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About this blog

Every game. Chronologically.

Entries in this blog

Space Invaders (Atari VCS, 1980)

Space Invaders (Atari VCS, 1980)   According to Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames by Leonard Herman (a book every classic gamer should own, soon to come out in its fourth edition!), Space Invaders came out in January of 1980 and is considered to be the first "Killer App" for a home videogame console. In addition, it was the first time a videogame company licensed another videogame company's arcade game for port to a home system.   Okay, history portion over, I'll leave it to real hist

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Dogpatch (Bally Pro Arcade, 1980)

Dogpatch (Bally Pro Arcade, 1980)   I could only find one game as having come out in 1980 for the Bally Professional Arcade - Dogpatch. In playing this game I was reminded of just how far video games have come over the last three decades. So, I created a video that serves to illustrate the vast gulf of differences between a game like this from 1980 and a game like the one to which I've chosen to compare it from a current generation console.   Hmm, my YouTube link broke with t

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NASL Soccer (Intellivision, 1980)

NASL Soccer (Intellivision, 1980)   The last Intellivision game for 1980! How long has it taken me to get here? Short answer? Too damn long!   This is the first Soccer I've played in Chronogaming. The first soccer for a home vidoegame console was actually released in the European edition of Odyssey by Magnavox. They called it Football over there, which makes sense to me.   Okay, Soccer, like Baskeball and Hockey before it, takes the approach of having a reduced number of players on the scr

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Checkers (Intellivision, 1980)

Checkers (Intellivision, 1980)   Yup, still on Intellivision, still in 1980, as we have been since, what? 2007? Sorry it's taken so long, we are only one game away from finishing 1980 Intellivision games and the penultimate Intellivision game for the year is: Checkers!   I didn't actually dread playing Checkers, especially after my better-than-dreaded experience with Backgammon. I was looking forward to jumping back into the Chronogaming groove. Checkers didn't disappoint me.

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Backgammon (Intellivision, 1980)

Backgammon (Intellivision, 1980)   Sadly, I've been dreading having to play this game. Like most games I dread playing (sports, for instance) it's a great hinderance to moving forward with chronogaming.   So, tonight, I had a spare hour or so (family goes to bed before I do on most nights) and decided to get over this little hump in my chronology.   Boy do I feel stupid for having put it off. This is a well designed version of backgammon. The play field, like the play field for Roulette, i

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Along came a IIGS, part II

As EricBall very correctly pointed out, it wasn't long after figuring out that this machine might work, that I realized that it's little better than a door stop without a floppy drive.   Fortunately for me, I discovered the CFFA! This is a card that plugs into the innards of an Apple IIGS with a Compact Flash card as a hard drive. You can have as many 32MB hard drive images as you can fit on a compact flash. So, I quickly, and without really reading anything about it, ordered one and then orde

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Along came a IIGS, Part I

Okay, back some time in the closing days of 2008 an AtariAger was looking for an Emerson Arcadia 2001 and was offering an Apple IIGS in exchange. I've always wanted one of those, so I went for it, traded my extra Arcadia (I had to keep one if my chronogaming ever makes it to 1982) a few boxed commons and maybe one scarce (I was feeling generous, and I really did want to mess around with an Apple IIGS).   So, sometime in January, the exchange was made and a happy IIGS began its life in

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Math Fun (Intellivision, 1980)

Math Fun (Intellivision, 1980)   Wow, it was hard to find the instructions for this from internet sources! The Intellivision Lives site only has instructions for the Learning Fun I cartridge, which has instructions for two different games. As far as I can tell there's only one game on this cart and it's called Math Master.   The Math Master, surprisingly, must be the ape that runs down the screen towards other animals. It's up to you, the player to solve problems so that the animals move out

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Las Vegas Roulette (Intellivision, 1980)

Las Vegas Roulette (Intellivision, 1980)   The first step to getting people to stop bothering you about your gambling problem is to admit that you have a gambling problem, even if you don't really believe you have one. This might get those well-meaning, but annoying, dis-enablers off your back for a little while. This is actually a fairly useful step in most forms of addiction, but if you use it too often people will eventually realize you're just as full of excrement as you've ever be

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US Ski Team Skiing (Intellivision, 1980)

US Ski Team Skiing (Intellivision, 1980)   Okay, prior to Skiing on the Intellivision we've thrice seen videogame versions of the real life, not-so-cheap thrill of strapping wood to one's feet and sliding down a mountain while standing up. The first came with the Magnavox Odyssey, called Ski, and I think I compared it to a lava lamp in its ability to provide a nice quiet Zen trance if you were open to relaxing and enjoying it.   The second version came bundled as a variation

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NBA Basketball (Intellivision, 1980)

NBA Basketball (Intellivision, 1980)   Wow, I've started and stopped writing this entry about five times. I'm just not sure what to say about this game. Like the era in which this game was born, I find it difficult to resist the temptation to compare it to the Atari Basketball title that proceeded it. As George Plimpton might've said, NBA basketball is clearly more sophisticated and lifelike than its Atari counterpart. There are three players on each team, instead of one, and you can pass the

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Sea Battle (Intellivision, 1980)

Sea Battle (Intellivision, 1980)   Sea Battle is a console title that does much more than one would expect a console title to be able to do in 1980.   Each player has a harbor and a limited number of naval units. The object of the game is to get your troop transport ship into your enemy's harbor by negotiating your fleets through the archipelago between the two harbors.   Like Space Battle (Intellivision, 1980) this game has a strategy phase and a combat phase. The strategy phase is played

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NHL Hockey (Intellivision, 1980)

NHL Hockey (Intellivision, 1980)   Okay, I'm really behind in this blog thing. According to Wired, the blog is dead and now everyone is all a-Twitter. Personally, I can't imagine myself being limited to a certain number of characters, but I can certainly understand how a reader might want to limit themselves to such. I mean, there's a lot to read out there.   Anyway, the latest game in the chronology was NHL Hockey for the Intellivision.   Say anything you want about the controllers for th

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Word Fun (Intellivision, 1980)

Word Fun (Intellivision, 1980)   Hey, did anyone else notice the complete revamping of intellivisiongames.com? They've had the same site up for years and its always looked circa 1999-2001 design style, but now they've got something that looks like it's database driven. Well, good for them.   I actually have a Word Fun cart, purchased in Tulsa, Oklahoma for $5 in 2006. It wasn't until I plugged it into my Intellivision II in August of 2008 that I found this sucker doesn't work with Intellivis

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PGA Golf (Intellivision, 1980)

PGA Golf (Intellivision, 1980)   This is another game where many of the details of the real world sport are taken and compressed into an extremely realistic simulation. Now, I'm not able to say they've managed to simulate everything, but what they did consider in the design of PGA Golf and how they chose to display it, works pretty well for a golf videogame in 1980.   The screen is dominated by an overhead view of the current hole. Conventional golf course elements are used: the fairway, the

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Space Battle (Intellivision, 1980)

Space Battle (Intellivision, 1980)   This is a neat game, and I've never played anything like it (up till 1980).   Okay, you've got this base at the center of your little universe from the perspective of your Radar screen. You defend it with three squadrons of three fighters each. Surrounding your base is the utter void of space through which your enemies approach. There's always five groups of these enemies...I don't know why, something to do with how they evolved...coming from the outer bo

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Nintendo Controller Tattoo

True story of something that happened to me at the supermarket today!   My six year-old daughter and I were at the local supermarket today and I noticed a twenty-something female. Cute either in spite of, or because of, her tattoos and peircings. We had to pass in front of her and I nodded and mumbled a civilized "please excuse us" (as we were briefly blocking her view of whatever it was she was shopping for) and continued on. Suddenly I heard her say "Hey! I LOVE your shirt!"   I was wearin

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Tennis (Intellivsion, 1980)

Tennis (Intellivsion, 1980)   I know I said we were going to do Space Battle but with this being "Wimbledon Weekend" I figured this would be the best chance I'd have of getting my wife to play Intellivision's Tennis with me. She actually consented to join me for about 10 minutes! However, I think that because of the fact that she'd just seen one of the greatest, and longest tennis matches of all-time (Federer vs. Nadal) she just couldn't feel the thrill of our little pixel-fest.   First off,

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Horse Racing (Intellivision, 1980)

Horse Racing (Intellivision, 1980)   For any of you that read this blog whenever I actually post something, you might be painfully aware that I neither enjoy gambling nor sports. I usually bitch and moan about most Blackjack carts I have to play and while I do my best to muster up enthusiasm for the sports titles, I'm sure it's obvious that my heart usually isn't in them. In fact, beyond an appreciation for graphics and/or feature set, I can barely tolerate sports and gambling titles. Also, wi

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NFL Football (Intellivision, 1980)

NFL Football (Intellivision, 1980)   NFL Football is one of those games that doesn't register on my radar longer than it would take to say, "Hey, those guys look they're really running--oh look, Space Invaders on the Atari!" I'm just not into sports, so if I sound less than enthusiastic about a well done sports title, remember, it's not the fault of the title.   We played this months ago and it's taken me this long to get around to writing about it not because it's a bad game, it's just that

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Major League Baseball (Intellivision, 1980)

Major League Baseball (Intellivision, 1980)   Major League Baseball is the game I saw being played at every Sears I walked into when the Intellivision was being introduced. I'm not a fan of baseball, but to me this game will always represent the tantalizing first glimpse of the Intellivision's exciting potential. In fact, prior to acquiring an Intellivision for chronogaming, Baseball was the only game for the Intellivision I'd ever played on the original hardware. Upon further reflection I fin

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Armor Battle (Intellivision, 1980)

Armor Battle (Intellvision, 1980)   Don't get me wrong, I really love Atari's Combat; it will always hold a special place in my heart. However, Armor Battle immediately strikes me as being a "next generation" tank game: two tanks for each player, obstacles, variable terrain (road, water, woods, grass, buildings), mine laying capabilities, 240 different terrain maps, tanks that take multiple hits...jeez, the feature list goes on and on, doesn't it?   Each player has two tanks under their comm

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Auto Racing (Intellivision, 1980)

Auto Racing (Intellivision, 1980)   We've seen an overhead view in our driving games before. Indy 500 and Speedway took the "camera" and hung it high over the track so that the field of vision encompassed the entire course. Such a viewpoint is useful for seeing "the big picture" but it limits the amount of detail one need bother to show.   Auto Racing for the Intellivision takes a different perspective, or, more specifically, a lower, more mobile perspective. In this case, th

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Las Vegas Blackjack & Poker (Intellivision, 1980)

Las Vegas Blackjack & Poker (Intellivision, 1980)   Note Bene: There will be a YouTube video supplementing portions of this entry so check again later for the link or just check out my YouTube page at: Chronogamer's YouTube Page where it will eventually appear.   Intellivision was test-marketed in California in 1979 and sold to the rest of the United States in 1980. Rather than going by the copyright date given on the title screen of Blackjack (1978) to determine the appropriate chrono

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HAAG "video" and Pictures Up

Okay, not a chronogaming entry per se, but the gallery contains the promised pictures of the machines we saw at the awesome HAAG Expo from 8 weeks ago so that should be good for a look-see.   That's all for now.   EDIT: Oh, I noticed that linking to a Gallery in an entry puts pictures in the entry. Here's the link to the Game Shows gallery. (Just click on the HAAG 2007 link)   Gaming Expos HAAG 2007 Gallery   And if you like pretty lights and getting motio

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