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Amiga Joyboard Shipped in August of 1983

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The text below is from the July 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter (page 53).


The Joyboard, a "stand-on" controller for the Atari 2600, will be available within the next 4 to 6 weeks. Packaged with it will be MOGUL MANIAC, a skiing cartridge which "puts you on the ski slopes". Planned to retail at $49.95, the unit plugs into your game console. A joystick port has been provided on the joystick itself in case you wish to play any of your existing games with the joyboard. (It does provide an interesting variation to such games as CENTIPEDE.) Planned shortly after the introduction of the Joyboard is the release of OFF YOUR ROCKER, which is a combination of Twister and Simon.

The review below is from the September 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter (page 84).

THE JOYBOARD & MOGUL MANIA (** 1/2 / *** 1/2) must be reviewed together because they're packaged together and designed for use with each other. The Joyboard is the first controller for feet and body rather than hands—you stand on it and rock in any of eight directions. Probably the ultimate application of "body English," this allows the player to get thoroughly involved in a game, both physically and mentally. MOGUL MANIA allows the player to become a downhill racer on any of 9 different ski trails, from Bunny Hill to Taos. While the graphics are pretty sparse and simple, play action is a delight in this game. The timed race doesn't begin until you've stepped onto the Joyboard and leaned forward to ski through the starting gate. Then you take off through the field of white, doing your best to ski between the open gates and around the staggered poles that form the closed gates. If you stray from the course, you'll find yourself skiing through pine trees. The game can be set so that leaning left will cause the screen image to move to the right (as in real skiing), or you can choose joystick mode, in which leaning left will move the screen image to the left. Those who already know how to ski will prefer the former, but the joystick mode will be easier for non-skiers. Other options include the presence or absence of moguls (small bumps all over the course) and disqualification or 5-second penalties for missing a gate.

Fun-Filled Game

We had a great time trying out all the ski runs at various speeds both with and without moguls. Despite the simplicity of the graphics, we found MOGUL MANIAC a fun-filled, involving game to play. We also tried it with a standard joystick, which was not nearly so much fun as using the Joyboard. The physical involvement afforded by this unique controller adds a whole new dimension to video game enjoyment, and Amiga is to be congratulated for coming up with a genuinely new idea. Fortunately, more games are planned to take advantage of the Joyboard's special qualities. In the meantime, most gamers will want to try the Joyboard on some of the games in their libraries. Since many games require a firing button, there is a place to plug a standard joystick into the Joyboard. We tried this arrangement on a few slide-and-shoot invasion games such as Imagic's Demon Attack—they were like brand-new games! Driving games such as Activision's Enduro and Atari's Pole Position were a lot of fun, too. The Activision Decathlon is quite an experience with the Joyboard, especially for anyone wanting the benefits of aerobic exercise. Instead of pumping a joystick back and forth to build up the Decathlon athlete's speed, you must rock your body back and forth to achieve results on the screen. (The 1500-Meter Run is a real killer with the Joyboard!) Not everything works, though. When we played Atari's Ms. Pac-Man with the Joyboard, the lady muncher had a tendency to move right through the walls of the maze! A word of warning: it takes practice before your eye-body coordination can earn the same level of scoring you usually achieve with eye-hand coordination! Do place the Joyboard on a hard surface; response tends to be sluggish on carpeted surfaces. (Additional versions of the Joyboard designed for compatibility with Atari home computers and ColecoVision are coming soon.)
Recommended. (MSR $49.95)



The availability update in that same September 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter said that the Joyboard was shipped in August of 1983. Somebody might want to update the retail availability on the Joyboard Wikipedia page from 1982 to 1983:



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