For those of you playing along at home this is Videocart #21-Bowling, for the Zircon Channel F.
I wonder if they actually changed its name to the "Zircon Channel-F"? All of the carts released during what is known among Channel F fans as "The Zircon Era" have the Zircon Empire's name and address on the back of the cart. I'll scan a picture of it one of these days.
Bowling (Channel F, 1979)
The Title (system, year) format was one of the ways of presenting the ca
Checkers (Channel F, 1979)
This was what the U.S. got instead of the Saba Schach game I wrote of a few days ago.
Don't misunderstand me, I like the game of checkers, it's what most people learn before moving on to Chess and I'm no exception. The US gets Checkers and not Chess? It just seems wrong, insulting even.
How does it rate as a checkers game? Not bad. The controls make enough sense that one can jump right in. My only complaint is t
This is not an April Fool's Day prank, but since it is April Fool's Day, I think it would be entirely appropriate to talk about something one wouldn't expect to find for the Channel F. I'd been trying to come up with ways to talk about the odd hack or homebrew every now and then. I don't want to do it too often, because it does fall outside of the chronology, but on odd dates and stuff, Friday the 13th, Feb 29th, April Fools and whenever, I'll do them for the heck of it.
Schach (Channel F, 1979)
I know, I said I was only going to do US releases, that's why this is a "mystery" game.
This is a quote from a post I made back in May of 2005
As far as I know, it's the only game program for the Channel F that didn't come out in the US. The cart, with that "glowing thinking light", was probably more expensive to manufacture and, based on past market performance of the Channel F, it was probably decid
The 1978-1979 school year was significant for me.
Other than seven people to whom I'm related, I no longer know anyone I'd ever met prior to the school year of 1978-79. Anyone I knew, peers or otherwise, before that school year, is either dead or is now 28 years in the past and I've got no hope of getting in touch with them and even less hope that they'll remember me.
I almost got into just how many friends I've made and kept each year since 1979, but the amount stops growing in 1991 and
The slogan may be "Every game. Chronologically" but the philosophy is really "Every game I can find and afford, or, if not, emulate. Chronologically."
There have been a few games that I to plan to get even if they didn't make it into my first six years of chronogaming.
Atari PONG - The first killer ap for home videogames.
Odyssey 300 - Because it was my first.
Coleco Telstar Arcade - I'm honestly not dying to play it, but I can't forget about it, either.
Coleco Combat - Ditto for this
Lots of pictures, thought I'd make it its own entry.
Here are the participants that took, what, 6 months to play through?
They seem like such tiny piles . . .
Here we have the 1978 Atari VCS family with their enlightened 7800-only cousin from the future and the underused but kinda cool keyboard controllers. The Cuttle Cart 2, for those who don't know, is used to play games on Atari hardware for which I no longer have the original carts.
There's already a list of all the games that came out in 1978 in this entry here. Rather than rehash that list with the only change in it being the addition of smilies or frownies, I think the electrons would be better spent on picking out a few of the standout titles from 1978, by system, while giving each system a general rating.
APF MP1000 -- Not Nearly As Fun-Free as I Thought It Would Be
This system really seemed to have some potential, but it was wasted on unimaginative games. Still i
Y'know, I'm certain there's a way that I'm supposed to be listing the title of the game. I'm sure that, for my humble intentions at least, the way I'm doing it now is just fine and dandy for all those involved. I'm taking a technical writing course this session and I'm beginning to think that for everything that I've already written, there's a "better" more "appropriate" way of stating it. Of course, if I wrote these entries as "technical writings" then this would be less of a blog and more of a
Math-a-Magic! / Echo! Odyssey^2, 1978
Okay, this should be short and sweet.
Because of the Odyssey^2 keyboard, Math-a-Magic is fairly usable as far as Math edutainment goes, however, it really doesn't count as a game. Yes, there's a timer, so you can see how many problems you can do in a certain amount of time, and yes, a "music noise" is played every time you've answered 10 more problems correctly, but it's just not a game. You can pick from four operations (addition, su
Computer Golf! Odyssey^2, 1978
Computer Golf! is the first golf game for a home videogame console. There are nine different holes and the game supports up to four players.I tried to hype this game up for my family over the weekend, but we didn't get to play. Today, however, both kids were home from school sick. I yelled "Who wants to play Computer Golf!?" and they both dutifully yelled "I do!"(I could've yelled "Who wants to step on puppies!" and I would've gotten the same response.)
For the record, I'm out of actual 1978 Odyssey^2 carts. The remaining carts for the year 1978 will be played using the wonderful Odyssey^2 Multicart.
Baseball! Odyssey^2, 1978
I'm almost certain that if I took a look at every (programmable) home videogame system ever made and eventually intended for a TV in a living room in the USA I'm pretty certain I'd find a Baseball game for it.
For some reason, as a youth, I never took to enjoying the real-life game of Ba
Three games, one cart! This is getting out of hand . . .Before I talk about the individual games on this cart, I should point out that this entire cartridge uses the keyboard and nothing but the keyboard. I don't know why, but I find that admirable. This console actually uses its keyboards while other consoles only have half-hearted attempts at keyboards (Atari, Bally).
Match Maker! Odyssey^2, 1978
This is one of those "deja vu" games, we've seen it on other
Two games, one cart! Again!
Bowling! Odyssey^2, 1978
First off, in my book at least, ANY game in the 1970s that allows for four players gets my thumbs up. Not necessarily WAY up, but definitely "up".
Bowling! allows for up to four players. It uses a similar bowling formula that we've seen before on both the RCA Studio II and the APF MP1000: Oscillating ball at the bottom of the alley, press the button to send it and then use the controller for a one shot chanc
Football, Odyssey^2, 1978
Like Bally's Football, Odyssey^2 Football does a good job of offering the plays and the interaction that the real sport promises, without the bone crushing, spine shattering injuries.
Major difference between this and the Bally is that the Bally shows a "slice" of the football field and scrolls the field to accommodate movement, while the Odyssey^2 Football shows the whole field all the time. The Bally animat
Two games. One cart.
Armored Encounter! Odyssey^2, 1978
I'll include a picture of these tanks when I have one.
Oh, hey, I do. Here's Mr. Blue and his eternal nemesis, Mr. Red.
Okay, this is very much like Atari Combat, the Tank games, with minor changes to the gaming variants and one very notable addition.
Two tanks (red vs blue, again) face off with or without guided missiles, with or without barriers (simple
Hey, sorry, I've been remiss in my chronogaming. I started playing Morrowind which, of course, led to reinstalling Daggerfall and then restarting Arena (after reassembling the appropriate computer systems to run them on.). After playing Arena for a little bit, I got curious about other early ray-casting engines which lead to Wolfenstein 3D and finally to an emulated copy of the original Escape from Castle Wolfenstein, which reminded me that I should really get back to playing through the home vi
Cosmic Conflict! Odyssey^2, 1978
Okay, as I said in a previous entry: for flavor I'm trying to include close-up photos of the player-controlled avatars in these games. It doesn't really work for something like Blackjack, and honestly, it doesn't really work for something like this game, never-the-less, here's what you control in this universe:
That's your targeting reticle in Cosmic Conflict! The game consists of you "piloting" that reticle (1st person piloti
Las Vegas Blackjack! Odyssey^2, 1978
Another system, another inevitable release of the game the crowds must've been howling for back in the 70s. Blackjack.
This time its official title is: Las Vegas Blackjack! (Hmm, what's up with the exclamation point? Seems the last cartridge had one for each title, too. Maybe part of a marketing decision? We'll see if they keep it up.)
I dragged my feet to play this title. I really didn't want to. I've never been able to en
Before I do the Odyssey^2 thing, I must report another chronogamer!
Xagar's Game reviews
Go and enjoy his blog, too, for a glimpse of . . . the future! While you're at it, start a chronogaming blog of your own. It's easy! Simply pick a system, research all the release dates, and play them in order! Okay, it's not that simple, assembling the roms/carts hardware etc can be a bit time consuming (not to mention expensive), and in some cases, figuring out the release dates is
Okay, remember the Odyssey? The one with the Überlays? Well, it had a sequel. The Odyssey^2 as in "Odyssey to the second power" or "Odyssey Squared" or "Odyssey times Odyssey" . . . I guess they named it that because there was also the Odyssey 100, Odyssey 200, Odyssey 300, Odyssey 400, Odyssey 500 as well as an Odyssey 3000, 4000 and 5000. I'm sure I'm forgetting some but I think you see where I'm driving. Why go linear when you can go exponential?
I think exponential was the smart
I discovered another Chronogamer! A writer over at Retrogaming Times Monthly is chronogaming the NES, starting in 1983! This is the same guy that wrote the always interesting Syntax Era, so it should be good.
Anyway, here's the link to the issue with the first NES chronogaming. The column is called "Nintendo Realm". (You have to scroll to it.)
No, he doesn't call himself a "chronogamer," and as far as I know,
Baseball, APF, 1978
Is there a system anywhere in the universe of programmable game consoles that doesn't have Baseball on it? I guess I'll find out sooner or later.
Another "green"-ish game. The controls are similar to other Baseball games. The outfielders are moved with the joystick, though you can't move them after the ball is pitched. They're spaced a little oddly, so there's usually a gap in right field that the computer player manages to hit to more oft
Blackjack, APF, 1978
Blackjack. Again. I'm really sorry, all of you must be really tired of hearing me bitch about the fact that this game shows up on nearly all the systems. So, let's just get it over with, shall we?
Okay, the only thing you must know is that you can choose the number of decks up to four that the dealer draws from, which is cool. The graphics are ugly. The suits are green and black.
EDIT: Let this serve as an
Bowling / Micro-Matchup, APF, 1978
Bowling didn't suck. It's good for very young children or really smart dogs. This beats the RCA Studio II's built-in game of Bowling, in that APF's is a) In Color and b) actually has the ability to perform the complicated math calculations involved in spares and strikes.
(Yes, I'm still taking cheap shots at the RCA Studio II. It's part of the healing process.)
To Bowl, one must hit the fire button when the ball