LCP was released on other home computer formats, including the Apple II and Amiga. Interestingly both these conversions were inferior to the Commodore 64 version. Why? Because although in the Amiga’s case the graphics were improved. The sound effects and music that made the Commodore version so appealing were in comparison appalling. The only nice touch that the Apple version had which the Commodore did not was the day display e.g. Mon (for Monday) that would appear under the picture in the lounge room. It doesn’t actually add anything important to the game, so it is not really missed.

I do wonder why the day display did not appear in the Commodore version because you always entered in the date and time before the game loaded as it was used for when your LCP typed a letter so it could be dated, and the wall clock in the house would show the correct time – so why this was omitted on the Commodore 64 is strange. I suspect it was probably due to a memory constraint. Also, because you can only type in the last 2 digits of the year the game is not y2k compatible in that if you type in 05 for 2005 then the date in the game would appear as 1905! This is unfortunate, but remember that the game was released in 1985 so nobody would have considered that the game might still be used 20 years later!
Little Computer People Apple
Apple II (day display)

Unfortunately the game did not sale that well. I know this for a fact because I enquired whether there would be an upgraded / enhanced version of LCP developed and I received a letter from Activision which explained due to insufficient sales etc. that it was highly unlikely that any add-ons for LCP would be developed. This is especially disappointing considering the excellent reviews the game received from magazines like Zzap!64.

Little Computer People Advert
Little Computer People Advert

LCP was way ahead of its time and the games market was probably not ready for this revolutionary concept. To compensate for this and to try and improve sales, Activision decided to release a tape version of the game for the Commodore 64 and other home computer formats like the Spectrum. The tape based versions of LCP should never have been made. The tape version is appalling, as it is basically a cut-down version of the game. Due to the advantages of disk space and the ability to access a disk for more information speedily at any time – the tape version can’t have any of this – so it was more limited / restricted. Avoid at all costs!

Also, it has to be said that the marketing of LCP was poor – the adverts and cover packaging for the game were not very appealing and no doubt this also had a negative impact on sales. Activision not continuing development of LCP in my opinion was a huge mistake – if you consider how this game could of evolved even back then – it may well of ended up now as something like The Sims series of games by Electronic Arts (even Sam Nelson Producer at Activision has stated that there was an LCP idea floating around at the time which involved an apartment complex of LCP's!).