ARCADE GAMES 1976 — May 6, 2015

ARCADE GAMES 1976

Unfortunately I was unable to try any of those games, but I did some research (reading, watching pictures and videos) and these are the best games released on Arcade Coin-Op Machines in 1976.

Breakout – developed and published by Atari.

Road Race (released also as Moto-Cross, Man T.T., Fonz) – developed and published by Sega. Is a racing video game that introduces pseudo-3D, forward scrolling and third-person graphics.

Death Race – released by Exidy. Is a controversial video game that got banned in many areas because of the violence! Based on film “Death Race 2000”.

Heavyweight Champ – released by Sega. Is the first video game to feature hand-to-hand fighting.

Night Driver – released by Atari. First person perspective racing game in the dark.

Speed Race Twin – released by Taito.

Please contact me, if you know how could I try any of these games (emulation, online) or if you know some games that should be listed here as the best or the most important games of that year! Email: predrulez@gmail.com

In my next post I will start with year 1977. See you in my next post!

GAMES: 1292 ADVANCED PROGRAMMABLE VIDEO SYSTEM — May 5, 2015

GAMES: 1292 ADVANCED PROGRAMMABLE VIDEO SYSTEM

This is the selection of best games released on the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System console between 1976-1977. To be honest, most of the games on this console are quite bad! But here are some games you may enjoy even today!

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Cartridge 22: Spider’s Web

Spider’s Web is a dark but fun Pac-Man-like game, but instead of you take control of a spider in the dark maze, where you hunt or get hunted by the other monsters! It is just one of a few games I really enjoyed on the system: fast paced action with nice atmosphere! A must cartridge to own for 1292 family consoles!

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Cartridge 25: Electronic Pinball

Must be honest, I am not a huge fan of pinball games, but for that time period of video games, Electronic Pinball is quite okay! It has some decent graphics for the time, has fast paced and fun gameplay. Recommended for pinball fans!

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Cartridge 27: Invaders

Invaders is another version of Space Invaders, and to be honest, not bad at all! It may have less sprites on the screen than some other versions but rows of the invaders are diagonal to compensate the gameplay and it came out quite okay. For sure you should at least give this game a chance, you may end up satisfied!

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Cartridge 31: Laser Attack

Laser Attack might not be the best game made, but it offers you some decent fun. In this game you take control of a group of super spaceships in the outer galaxy, flying on the hostile unnamed planet. There is a war going on and you must avoid the enemy fire and take down the laser cannons placed on the planet. Atmosphere in this game is one of the best for the whole system, gameplay is okay. Recommended for everybody!

1292 ADVANCED PROGRAMMABLE VIDEO SYSTEM (FAMILY) —

1292 ADVANCED PROGRAMMABLE VIDEO SYSTEM (FAMILY)

Radofin_1292_bigThe 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System is a home video games console released by Radofin (the exact release date is unavailable in the internet, but it is believed to be in December 1976). It is the first of 1292 family (followed by software-compatible consoles like: Interton VC-4000, Acetronic MPU-1000, Voltmace Database and others). There is a complete list of home consoles released in 1292 family and you can find it here: 1292 family

There is not much information about the release dates of the cartridges, but the total number of the games should be 59 (33 games for the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System between 1976-1977, 19 new games for the Interton VC-4000 after 1978 and 7 new games released on the other family consoles around 1980). You can find more information here: 1292 games

In my next post I will write about games (worth to play) released on 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System between 1976-1977. I will come back to other games when the time is chronologically right!

If any of the previous information is not correct, please send me an email: predrulez@gmail.com

See you in the next post!

GAMES: FAIRCHILD CHANNEL F — May 2, 2015

GAMES: FAIRCHILD CHANNEL F

This is the selection of best games released on the Fairchild Channel F console between 1976-1978. Following games may offer you some fun even today!

FairchiFairchildChannelFcart10ld Channel F Video Cart 10:
Maze, Cat and Mouse

This cartridge contains various versions of Maze (Jailbreak, Blind-man’s-bluff, Trailblazer) – mostly fun for two players as you control a mice trying to be the first to escape the labyrinth and some versions of Cat & Mouse (Paranoia, Double Paranoia) – can be enjoyed by single player as you control a mouse trying to escape the labyrinth and avoid being eaten by the cat (controlled by cpu). A must cartridge for a Channel F owner!

FairchiFairchildChannelFcart13ld Channel F Video Cart 13:
Robot War, Torpedo Alley

This cartridge contains two games: Robot War – a (single/two player) game where you take control of the robot hunted by other robots, your mission is to lead them into the electrified force fields to survive and Torpedo Alley – a (fun for two players) game where you have to blast away the invading ships by shooting them from the bottom of the sea with torpedos. Maybe its not a must but still fun retro cartridge to add to your collection.

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Sonar Search

This cartridge has just one game, but this one is fun – its Sonar Search! It might take more than one play to understand the game, but once you get it, you will like it. Your mission in this game is to find and blow up enemy’s ships by listening the sound of your sonar (sound navigator). You can play this game alone or with your friend, the fun will never end! Must have for the retro gamer!

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Dodge-It

Dodge-It might not be the most advanced game, the game has really basic sound and graphics and the gameplay is simple, but it has some magic in it. Your mission is to avoid balls (dots) thrown by cpu and see how long you can make it. From time to time another ball (dot) will be added to make your life a bit harder. Its also fun to play this game with your friend to see, who will last longer.

FAIRCHILD CHANNEL F — May 1, 2015

FAIRCHILD CHANNEL F

1280px-Fairchild-Channel-FThe Fairchild Channel F home video games console (launched as Video Entertainment System) was released by Fairchild Semiconductor in November 1976. The first of second generation was revolutionary in many ways. Most important to know, it was the first cartridge-based and also the first video games console to use a microprocessor! There is an interesting and detailed article about the birth of this console which I recommend to read for more information and that is why I am not going to rewrite it, you can easily access the article here: Fairchild

There is not much information available about the release dates of the cartridges, but it is known that the first 21 of them were released between 1976-1978 (by Fairchild) and last 5 around 1980 (after Zircon International had bought the rights to the console). There is also a homebrew Pac-Man-like game released on 2009 making the total number of known games to 27 (not including the built in games).

Around the year 1979 Zircon International bought the rights (as mentioned before) and released redesigned version of the console called: Channel F System II. Even though, Channel F was never really successful, mostly because of the Atari 2600 console released on the next year.

In my next post I will only write about Channel F games (worth to play) that were released between 1976-1978 (by Fairchild) and I will come back to the games released after 1980 (by Zircon) when the time is chronologically right.

It was really hard to find accurate information and if you find any of this information not correct, please let me know by sending me an email: predrulez@gmail.com

See you in my next post!

1976 — April 29, 2015

1976

1976So lets get this thing going!

By the time of 1976, video games pretty much meant Arcades – coin-operated entertainment machines. And even for the Arcades the best was still to come! The period of 1971-1977 was often called as the “Bronze and Silver age” and introduced popular games like: Galaxy (1971), Pong (1972), Astro Race (1973), Basketball (1974), Speed Race (1974) and Gun Fight (1975). First video game console (of the first generation video game consoles) was released on 1972: Magnavox Odyssey – a pong-style console, which was really really basic and did not yet feature microprocessor logic, cartridges, multi-screen playfields, sprite-based multi-color graphics! So it was more-less dots and blocks moving on a single black and white screen – very very basic! First generation video gaming saw a release of many similar and basic devices: Magnavox Odyssey Series (starting from 1975), TV Tennis by Epoch (1975), Home Pong by Atari (1975), TV Master by Binatone (1975), Coleco Telstar Series (starting from 1976) and Color TV-Game Series by Nintendo (a series of home consoles which were actually not yet released by 1976, they saw the light between 1977-1979). So lets get back into the year of 1976!

1976! The second generation of video games started in 1976 with the release of Fairchild Channel F and 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System home consoles. For the first time we got to see microprocessor-based game logic, game cartridges (allowing unlimited amount of more complex and different looking games for a console), single player games against the computer opponents, multiple flip-screen playfields, basic colors and simple blocky sprites. But it was just enough to make video gaming home devices attractive!

Most successful game developers on the Arcade market this year were Sega (Heavyweight Champ, Road Race/Moto-Cross/Man T.T.), Taito (Speed Race Twin) and Atari (Breakout, Night Driver). Exidy releases Death Race, which got banned in many areas because of the violence.

So much for the overview! In my next posts I will take a closer look to Fairchild Channel F and 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System (and its clones) home consoles. And I plan to finish the year 1976 with reviews of the best games on Arcade.