Jump to content
  • entries
    235
  • comments
    1,089
  • views
    433,758

About this blog

Every game. Chronologically.

Entries in this blog

Houston Area Arcade Group Expo!

My son and I took the trip to Houston yesterday and had a blast.   We got to see some rare cabs, (PONG, Q-berts Qubes) and I got to play a few arcade games I thought I'd never get to play on the "original hardware" (Major Havoc, Quantum). I took a ton of pictures, but my camera memory card is being used by my son today in a school science experiment so I won't be able to make an album until later.   We entered the Parent-Child tournament which was to be on a Gilligan's Island pinball machine

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Sears Motocross 1977 (aka Atari Stunt Cycle)

Tele-Games Electronic Games Motocross Sports Center IV (Atari, 1977)   I kinda "get it" now but back in the late 70s I had no clue what was going on between Atari and Sears. It seemed like Atari stuff in other department stores was labeled "Atari" but Sears was a parallel universe where every Atari item was called something else. Combat was called Tank Plus; Air-Sea Battle was called Target Fun. The Atari Video Computer System was called the Sears Video Arcade, etc.   Suspici

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Coleco Telstar Combat (Coleco, 1977)

Coleco Telstar Combat (Coleco, 1977)   I lost my battle with Coleco Combat!     As described in this thread I have a Coleco Combat unit with crappy stickers and a single broken joystick. I took the thing apart (using the "hair dryer" trick) and discovered a snapped "eye-hook" style leaf switch. After putting it off for a few months, I finally took the thing into a local arcade cab repair shop (S&B Amusements in Austin, TX near Northcross Mall) and they looked a

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Atari Video Pinball (Atari, 1977)

Thanks for all of the nice comments and PMs. You have no idea how much they push me forward on this project, not that I've ever considered abandoning it, I just get slow sometimes.   See, now we're "retro-chronogaming" -- playing the old games that we missed the first time we tried playing all those old games! I've got a few movies this time, so sorry to those on 56k lines.   (EDIT 2021: None of the video links work and I totally should have put everything on YouTube back the

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Looking Backward. Moving Forward. Tripping Often.

Normally I do a retroview of the year I just slowly dragged everyone through. I'm not going to do that right now. Now, I want to post the lists of the games I've been chronogaming. The jpgs are suitable for printing and putting on your chrono-corkboards that I'm certain each and everyone of you have hanging in your living rooms by now. You may also use them to make chrono-t-shirts or even tatoo them onto the backs of your children for use as handy and mobile references.   Firstly, here is 19

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Bally Pin (Bally Professional Arcade, 1979)

Bally Pin (Bally Professional Arcade, 1979)   Off the top of my head, I'd have to say Bally Pin is the most fun we've had on the Bally Professional Arcade yet, and it's possibly the most addictive fun we've had with a videogame in our chronology thus far.   Like the various videogame portings of Baseball, Black Jack or Hangman represent attempts to mix the older school leisures of sports, cards and puzzle games into the new past-time on the block, so too, does the attempt to

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Chronogamer's Birthday

Chronogamer is two years-old today!!!   Just for anyone wondering if the decrease in frequency of entries is any indicator of a flagging enthusiasm on my part, please let me assure you it is not. Real life has gotten a little bit in the way of my passionate pursuit of this effort, but this effort will indeed continue just as passionately, only slow.   To prepare for the next era of chronogaming, I've managed to get most of what I think will see me through to the Great Crash of 1983-84. There

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Black Jack/Acey Deucey/Poker (Bally, 1979)

Black Jack/Acey Deucey/Poker (Bally Professional Arcade, 1979)   Death and Taxes.   And Blackjack.   With the exception of the Magnavox Odyssey, Black Jack has appeared on every cart-based, home videogame system released in the United States thus far (up to 1979). It is surpassed in its occurances only by versions of Baseball which also appeared on the Magnavox Odyssey while a version of Black Jack did not.   I'm probably covering old ground here, bu

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Star Battle (Bally Pro Arcade, 1979)

Star Battle (Bally Pro Arcade, 1979)   Two years ago, back in 1977, a little movie called Star Wars was released. People who made videogames noticed this and immediately began coming up with videogame scenarios from it. One of the first games inspired by Star Wars for a home videogame console is Star Battle for the Bally Professional Arcade.   I don't know if I'm just tired or if my second week of being caffeine-free is just lowering my IQ even further, but I'm at a loss to a

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Space Invaders (Bally Pro Arcade, 1979)

Space Invaders aka Astro Battle (Bally Pro Arcade, 1979)   Okay, my research on this is sketchy, but as far as I can tell:   Bally-Midway distributed Space Invaders in the arcades in the United States. The rights to do so, I assume, were purchased from Taito, the company that owned the game and distributed it in Japan.   Since Bally has this Professional Arcade for the home it only makes sense that they'd do a home version of Space Invaders for it, since it was the

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Amazing Maze / Tic-Tac-Toe (BallyProArcade, 1979)

Amazing Maze / Tic-Tac-Toe (Bally Professional Arcade, 1979)   I know many of you are very anxious to hear just how the Bally performed in Tic-Tac-Toe against the Fairchild Channel F's built-in Tic-Tac-Toe AI, but before I get to that, I have a solution regarding the heating problems some of us have been experiencing with the Bally Pro Arcade.     Bally vs. Fairchild: Tic-Tac-Toe   In order to get a statistically significant sample we figured we should p

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Computer Intro (Odyssey^2, 1979)

Computer Intro (Odyssey^2, 1979)   The Odyssey^2 has one thing that no other videogame console, before or since, ever had: a full-sized, built-in keyboard.   Another exclusive for the Odyssey^2 is Computer Intro; a cart that, along with its manual, teaches its user the fundamentals of assembler and machine language programming. Say what you want about the Odyssey^2's games, sound, graphics or exclaimation-point-driven-advertising, but Computer Intro deserves nothing but respect. We're not

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Basic Programming (Atari VCS, 1979)

Rather than a lengthy compare/contrast of Computer Intro and Basic Programming, like I had intended, I decided to look at each individually. Initially, my first attempts to write about the two displayed a tendancy to bash Atari's offering for merely being unlike Odyssey^2's offering. I decided it didn't make for a fair comparison, nor was it very fun to write, so, I'm doing it this way instead.   Basic Programming (Atari VCS, 1979)   Machine Gun KittyKats was the name of the game I was going

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Chess: Atari vs. Fairchild

This is going to be a lot less interesting than one might hope, sorry to say.   The "fun" part was figuring out how to set this up on my TV so that I could take cool simultaneous screen shots. See, I've got a wide screen and it lets me view two channels at the same time. That way I could take side by side pictures of both boards. I nearly had a solution that would have only required purchasing an RF to coax adaptor when I realized that, of course, my wife had the camera in Florida with

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Trip to Modern Arcade

My family is out of town all week.   For approximately 144 hours I've been left to my own devices.   This is more continuous "free" time than I've ever had since my son was born in 1997.   The only "grown-up" responsibilities I have are:   File our income 2006 income taxes. Fix my resume. Get a job.   Okay, that last one is pretty important, however, I just graduated from College (BS in Technical Management from Devry University. GPA 4.0 thankyouverymuch.) and after having spent the

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Video Chess (Atari VCS, 1979)

Video Chess (Atari VCS, 1979)   Someone in one of the forums (AA or DP) asked what was our most disappointing Atari game back in the day?   I responded "Video Chess". I think I meant to say "Basic Programming" but at that moment, my answer was "Video Chess". For the record, I take that back.   As a teen, here's the problem I think I had with Video Chess in a nutshell: Long move times for the AI.   Each successively difficult level of play takes the VCS longer to make its move. Level 8 i

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Backgammon (Atari VCS, 1979)

Backgammon (Atari VCS, 1979)   Two games in a row from which I expected very little and yet found so much!   Backgammon on the Atari VCS is one of the best videogame versions of the 5,000 year old board game that I've seen to date. The APF version worked well enough, but typing in the moves via their keypad was painful. Atari's solution is so appropriate that I'm tempted to call it elegant. The paddles are the perfect controller for this game. Press the button to roll the di

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Football (Atari VCS, 1979)

Sorry about the last entry, it was a bit depressing, but it proved to me why I don't choose to approach this hobby for the sake of nostalgia. The only thing I miss about being young is having acres and acres of free-time. Time I wish I'd spent more of either learning or playing videogames. As a grown-up, what's cool about this hobby is having a 30 year backlog of relatively inexpensive games to sift through along with having slightly better time-management skills.   Football (Atari VC

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

stream of conscious

meloncholy. this is all I can remember about videogames from my childhood in no particular order punctuation or spelling .   Everything I can remember about video games prior to 1987 spring of 1986, college roommate asks if I've ever heard anything about Nintendo? I reply "no" spring of 1986, person on dorm floor has an Apple II and a copy of Karateka 2: Wrath of Dude. Laughed heartily. Junior year (1984) two D&D friends talk about Mail Order Monsters sometime in High School, I get

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Slot Machine (Atari VCS, 1979)

Slot Machine a.k.a. Slots (Atari VCS, 1979)   I theorize that in the mid 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense had conducted experiments on non-violent methods of torture. Back then, apparently, violent methods of torture were frowned upon. I’ve heard that, in some circles, they are still frowned upon, even today, but I digress.   So, the DoD went to Atari and said, "We want you to make a simulation that will suck the very life-energy out of the person interfacing with it. We want it to be

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Canyon Bomber (Atari VCS, 1979)

Canyon Bomber/Sea Bomber (Atari VCS, 1979)   Crater Digger? Pit Maker?   This game hearkens back to a simpler time, when all the human mind could handle was one button.   Picture a canyon extending from mid screen to the bottom in depth and stretching from one side of the screen to the other in width. Now, fill it to the brim with multi-colored blocks, each layer of blocks having its own color, like Breakout only going down. Or, better yet, view a screenshot taken d

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Bowling (Atari VCS, 1979)

Bowling (Atari VCS, 1979)   I was in a bowling league when I was in middle school. My team won the league championship two years in a row. I don't remember my average, but when I was 13 years old, my high score was 191. I don't think that's a great high score, (though I've never beaten it since ), and I'm certain my average wasn't very impressive, but it disturbs me to suddenly realize that I may actually be more qualified to talk about videogames based on bowling than videogames based on

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Superman (Atari VCS, 1979)

Superman (Atari VCS, 1979)   "He turns all of his injuries into strengths, that which does not kill him makes him stronger, he is superman." -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche   This isn't really a review, but rather, a highly academic look at the social implications of the Atari VCS game, Superman. Really, if you haven't played it, you'll be completely lost and I recommend you go back to your little emulator or your actual console, if you even have one, and go playexperience this

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Casino (Atari VCS, 1979)

Casino (Atari VCS, 1979)   All right, this is another game which makes it possible to play Blackjack on the Atari VCS. I approached this cart with some pretty low expectations. I have a very hard time getting into Blackjack games on videogame consoles, though I do remember enjoying Odyssey^2's Blackjack game well enough -- must've been the keyboard.   So, I check out the directions (thanks Atari Age!) and find out that it supports up to four players! Well, we only had three players after I

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Human Cannonball (Atari VCS, 1979)

Human Cannonball aka Cannonball Man (Atari VCS, 1979)   You're given a cannon, a crazy fool inside the cannon and a water tower, which we affectionately refer to as "the bucket". There are three variables: speed, cannon angle and distance from the cannon to the water tower. In the first game, a speed is randomly generated, representing the speed at which the Cannonball Man will be shot from the cannon. You must try to select the cannon's angle which will allow Projectile Man to land i

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

×
×
  • Create New...