Confidential magazine was a UK bi-monthly publication of the Official Secrets adventure game club.
The Official Secrets club was part of Special Reserve; a software mail-order firm set up by Dave Carlos and Tony Rainbird of PR firm Inter-Mediates Ltd. Tony was a big adventure game fan, and had previously founded the Rainbird label at Telecomsoft.
For a yearly subscription members of the Official Secrets club received a copy of an exclusive Magnetic Scrolls game, Myth, six copies of Confidential magazine and full access to the range of discounted games in the Special Reserve catalogue. According to an article in Retro Gamer magazine, at one point the club had around about 5,500 members.
Confidential magazine covered adventure games and other "thought-provoking" genres, including multi-user gaming, PBM, simulations, and even LARPing.
The first issue was dated September/October 1988 and early issues were put together by Graeme Kidd (editor of magazines such as ACE and Crash), Steve Cooke (former editor of ACE magazine and well-known adventure columnist) and Nick Walkland (former editor of the Orcsbane fanzine). The aim was to create a publication with the anarchic feel of a fanzine but with the professional design and standards of a proper printed magazine.
Later issues were helmed by John Trevillian (who would later become a novelist and also creator of the AEs Mail Adventure) and a team of writers including Clive Weatherley, Charles Cannon, Robert Lockwood and John Knight.
Guest writers included well-known adventure columnists Mike Gerrard, Tony Bridge, Keith Campbell and Paul Rigby. Other IF luminaries penning articles included Huw Collingbourne, Mel Croucher and Michael Bywater.
There were also contributions by other familiar names in the "homegrown" UK text adventure scene, such as Pat Winstanley, Sandra Sharkey, John Barnsley, Jacqui Lyons, Linda Wright, June Rowe and Mandy Rodrigues.
Notable content included interviews with Dave Lebling (Infocom), Michael Bywater (Jinxter, Bureaucracy, Punch), Richard Bartle (MUD), Mark Heaton (Talespin), Mike Woodroffe (Adventuresoft UK/Horrorsoft) and Brian Kerslake (Topologika).
- Confidential magazine in the Internet Archive.