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Hilsea Lido

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Released: 1995

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Vulcan Software

Developer: Vulcan Software

Submitted by: Matt Gander

So there I was, driving home from work on the A27 through Hampshire one night when I passed a sign for a town called Hilsea. Suddenly Hilsea Lido on the Amiga popped into my mind, a game which I’d long forgotten about. It wasn’t until I got home and did a search on Google that I found out that the developers Vulcan Software were based actually in Hampsire, near the seaside resort itself. That must have been handy if they ever fancied a 99 ice cream during the creation of this Theme Park-alike management sim.

Hilsea Lido was released in 1995 – when the Amiga was starting to fade away and consoles like the PlayStation and Saturn were taking the limelight – and as such it’s rather unknown. Unlike Theme Park it was viewed from a side-on perspective and there were two areas to manage – the beach and a pomade. Burger bars, fortune tellers and boat hire facilities brought in the cash and staff had to be employed. You could also book live shows for the theater, with better acts becoming available as your reputation grew. One character to look out for was a “bag lady” who would drop rubbish all over the pavement. I wonder if she was based on somebody in Hilsea and the developers were having a little joke?

A Nintendo DS version would work brilliantly – the top screen could be used to show your pomade in full while the bottom screen could show stats and menus. Sadly it seems that Vulcan Software have shriveled away to nothing – their website is still up but the news section hasn’t been updated since 2004. Shame.