Jump to content
  • entries
    235
  • comments
    1,089
  • views
    434,771

About this blog

Every game. Chronologically.

Entries in this blog

Slot Racers, Atari VCS 1978

Just let me babble for a moment . . .   First point: Back "then", we just called it "the Atari", right? We left off the "VCS", because it was shorter, and before 1982 the "2600" portion of the title wasn't ever mentioned because there was no other Ataris from which to distinguish it. I've been calling it the "Atari VCS" because that's what it literally was, and to contrast it with its eventual title change into the "Atari 2600". I did the same thing with the Channel F/VES. No consumer in 1976

Guest

Guest

Space War, Atari VCS 1978

aka Space Combat (Sears)   Okay, there's a Space War on the Atari VCS, a Space War on the RCA Studio II and a Space War on the Fairchild Channel F (yes, it's now called the Channel F. Fairchild decided to change it from VES for some reason, probably having to do with similarities to the Atari VCS.)   Lots of Space War. Did ALL of these programmers go to a university with a PDP-1 with the $100,000 monitor and played Spacewar! on it? OR Did they just happen to know that this was a title that O

Guest

Guest

Basketball, Atari VCS

"Grandpa, why does your leg phase in and out of existence when you walk?"   "What? Oh, well, that's just my Blinky Leg."   Basketball, Atari VCS (1978)   The solution to the problem of animating a human figure has many approaches. (I'm not an animator so forgive me while I just talk off the top of my ass.) You could do it the Hard Way, which would be filming a person moving around and redrawing every frame exactly as it appears OR the Easy Way, which would be to just draw something that va

Guest

Guest

is it 1978 yet?

Breakout, Atari VCS, 1978   Okay, a chronogamer has to always be thinking about the relative future (though technically, we're always thinking about the past.) which is why I haven't been writing lately. Mostly I've been letting go of the past (goodbye Odyssey games! It was fun! Um, sometimes!) so that I can afford to play the games to come. Oh, I also bought a brickwall on ebay and I've been slamming my head against it for about two weeks. Wait, did I say brickwall? I meant a Sony PVM 2530 mo

Guest

Guest

I toured NCSoft today.

Do you have a gaming company that, once upon a time, you would've done anything to work for?   For me, that company was Origin Systems, Inc. The Ultima Series brought me into computer role playing games in a big way. Ultima IV was my gateway game. I spent from 1991 to 1999 upgrading my computers just so I could play the latest Origin releases.   Origin is no more, but the company was resurrected, in a way, when the Garriott brothers went to the computer MMORPG maker of the most successful on

Guest

Guest

The selling entry

Hey, FYI, apparently "redoubling my chronogaming efforts" must've meant "not writing about them anymore" because I haven't updated in a week, right?   No, no, no. In this case, I've needed to start "redoubling" my efforts to selling the stuff I've already moved past, namely anything pre-1977.   I've got three rules as far as keeping a happy marriage as it relates to my gaming obsession.   Rule #1 Never give an exact figure detailing how much time you've spent gaming during a recent period

Guest

Guest

1978 Protoview

1978 Protoview   Yes, I'm well aware that there were other things happening in the world of electronic entertainment during 1977-78. I'm only focusing on the Home Videogames for programmable systems. That should be more than enough to keep me busy for a good long time.   So, let's look at 1978. There are four (possibly five) active consoles in 1978:   Atari VCS Fairchild Channel F (formerly VES) Bally Professional Arcade The Magnavox Odyssey^2   I'm pretty certain the Bally console di

Guest

Guest

1977 Retroview

1977 in the Retroview Mirror   Okay, for a combination of lack of funds and lack of any sense of timing with eBay there were some home videogames that I missed in 1977. The only ones I vaguely care about are:   Stunt Cycle (a.k.a. Motocross) Video Pinball (a.k.a. Pinball Breakaway) Ultra PONG Doubles (a.k.a. PONG Sports IV)   EDIT: I completely forgot about Coleco Combat and Telstar Arcade. I still want to try those, too. END EDIT   I'm sure I'll

Guest

Guest

Street Racer a.k.a. Speedway II

Street Racer (a.k.a. Speedway II)   This is another type of game that I remember playing in the arcades. Steering wheel, gas pedal, green monochrome screen. It was fun in the arcade and I remember the rush I got weaving past the other cars with my foot pressed on the pedal as hard a possible. Thankfully, this hasn't translated into how I drive as an adult.   I think it's interesting that Sears called it Speedway II. They were probably naming it after a dedicated console which

Guest

Guest

Star Ship

Star Ship (a.k.a. Outer Space)   As I've often said, one of the greatest entertainment advantages of videogames is that they can let you and your friends engage in pretend deadly combat in the comfort of your living room, without having to deal with "fresh air", "sunshine" or even "running around".   The second greatest entertainment advantage is letting you pretend to fly around in space doing . . . well, whatever. You are able to play games that take place in space without having to worry

Guest

Guest

Basic Math and Blackjack

Basic Math   Okay, don't talk to me about basic math, see? It ain't a game, see? It ain't fun, see? It's math, man! It's not even "fun" math, like differential equations and shit. It's plussin' and minusin' and multiplyin' and dividin'. Phooey!   Blackjack   Oh, please, dear god, why? Why is it always Blackjack?   While the graphics for the Fairchild version of Blackjack are slightly more ambitious (remember the rounded, green dealer's table graphic?), Atari's Blackjack is superior in m

Guest

Guest

Air-Sea Battle + Little Girl

Air-Sea Battle (a.k.a. Target Fun)   My son and I have played this, but today, on the game's "write up" day, I asked my daughter if she wanted to play.   Yeah, that's a Genesis controller plugged into my Atari VCS. Yes, it's anachronistic, but then again, so is she.   She said yes! She was happy to engage in what her big guys "waste" so much time doing.   Air-Sea battle is a little bit like the Fairchild's Torpedo Alley in that you shoot stuff going across the screen using a "shooter"

Guest

Guest

the walls are closing in . . .

Surround (a.k.a. Chase)   After Combat, Surround was one of the original nine carts that I remember playing most fondly as a 12-13 year old. I remember getting the game cheaply (about $10) at JC Penny's on 69th street in Upper Darby, PA. (Most likely, just before, or maybe even during, the "crash", but here in 1977 we don't know anything about that, do we?)   The game variant that my friends and I seemed to laugh the most during was the one where you can turn off your "trail" and go faster a

Guest

Guest

Pong-a-rama-ding-dong

Video Olympics   EDIT: I wanted to mention that I'm actually PLAYING these games, as I go, now. I play most of a week's worth of blogging in one weekend. Yesterday, my son and I actually sat down and went through this cartridge. (We liked Volleyball and Basketball the best, by the way.) This is in contrast to before, where I had played most of the games back in June and writing about them based on notes I had taken back then. END EDIT   Okay, this is PONG to the nth degree. This Atari VCS ca

Guest

Guest

Indy 500

First, last entry's business.   According to an extremely scientific poll conducted in DP's forums, aprroximately 2 out of 7 people have not played Combat. (20 havn't, 49 have) There are significantly more people who haven't played Combat than I suspected. As such, they shall all be punished. Horribly. Since reaching them individually will be difficult to me, I shall punish them by continuing to send Hurricanes to Florida over the next five years. (Hmm, a game for the Atari 2600 called

Guest

Guest

Atari Video Computer System

October, 1977   (EDIT: Apparently the original shipping date was scheduled for October of 1977, but somewhere in the years since 2005, I seem to remember hearing it didn't actually ship until November. I don't recall the source and I'm too lazy to look but I thought I'd mention it.)   The Atari VCS is born!   The system that started a lifelong habit for most (edit: many) of us.   I can't say anything about this system that hasn't already been said. Serious

Guest

Guest

#14 Sonar Search, Fairchild '77 recap.

Videocart #14: Sonar Search   This is a "port" of the real world game "Battleship". You have a blank blue playing field. You move a targeting reticle over the deep blue sea and sound a "ping" at a strategically chosen location. The length of the ensuing sound gives you a clue to how close an enemy ship is. Your opponent does the same on the same blue field, but he only detects your ships. There's no "cheating" by listening to what your opponent hears because their pings are bouncing off of a d

Guest

Guest

#12 Baseball #13 Robot War -- Torpedo Alley

Videocart #12 - Baseball   Two player only, this one. I'm not complaining, I mean, in real life you need at least three, plus equipment. The age of videogames has at least cut it down to two.   We like this one a lot better than we liked our attempt to play Odyssey Baseball(1972) or RCA Studio II Baseball(1977). This "port" doesn't deal with player stats, batting zones or runner tokens. At this point in time, I think that's not a Bad Thing. It's in color and the sound isn't a

Guest

Guest

Videocart # 10 - Maze and Backgammon

#10 - Maze   This was fun, but would have been more fun with the directions. We weren't quite sure how to set up the mazes we wanted to play. Of course, now I know where the instructions can be found, but not having them made our selections a little random.   This is a maze cartridge that generates lots and lots of random mazes. Apparently this cart is "special" as it is one of the few carts with an extra chip in it (a 2102 SRAM, if you're curious) to help it handle all the work it does. (Th

Guest

Guest

#9 Drag Race

Drag Race!   I liked this, but it took my son a little time to get the hang of it. In fact, he never did, and he can kick my butt in Super Smash Bros. Melee back to the 21st century.   The unique Fairchild VES joystick becomes your gear shift. Up and left is gear 1, down and left gear 2, up and right gear 3, down and right gear 4. You twist it to rev the engine. There's a representation of a tachometer on the screen, on the screenshots it's a blue or red line between the green dots. You rev

Guest

Guest

#8 Mindreader and Nim

For those of you who don't know. Nim is a game where you start with a quantity of piles of items. You and your opponent take turns removing any number of items from any pile, including the whole pile. The idea is to be the one to take the last item left. In this port of the ancient game, the piles are represented by numbers in blue squares. The controller works well for this one, too. Move the joystick in a direction to choose the pile, twist the stick to add or subtract from the pile, push the

Guest

Guest

Space War, Math Quiz I + II

One of the problems I thought I would face when starting this project would be an inability to concentrate on and get past the games at hand, given that there are a lot of great modern games that I'm still hankering to play and complete. I do have days where I just want to sit down and play a Gamecube, Xbox or PS2 game and I enjoy them. But there are other days, like today, where I will stare at my shelves of Current Gen and just yearn to go churn through the chronology.   However, I'm in a ki

Guest

Guest

Spitfire - Fairchild VES

I'm going to resort to my old pal MESS for the screenshots again. Yeah, I actually have all of the Fairchild VES carts for 1977, but it's easier to just rip it from MESS.   How to describe Spitfire when the game to which it would be easiest to compare doesn't yet exist? (*cough*Combat*cough*)   Here's three pictures (worth 1000 words each).   Just before take off.   The Hunt   The Kill   Hmmm... actually "The Kill" looks closer to the beginning of a match than the picture "The

Guest

Guest

We pause for a PSA.

I want to define this act in an official-sounding-like way, in case it "catches on".   chro·no·game - v. to play a set of videogames in as close to the order of their release as the player can discern, using the resources available to them.   chro·no·gam·er - n. the nutjob who chronogames.   A set of videogames can be any set as one would like to define it. It could be the same game across multiple platforms. It could be all the games in a franchise. It could be all the games in one's coll

Guest

Guest

TV Schoolhouse II, Bingo and the end of a system.

Okay, since it's a "TV School House" sequel, one might expect the same sort of standardized testing format. One might, but one would be wrong. This is actually a Math test game, you can compete against yourself or another player. The drill is the same as the Math game built into the system. A problem is shown, you get points for answering it correctly, the quicker you answer, the more points you get. Up to 10 points can be awarded per problem if the answer is input within the first 1.5 seconds a

Guest

Guest

×
×
  • Create New...