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Bally Astrocade Game Reviews


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As well as my own list of favorite cartridges (which I just uploaded in a separate posting), there was a column in the Arcadian newsletter that reviewed games too. "The Game Player" was a review column from the "Arcadian" newsletter that ran for twenty-one columns. It reviewed a total of thirty-nine games, only five of which were cartridges. The rest were all games that were sold on tape. The reviewed games are:



Tape Reviews (34)



1) Adventure - Astrogames

2) Astro Analyst- Educational Software Systems

3) Astro Terror - The Tiny Arcade

4) Candy Man - L&M Software

5) Castle of Horror - Wavemakers

6) Caterpillar - H.A.R.D. Software

7) Collision Course - Wavemakers

8 ) Defense Professional - Astrogames

9) Dungeons of Dracula - Wavemakers

10) Exitor's Revenge - L&M Software

11) Flying Ace - Wavemakers

12) Galactic Hitchhiker - H.A.R.D. Software

13) Gamma Wars - Tiny Arcade

14) Gate Escape, The - Wavemakers

15) L.T. - Wavemakers

16) Lost in Space - Edge Software

17) Memomax - Educational Software Systems

18) Metro Attack - Astrogames

19) Micro Pac - H.A.R.D. Software

20) Morse Code Trainer - Educational Softwear Designs

21) Music - George Moses Co.

22) Nam-Cap - New Image

23) Nautilus - L&M Software

24) Night Bombers - Astrogames

25) Omega Valley - The Tiny Arcade

26) Paper Chase, The - H.A.R.D. Software

27) Peter Piper - Astrogames

28) Road Toad - Esoterica, Ltd.

29) Secret of Pellucitar - L&M Software

30) Super Pac - Astrogames

31) Super Slope - Esoterica, Inc.

32) Tic Tac Tollah - H.A.R.D. Software

33) Vindicator - The Tiny Arcade

34) Wah's Revenge - Astrogames


Cartridge Reviews (5)



1) Cosmic Raiders - Astrocade

2) Ms. Candyman - L&M Software

3) Sea Devil - Bit Fiddlers

4) Sneaky Snake - New Image

5) Solar Conqueror - Astrocade



"The Game Player" column made its appearance in the last issue of volume 4 (number 12), October 1982 with this prelude:


The following is a new feature in the ARCADIAN, that hopefully will appear on a monthly basis. It is entitled: "The Game Player," authored by Michael Prosise of Greenbelt, Maryland. He will be reviewing for our readers a different game each month, by one on the many ASTROCADE software manufacturers, much in the manner that a movie reviewer reviews a movie.


The game reviews are varied and interesting. Of the thirty-nine total reviews, only five feature cartridge titles. The other reviews are for games or amusements released on cassette, NOT to be confused with 'type-in' programs distributed on tape. This much attention is paid to games released on tape because it was the best way to get new games in 1982 for a system whose library of cartridges never reached above several dozen actual releases.


Some of these reviews are overenthusiastic, most all of them are lenient on mediocre software, perhaps giving us a glimpse that sometimes Astrocade users were taking, and accepting, just about anything they could get their hands on.


Read these reviews with an eye for the history of the Astrocade computer/console, its software, and its user base. You'll find that the Astrocade lives up to its underground reputation: users supporting users. Through the trenches this system kept on marching, gaining software for users that would not let their systems cover with dust. These reviews document the struggle to hit upon the good that comes with the bad so that the waterways of software could keep on flowing.


I compiled all of these reviews into a text document called, "Astrocade Game Reviews Compilation: 'The Game Player,' By Michael Prosise." This document can be downloaded here:




If you read this though, be warned, you just might to be forced to figure-out how to play tape games on your Bally Astrocade console!



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