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About this blog

Every game. Chronologically.

Entries in this blog

Sky Diver (Atari VCS, 1979) aka Dare Diver

Sky Diver (Atari VCS, 1979) aka Dare Diver   "If at first you don't succeed, forget sky diving."   One or two players each control a sky diver. Each sky diver starts in a plane going across the top of the screen from opposite directions. Your objective is to get your diver out of the plane and safely landed on a narrow-ish landing pad at the bottom of the screen. There's a wind sock indicating the direction (right or left) and speed (zero, slow, medium or fast) of the wind. Using that inf

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Hockey! / Soccer! (Odyssey^2, 1979)

Hockey! / Soccer! (Odyssey^2, 1979) / 7160   Okay, I made a mistake. I think I said that I was going to talk about Hockey! / Soccer! after my first Odyssey1979 entry and I didn't and then I forgot about it. Sorry about that.   Let's start with Soccer! This title isn't deserving of its exclaimation point. The action is a little slow and a little awkward. The soccer ball doesn't go very far when we kick it, even when using the action button. You can only control the keeper plus one

Mezrabad

Mezrabad

Thunderball! (Odyssey^2, 1979)

Thunderball! (Odyssey^2, 1979)   Thunderball! is a video pinball game in the tradition of APF Pinball (1978) or Atari Video Pinball (1977). However, what served as flippers in those games was really just a barrier which you could turn on and off to prevent the ball from exiting the bottom (or sides) of the screen. In Thunderball! we are given what actually could pass for flippers and it goes a long way towards giving this attempt at pinball a much more authentic flavor.   I

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Mezrabad

Showdown in 2100 A.D. (Odyssey^2, 1979)

Showdown in 2100 A.D. (Odyssey^2, 1979)   Takes the old idea of a duel between gunfighters and gives it a "futuristic" setting, the 22nd Century!!! The cowboys are animated in a similar manner to the main characters in I've Got Your Number and War of Nerves, but of course, these guys have hats.     The "trees" are a way of replenishing one's ammunition. Just touch a tree that's the same color as you are and you get more bullets. Running out of ammo seems to be a s

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Mezrabad

War of Nerves (Odyssey^2, 1979)

War of Nerves (Odyssey^2, 1979)     This is another great example of a game that didn't seem like much when I played it single-player but blossomed into a real giggle when I played it with my son.   You control a general and your mission is to lead a bunch of robots into battle to catch the enemy general, who also has robots. The challenge here is that you lead, you don't control. The robots can disable each other and you can heal them by touching them. There's a

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Mezrabad

I've Got Your Number! (Odyssey^2, 1979)

I've Got Your Number! (Odyssey^2, 1979)   6870 This is an educational title pretending to be a game.   Each player controls a human shaped figure that starts on either side of the screen. An equation shows up at the bottom middle of the screen. A question mark denotes the unknown element of the equation. In the main playing field is a sea of about a dozen or so shapes, symbols and numbers in two groups each rotating around a center symbol. The object of the g

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Mezrabad

Out of this World / Helicopter Rescue (Odyssey^2)

Out of this World / Helicopter Rescue (Odyssey^2, 1979)   Out of this World! is a "graviteasing" space race.   A better way to describe it would be a one dimensional Lunar Lander knock-off. You control a lander module by using its retro rockets to regulate its descent to the lunar surface. Your fuel is limited, which promotes an aside subject.   Armstrong and Aldrin had a similar issue when they were landing on our moon: they had a limited amount of fuel and had to

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Invaders from Hyperspace (Odyssey^2, 1979)

I find it hard lately to take screenshots of games for which I know screenshots and even well crafted home movies already exist. I also find it to be a little off-putting to my actually sitting down and trying to play a game, thinking "okay, I'll need to take some pictures of this". For now, I'm going to stop worrying about the visuals for these entries and simply "blog".   Invaders from Hyperspace (Odyssey^2, 1979)   Freaky game. You and your co-player are protecting two planetary systems

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Mezrabad

Alpine Skiing, (Odyssey^2, 1979)

Alpine Skiing, (Odyssey^2, 1979)   Unless I'm forgetting a game, we haven't seen a Skiing game in a home videogame context since 1972!   Skiing for the Magnavox Odyssey was fun for its day in a Zen sort of way. Alpine Skiing is less fun but has some perks. I wonder what made them choose the Alps? Why not Andes or Himalayian Skiing?   First perk: it's two player, simultaneous. Points to any game that attempts to force people to play together, even if it the overall

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Mezrabad

Dynasty (Odyssey^2, 1979)

This review bears no relation to the Kiss album from 1979 with the same name. That album came out in 1979 and now it's after 2000, man. For you Kiss fans, it doesn't take x-ray eyes to see that despite their charisma they could be accused of dirty livin'. If you get the joke then you sure know something. Yes, even in hard times, I've got a magic touch. Hah! I know, I'm hysterical, but save your love for the Odyssey^2.   I've been reorganizing my "house of doom" into a single "wall of doom", i

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What has Gone Before, Part III

Okay, one last "gone before" entry.   1977 was when things started rolling, with the introduction of the Atari VCS, but 1978 was when things started rocking. Five programmable videogame consoles available that year.   Atari VCS Fairchild Channel F (formerly VES) Bally Professional Arcade The Magnavox Odyssey^2 APF MP1000   Atari VCS 1978 Basketball Braingames Breakout Codebreaker Flag Capture Hangman Home

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What has gone before part II

Okay, it's another "clip show" entry. See, part of the goal was to play everything in a long unbroken chain so the gradual evolution of these things could be observed. However, it ain't unbroken, so I'm refreshing my memory.   This is just a refresh of 1977 with (EDIT 2021: without) links to the original articles.   1977   Miscellaneous Dedicated   Stunt Cycle (a.k.a. Motocross) Video Pinball (a.k.a. Pinball Breakaway) Ultra PONG Doubles (a.k.a.

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What has gone before . . .

This is one of those filler episodes that tell you what happened during all the previous episodes of the season, like that really lame episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation at the end of Season II where instead of actually writing a plot they just put Ryker in a coma and had him flash-backing the entire episode.   What's worse is that, not only is this a flash back episode it's a two-parter!!!   For those of you who are new (as if any of you are new) this blog is about go

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DP Blogs not eaten!

They're back again for our backing up pleasure.   Due to the title of the post at the time (DP blogs will be lost) and the jist of the message (DP blogs will be lost after the conversion which I'll try again later tonight) I thought they were lost when it went down for "under construction". If I'd read more carefully, I'd have learned that he fully intended to give us a chance to back everything up after the conversion. So there. He cared. *sniff* god bless him!   Anyway, thanks jboypacman

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DP Blogs eaten?

Last night, I read an announcement that DP blogs were going to be lost in a transfer to the new bulletin board system. The announcement posted at 9:20 the site went down again at 11:50 (central time.). 150 minutes to find the announcement and back up a blog was given to us.   Things of which I am aware: DP is free for me. Many people work hard and spend money to keep it running at no cost to me. The person doing the conversion was doing it in his free time and I am not ungrateful for his effor

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Mezrabad

Space Destroyers (APF MP1000, 1979)

After my last entry, two very generous individuals offered to lend me their Space Destroyers cartridge!!!   Fortunately, one of them lives right here in Austin, TX, not far from me!   We met in a McDonalds parking lot and exchanged the warez (I gave him APF instructions as collateral. He's actually buying my whole APF Collection when I return Space Destroyers.)   I brought it home and experienced the awe and wonder of a really good Space Invaders clone on the APF MP

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Possibly another premature APF ending

Technically, the APF doesn't "end" until 1979.   Space Destroyers, a Space Invaders clone for the APF MP1000, comes out in 1979. While I've seen Space Destroyers on eBay a few times in the past, it's been over a year. Even on collecting forums it seems to turn up rarely in "wanted" and even less rarely in "for sale."   I'm going to count this title in with Bingo for the RCA Studio II, I'd play it if I could find it. According to the rarity guides it's as scarce as APF Blackja

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The Last of 1978 . . . again.

Okay, we've been here before.   Last time we were in 1978 was back in October of 2005 or so and I'd finished doing all the APF carts I had. I ended with Brickdown/Shooting Gallery. At the time my copy didn't work. Now it does.   Brickdown/Shooting Gallery (APF M1000, 1978)     Brickdown is a sideways version of Breakout. If I recall correctly, it's similar to the version The Woz did for the Apple II in terms of sideways.     The game

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UFO/Sea Monster/Break It Down/Rebuild/Shoot

UFO/Sea Monster/Break It Down/Rebuild/Shoot (APF MP1000, 1978)   I'll say one thing about this cartridge: it has motion.   Getting decent screenshots of any of the games on this cart was impossible for me, due to the constant motion of one or more of the elements on any given screen.   Well, except the menu . . .     UFO and Sea Monster are reverse variations of Sea Wolf style gameplay, almost.   UFO-1 just has you blasting alien drone

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Mezrabad

Pinball, Dungeon Hunt, Blockout (APF MP1000, 1978)

Pinball, Dungeon Hunt, Blockout (APF MP1000, 1978)   Oh, how sad.   I'll start with my disappointment rather than with my surprise fun.   Dungeon Hunt is essentially Battleship! except without the stimulating use of a coordinate system.   The playfield is 70 tiles representing 70 places one can look in the "dungeon." Up to four players may each take a turn typing in the number under which they'd like to search. This action eliminates the number and e

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Mezrabad

Backgammon (APF M1000, 1978)

Backgammon (APF M1000, 1978)     Backgammon is an ancient and respectable game. My experience with it, prior to chronogaming, is limited to wondering what the design on the back of my checkerboard was when I was in grade school. Remember those? You'd have a checker board (or chess board) and on the other side there'd be these two dozen triangles and we'd be like "what the heck is this design?" and some other kid would always say it was backgammon but nobody knew how to play

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Casino I (APF M1000, 1978)

Okay, I'm back with all my chronogaming equipment and ready to do this whole chronogaming thing again. Yes, time in general has moved forward in my absence, but I'm still stuck in good 'ol 1979, looking at the APF games from 1978 that I missed the first time through. (Or was it my second time, since technically I lived through 1978 before)   Today, we're looking at the one I thought I might never see and regret for the rest of my life. I'm fairly prone to "stress" and "regret" dreams.

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Mezrabad

...Tock - Boxing, APF MP1000 1978

Well, I wasn't able to bring any chronogaming equipment with me for the summer, but I was able to bring some screenshots that I've finally "processed" and moved to the computer in this place that's hooked up to the net. (Neither of my PCs seem to work with the network here. They've become paperweights.)   So . . .   Boxing (APF MP1000, 1978)   Oh, so, here's the obligatory menu screen. Ya gotta love the alliterative appellations. Slugger Sam, Horrible Har

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Tick . . .

The clock has stopped. Out of chronojuice. I should be able to restart again in September. All my chronogaming equipment is in storage for the summer.   In the meantime, I hope to update   www.chronogamer.com   with all of my entries from here while I'm away.   Take care,   michael / mezrabad / chronogamer

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Slot Machine (Channel F, 1979)

Sorry for the hiatus, real life and such, yada yada yada.   Slot Machine (Channel F - Zircon, 1979)   Jerry Lawson, the designer of the Channel-F, in a panel discussion at CGE 2004 revealed that he'd made Slot Machine for his mother, who was fond of going to the casinos and playing the slot machines. I don't know if he gave it to her for Mother's Day, but in honor of the sweet sentiment: Happy Mother's day to all the mother's out there who tolerate videogames in their homes.

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Mezrabad

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