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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From the Archives: Electronic Games

Cracked open a box, and found video tapes and old video game magazines.

The videos I'll watch later in bed, but here's a sample from the magazines:

Electronic Games (ISSN 0730-6687), published by Resse Publishing Company, Inc.

The issue: July 1982, Volume One, Number Five. Cover price: $2.95, full color throughout.

Here's the cover, which is why I picked it.
And the Table of Contents, with masthead.

Let's see... there's a two-page profile of Alan Miller, one of the original programmers of the Atari 2600, and a founding member of Activision. A four-page article discusses the early history of penny arcades and amusements.

"Strategy Session" discusses how to win at K. C. Munchkin (Odyssey), Adventure (Atari), and Match Racer (Gebelli Software). Old school gamers (such as myself) will remember that Atari/Namco sued Odyssey for copyright and trademark infringement, one of the first lawsuits involving videogames.

This is followed by the cover story, "The Coming of... TRON". Six pages of production stills, with the article discussing the movie and the various merchandise game tie-ins.

"Insert Coin Here" covers "Kickman" (Midway), "Space Duel" (Atari), Mouse Trap (Exidy), Zaxxon (Sega-Gremlin), Barracuda (Coinex), and Alpine Ski (Taito).

"The Player's Guide to Summer Sports Videogames offers eight pages of sports games.

"Games Library", reviews videogame guides, while "Arcade America" profiles the Westworld arcade located in Westwood Village, California. "Passport to Adventure" reviews "The Prisoner", based on the television show and designed for the Apple ][. "Mini-Arcade Gallery" profiles programmable stand-alone games. (The ancestors of today's PSP and GameBoy.) The best known games featured were Coleco's Total Control 4, which used cartridges containing the game screen, and Milton Bradley's Microvision.

Four pages then discuss displaying videogames on projection screens, such as the Sony KP-5000. "Programmable Parade" reviews Space Fortress (Astrovision), Trickshot (Imagic), Galactic Invasion (Astrovision), Boxing (Intellivision), and Haunted House (Atari). "Coin-Op Classroom" discusses Atari's Tempest. "Computer Playland" reviews Mousattack (On-Line), Crossfire (On-Line), Hockey (Gamma Software), Sammy the Sea-Serpent (PDI), David's Midgnight Magic (Broderbund), and Ceiling Zero (Turnkey Software).

"Stand Alone Scene" reviews Parker Brothers' Reflex, Coleco's Quiz Wiz Challenger, and Mattel's World Championship Baseball. Mattel's game is a pricey $65 (in 1982), but seems quite worthwhile, as it allows players to create a roster, and is housed in a chic case.

Here's the rankings presented on page 12.

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