Gazza II GX4000

So what’s the deal with the long missing in action “Gazza II” game? For a long time people have talked about “Special Criminal Investigations : Chase HQ II” as the holy grail of GX4000 games to find, however with that at least two verified carts with boxes have turned up!! With Gazza II it appears no-one has found anything at all! The following adverts started appearing in magazines and it looks like the game was made by “Empire” and to be distributed in France by “Titus” at a best guess…

Gazza II Advert GX4000 Titus

Some may not be aware that it exists, most are aware that several magazines such as “Amstrad Action” (issue 65), “Mean Machines” (issue 4) and in France “Amstrad Cent Pour Cent” reviewed it as if it was a full game and took various screen shots! For example below here’s the Amstrad Action review (click to open the full review) below and AA were a magazine known for integrity and not reviewing un-finished games…


Further to this noted multi-format magazine Mean Machine’s review is below by respected gaming journalist Julian Rignall (again unlikely he would review an unfinished game) –

Gazza II Mean Machines Review Page 1

Gazza II Mean Machines Review Page 2

So do we have any further confirmation that this game was made and exists? Of course we know that a graphically cut down version was released for the CPC range, check out my YouTube video for footage (and also me discussing this mystery at the start of the video as I’m doing here!) –

But all the confirmation we need comes from the programmers John and Ste Pickford and their website –

They write that Gazza II is – “A football simulator for the 8 bit home computers which was also ported to the virtually forgotten Amstrad video game console.” The latter of course meaning the GX4000! They list that John was the programmer, Ste did the logo and font, and Simon Butler did the graphics.

Ste then goes on to add – “I was still working at Rare Manchester (previously Zippo) while John was writing this at Active Minds. They needed someone to draw the logo for the game, so I took a sickie off work at Rare, and spent a day at Active Minds drawing the logo and other little bits. Looking at the game now I see that I used the Solar Jetman font, which was a little bit cheeky.

So we know that Empire had the programming done by a company called “Active Minds” which John worked for, I can’t find much about them seeing as so many companies use this name now for other things!

But there you go. We know the game was completed and we know at the very least review copy carts were sent out to at least 3 magazines. Was it ever manufactured properly to be sold in shops to the public? I’m guessing not. Amstrad had problems with delays in production of the carts and boxes, and it would be logical to presume that Empire pulled the plug on the game before manufacturing due to that and the poor sales of the machine. Therefore our only hope is to one day find one of the three review copy carts out there somewhere…

I’ll leave you with the French review in Amstrad Cent Pour Cent magazine…

Gazza II Amstrad Cent Pour Cent Review

Happy hunting!