really the sort of thing that needs to be seen before you make your mind up about it. It'd be nice to see the idea expanded upon, maybe with some sort of hardware connection to a stereo with the computer taking other the rhythm but with the end user still having control over the general flow of the pattern. Some really clever effects could be achieved with quick pallette changes. Overall a very interesting idea that depends a lot on the mood you're in as to how much you get out of it. I feel it could nave been improved no end if the program had been tailored more closely to the Amstrad's particular graphics abilities instead of trying to emulate what the Commodore's good at..

  3. It's a pity about this version being inferior to the Commodore version but it has to be admitted that it is. That doesn't mean to say it's not worth buying. Even if you don't imagine using the program for its intended purpose, you can have some fun creating stunning animated images just for the hell of it. It makes a satisfying change from blasting the nasties and has a unique charm which is very appealing.

Presentation 78% : Well written and clearly explained.

Graphics 84% : Pity some of the more complex arrangements slowed the execution down.

Sound N/A : Now that you have to supply yourself!

Payability 88% : Interaction with the light synth is so easy, anyone can enjoy it.

Addictive qualities 79% : Hard to judge really. It all depends on how much you would like to get out of your musical extravaganzas.

Value for money 71% : As above, hard to judge. But it does offer versatility.

Overall 79% : It's impossible recommend something so unusual to everyone, but what Minter set out to do, he has done well.




★ YEAR: 1985


» Llamasoft-PsychedeliaDATE: 2014-05-09
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» PsychedeliaDATE: 2014-05-10
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» Psychedelia    ENGLISHDATE: 2014-05-09
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» Psychedelia-A  Light  Sythesiser    (Release  TAPE)    ENGLISHDATE: 2016-09-07
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.