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Brain Quiz for Arcadia 2001 High Score Club: Season 1, Round 6

Arcadia 2001 High Score Club Maxit Mastermind Mindbreaker Hangman

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#1 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 1:21 PM

Season 1, Round 6 of the Arcadia  2001/MPT-03 High Score Club will last about two weeks.  This round ends on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 10pm MST (aka Monday, 2am GMT).  The game being played this round is Brain Quiz, a game released in 1982 for the Emerson Arcadia 2001.  Brain Quiz contains three educational/math-type games: Mindbreaker (Mastermind), Maxit (pretty fun!), and Hangman.

 

The artwork for Brain Quiz is bizarre.  Can anyone explain to me why there is a skeleton in the artwork for this game?  With all their oddities, sometimes I feel like Arcadia games were created in another universe!

 

Here are screenshots of the three Brain Quiz games being played on an NTSC Emerson Arcadia console:

 

Mindbreaker:

Brain_Quiz_Arcadia_2001_01_Mindbreaker (Cropped).jpg

 

Maxit:

Brain_Quiz_Arcadia_2001_03_Maxit (Cropped).jpg

 

Hangman:

Brain_Quiz_Arcadia_2001_09_Hangman_06 (Cropped).jpg

 

There are no videos of Brain Quiz that give example game play of all three of the games.  If you're curious, you can see a couple of videos on YouTube, but they're very short, and the games aren't being played properly (so I'm not going to provide links to the videos).

 

Here is the box for Brain Quiz:

 

Brain_Quiz_Emerson_Arcadia_2001_Box_Scan_01-Front_Cropped.jpg

 

Here is the cartridge for Brain Quiz:

 

Brain_Quiz_Emerson_Arcadia_2001_Cart_Scan_01_-_Front_Cropped.jpg

 

Here are the three overlays for Brain Quiz:

 

Brain_Quiz_Emerson_Arcadia_2001_Three_Overlays.jpg

 

Brain Quiz - Quick-Play Rules

 

Play Brain Quiz on real hardware (PAL, NTSC, and any Arcadia family systems) or use the WinArcadia or MAME emulator.  Brain Quiz has no gameplay options.  This round is unusual in that we're not playing for high scores.  If you play the two one-player games then you'll earn six points.  To earn additional points, see the scoring section below for details.

 

Visit the Emerson Arcadia 2001 Central website for cartridge images and Arcadia emulators:

 

https://amigan.yatho.com/

 

Here is a direct link to the Arcadia 2001 ROM images ("BrainQuiz.bin" is the filename for Brain Quiz):

 

https://amigan.yatho.com/games.rar

 

Post pictures of your high scores here.

 

Brain Quiz - General Overview

 

I'm using Ward Shrake's "Director's Cut" of his Arcadia 2001 section of the Digital Press Collector's Guide 7 (published in August 2002) for most of the information that is in this section.

 

Outside of America, Brain Quiz is also known as Intelligenz-Übung, Math/Logic, and Mathematiques Logiques.  Here is information about the Emerson release of this game:

 

Brain Quiz           Emerson

4k cart. 1982. #1012 (6). One or two players. Short case. Three games in one; some of them may be ports of games from the Interton VC-4000 console (the Arcadia's "prequel"). Games include: Mindbreaker, Maxit and Hangman.

 

High quality scans of Brain Quiz box, manual, and cartridge are here:

 

https://archive.org/...1ScansandManual

 

Here is the manual's cover:

 

Brain_Quiz_Emerson_Arcadia_2001_Manual_01_-_Front_Cover_Cropped.jpg

 

For complete information about this game, visit the above link.  I've included the important points from the manual here:

 

Brain Quiz

Video Game Instructions for Emerson Arcadia 2001

Cartridge No. 6, Part No. 1012

 

General

 

There are three games: Mindbreaker, Maxit, and Hangman.

 

Object of the Games

 

1. Mindbreaker (Master Mind) - One player (against computer), to guess 5 numbers inserted by computer. Two players, to guess 5 numbers which were inserted by opponent player

 

2. Maxit - One player (against computer) to get higher numbers and final score than the computer.

Two players to get higher numbers and final score than the opponent player.

 

3. Hangman - Two player game only. To guess the letters entered by opponent player.

 

To Begin Play

 

Press "SELECT" Switch until desired game display appears:

 

A = MINDBREAKER

B = MAXIT

C = HANGMAN

 

How To Play Mindbreaker (No Overlay Required)

 

A. To Play Against Computer (1 Player)

  1. Use the Left Hand Controller with 'Disc' towards yourself.
  2. Press "START" to begin the game.
  3. Select 5 digit number by depressing the numbers on the keyboard.
  4. The number of digits you guessed in right position will be displayed under "+".
  5. The number of right digits will be displayed under "S".
  6. Follow these hints and you can have maximum 19 chances to guess. After 19 tries computer will display the right number.

B. 2 Player Version

  1. Depress "OPTION" Switch for "2 player"
  2. Press "START" to begin the game
  3. Always use Right Hand Controller to insert number and use Left Hand Controller to guess the number
  4. Player 1 enters five desired digit numbers and then press "ENTER" key.
  5. Player 2 follows Instruction A3-6 to play
  6. Press "CLEAR" key to correct wrong digit inserted if necessary

Maxit

  1. Press "SELECT" button for "MAXIT" game.
  2. Press "OPTION" button to select level of difficulty and/or number of players. No. 1 - Junior, No. 2 - Intermediate, No. 3 - Advance, No. 4 - 2 Player
  3. Insert the MAXIT overlay(s) provided with this cartridge (see fig. 1) into the respective left and/or right Hand Controller. For one player version, use the left Hand Controller only. The number selector can be moved horizontally only.
  4. For two players version, the right-player can move the number selector vertically, the left-player horizontally.
  5. Pick up the highest number alternatively.
  6. The numbers you picked up will be accumulated and will be your score. Red numbers are negative, decrease the score. Black number are positive, increase the score.
  7. To move the Number Selector, press the respective Vertical or Horizontal arrows until the desired number is selected.
  8. Press "ENTER" on the overlay. The number will disappear and enter to your score.
  9. Game will end when all numbers have been picked up. The highest score wins.

Hangman (2 Player Game)

  1. Press "SELECT" button for Hangman game.
  2. Press "START" to begin the game. Insert "HANGMAN" overlays (provided with the cartridge) to cover the original overlays.
  3. One of the players uses the Right Hand Controller to insert the word (maximum up to 14 letters) by pressing the vertical or horizontal arrows on the overlay. Enter each letter by pressing the "ENTER" button. Press "RUBOUT" Key to correct wrong letters if necessary. Enter the whole word by pressing the "ENTER WORD" button.
  4. The opposing player uses the Left Hand Controller to guess the word. To start, press any button on the key board. Procedure same as step (3) above.
  5. Each game allows 10 guesses only. After 10 wrong guesses a man will be hung.
  6. Players take turns. The first player who gets 99 points wins.

Brain Quiz Gameplay Options

 

Brain Quiz has a few gameplay options, but we're just playing the game on default settings.  If you're playing for bonus points, then you will need to change some default settings.

 

Brain Quiz (Scoring)

Normally we play for highest score, but that won't work for this game.  Therefore, this is a participation round.  Three points each are scored for playing Mindbreaker and Maxit (six points total for both games).  Hangman is a two-player only game.  Four points will awarded to anyone who plays Hangman against another player.  "Playing" Hangman alone is worth only two points.  I'm not sure that this is a perfect way to award points for this round, but it seems fair.

 

Brain Quiz (Bonus Points):

There are quite a few ways to earn bonus points this round:

 

Brain Quiz - Video Play - (1 Point) - I didn't find any proper reviews of this game.  I'd really like to see some quality video of all three games being played on actual hardware.  Anyone who makes a video of all three games being played (on real hardware or under emulation) will earn one point.

 

Brain Quiz - Video Review - (2 Points) - I didn't find any reviews of this game.  I'd really like to see some quality video of all three games being played on actual hardware.  Anyone who reviews Brain Quiz and its included three games will earn two points.  Note that a video review has the extra point built-in that would otherwise be awarded for a gameplay video.

 

Brain Quiz - Documenting Bugs - (1 Point) - As we've been discovering for ourselves, Arcadia games can be flaky.  If anyone finds any problems, and documents them, then they will earn one bonus point.  Just in case there are dozens of bugs, you can only earn one bonus point no matter how matter bugs are found.

 

Brain Quiz - Backstory - (1 Point) - Brain Quiz doesn't provide a backstory.  I guess one isn't needed for this game, but it might be fun to write one anyway.  Write a background that may have been included with the game in 1982 and you'll get a bonus point.

 

Brain Quiz - Mindbreaker - (1 Point) - The player who wins a one-player game with the least amount of moves gets a bonus point.

 

Brain Quiz - Maxit - (1 Point) - The player who earns the highest score on a one-player game set to difficulty 3 (advanced) gets a bonus point.

 

Summary

 

I had never played any of these games before, but I tried each of them out before this round began so that I could figure-out a scoring system.  None of these games requires the joystick; they all are controlled via the keypad.  That might make playing these games under emulation awkward.

 

I played Mindbreaker and beat it in 17 moves.  The game told me "You're too slow," meaning "Hey, man, you're a terrible player!"  I appreciate comments like this.  I had no idea what to expect from Maxit.  It turns out that it's a rather fun game; I would really like to try this with another player.  I could see this one being competitive.  Finally, I tried Hangman and entered the word "ARCADIA" and then deliberately lost.  I was quite amused by the final drawing of the little hanged man.

 

As always, as you play Brain Quiz only games played during this round count.  Please post pictures of your games and scores as the round progresses.  Not only does this help you not forget to play the game, but it gives other player's a challenge to try to beat your score.

 

If you've not played in a round before now, then now's the time to join in!  Have a fun sixth round, everyone!

 

Adam

 



#2 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 2:15 PM

I think the skeleton has something to do with Hangman, it looks like it has a rope around it or something.  



#3 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 2:38 PM

I think the skeleton has something to do with Hangman, it looks like it has a rope around it or something.  

 

You're right; I didn't even catch that reference to Hangman.  Thinking about it now, it seems obvious.  Maybe in Brain Quiz 2: Back from the Dead, we'll be able to play as a brain-craving skeleton/ghost/zombie.

 

Adam



#4 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 5:12 PM

I've been playing Mindbreaker for a few games.  I've managed to beat the game in 8 moves, which seems pretty good-- maybe I can get a bonus point.  Can anyone beat me?

 

Brain Quiz - Mindbreaker (Arcadia 2001)(8 Move Win).jpg

 

I'm having an unexpected good time playing this Brain Quiz cartridge.

 

Adam



#5 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 5:15 PM

Ive heard of those games but never played them. This should be interesting.

#6 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 6:18 PM

Ive heard of those games but never played them. This should be interesting.

 

Matt, I hope that you find this round even half as interesting as I've found it so far.  I just played several rounds of Maxit against the computer on the hardest level (advanced).  I'm hoping to earn a bonus point doing this, but it's not nearly as easy going as I expected it to be.  There is a cool wrinkle to Maxit that I wasn't aware of when I first started playing this game earlier today.  I thought that Maxit was played until all of the numbers were gone, but a game can also end if you have no moves left.  The computer seems to try to get the higher score and then force you into moves that will end your game.  Stupid, evil computer!

 

My highest score so far is 51 points, but I still lost the game:

 

BallyAlley 51 points / Computer 69 points

 

Brain Quiz - Maxit (Arcadia 2001)(51-69).jpg

 

Here is the only advanced game where I'm managed to clear the board (and, yes, I still lost-- but at least the game ended with close scores):

 

BallyAlley 43 points / Computer 47 points

 

Brain Quiz - Maxit (Arcadia 2001)(43-47 - Cleared Board).jpg

 

I haven't beat the computer yet: it plays very good.  I'd say that it's rather clever (or, more likely, I'm not clever!).  Give this game a try, everybody.  It might take a little while to get used to how the game is played, but once you do, I'm sure you'll like it.

 

I'm going to have to find a Windows version of this Maxit game, as it's simply addictive.

 

Adam



#7 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 6:52 PM

Hangman was pretty poor, but Maxit and Mindbreaker were pretty nifty.  Almost beat the computer, but I forgot the game ends when you can't make a move.  Damn AI is hard!  Hangman went back to the enter word screen before I got the picture off, but I was playing two players with my wife (the word was Badge and I did guess it).

 

brain1.JPG

brain2.JPG

brain3.JPG



#8 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 2:16 PM

I made a pdf file with all four of the Brain Quiz overlays on one page.  Here is a cropped version of the page:

 

Brain Quiz (Printable Overlays)(Cropped).jpg

 

Here is the pdf version of the four overlays laid out on one page:

 

Attached File  Brain Quiz (Printable Overlays).pdf   427.15KB   11 downloads

 

When you print the overlays, make sure to turn "page scaling off" in Acrobat (else the overlays will be too small).  You'll have a much better time playing the games in Brain Quiz with these overlays.  Just cut them out to fit on your Emerson Arcadia 2001 console's keypad.  The final size of the overlays are:

Width - 2.25
Height - 2.90625

These overlays work great.  The games are playable without the overlays, but using them makes the game much easier.

Adam



#9 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 12:00 PM

I played Brain Quiz last night with my friend Chris.  We played a two player game of Maxit.  Man, that game is fun.  We managed to clear the board, which I didn't expect to happen.  His score was far behind mine (my score was in the 70s, his score was in the 30s), but as the game progressed I had to keep picking up negative numbers.  By the last tile left on the screen, we were tied 47-47.  With the one tile left, Chris picked up a -4 and I won the game 47-43.  That's about as close as a game can get.  I really am shocked at how fun Maxit is to play.

 

We also played a couple of two-player games of Hangman.  I picked the word Astrocade.  Chris managed to guess it without much trouble.  He choose the word VideoBrain.  I managed to get that one too.  I didn't take any pictures, as the end of Hangman is only on the screen for a few seconds.

 

Adam



#10 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 2:10 PM

We also played a couple of two-player games of Hangman.  I picked the word Astrocade.  Chris managed to guess it without much trouble.  He choose the word VideoBrain.  I managed to get that one too.  I didn't take any pictures, as the end of Hangman is only on the screen for a few seconds.

 

Adam

 

I think I want to talk to your friend. :)

 

http://www.atariprot.../videobrain.htm



#11 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:56 PM

 

I think I want to talk to your friend [about the VideoBrain].

 

Chris was trying (successfully) to name an obscure videogame/computer system when we played Hangman.  You'd have better luck asking me questions about the VideoBrain.

 

I wrote an "article" called The Videobrain in the August 1994 issue of my paper newsletter Orphaned Computers & Game Systems (OC&GS).  You can read the html version of the article here:

http://www.orphanedg...ideobrain).html

In the following, December 1994, issue, Michael Palisano wrote an article called The Videobrain, which you can read here:

http://www.orphanedg...ideoBrain).html

My OC&GS website has a Videobrain sub-site called "The VideoBrain Family Computer" here:

http://www.orphanedg...brain/index.htm

My Videobrain site has F8 CPU books, manuals and magazine articles, F8 and VideoBrain programming (and source code), links (including a link to your page, Matt), magazine articles, programming books/manuals, VideoBrain manuals and VideoBrain Software.

The Channel F and Videobrain share the same F8 CPU.  There is a Yahoo group dedicated to both systems here:

https://groups.yahoo...videobrain/info

There is only one non-scanned VideoBrain manual.  Matt, I'm guessing that you don't have the manual for the APL/S cartridge, right?

 

Adam
 



#12 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:48 PM

Nope, APL/S is the only cart that I'm missing. 

 

http://www.atariprot.../videobrain.htm



#13 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:44 PM

I'm trying to figure out the original source for the game Arcadia game Maxit on the Brain Quiz cartridge.  I created a separate post about it.  The thread I started includes a short video that includes game play:

 

http://atariage.com/...quiz-cartridge/

 

If you happen to know where this game may have appeared first, or even later, then I'd love to try out some of these other versions.  I presume that current versions of Maxit appear on current platforms like Windows, Macintosh and Linux, but likely under other names.  I'd enjoy giving a go to some a modern version of this game.

 

Adam



#14 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:08 PM

I wrote a backstory for Brain Quiz and then quickly posted it to "Help Identify Source of "Maxit" on Arcadia 2001 "Brain Quiz" Cartridge.  That's the wrong thread, I meant to post it here.  So, if you've read this already, then I'm sorry for the double-posting of this story.

 

This Brain Quiz backstory is probably far more than I needed to write, but it's always fun to noodle around creating something new.

 

Brain Quiz For Emerson Arcadia 2001 - Background Story
By Adam Trionfo
December 17, 2017

Everything changed when the artificial intelligent "players" were allowed to participate in the Brain Quiz Games, the worldwide competition that draws some of the smartest people together to compete in three simple, yet elegant, games: Mindbreaker, Maxit and Hangman.  Of course, there were millions of players around the world who still played Chess and Go.  Those two games would always have their devotees whose players didn't participate in the Brain Games.  It was no surprise that they actively looked down upon the "easy" games that were played by "simpletons."  Where was the challenge in these three games, they wondered.

The truth of the matter is that it isn't the three games that are played by the players, but the opponents who play them.  No longer are the games only human versus human.  Now it is human versus... machine.  First the computers had come, then the robots and now the Intelligent Mobiles compete in the Brain Games.  At first, they did not so much compete, but dominate the Games.  When they played, there were no mistakes, no misjudgments, no problems: they played perfectly.

Human players began to fall away from the Games when the competition was gone.  It wasn't just that there was no point of playing when there was no chance to win.  How can one play a game against an unthinking automation made up of circuits, be they man-made materials or based upon nature's own biology (but changed and mutated to follow Man's design)?  It was when these "Engines of the Brain Games" (as they came to be called) pulled down ratings, viewers and then money had began to be lost, that the Brain Games rules of competition had to be changed.

The Intelligent Mobiles, which competed for the first time last year, could lose.  It wasn't that these machines were less "intelligent" (a word choice always misapplied to the Engines), but rather that they played like a human player.  They no longer played perfect games by looking ahead and playing-out every possible move and choice of a game's selections.  No, they played like a person played: imperfectly and with emotion.  The simulation of the Mobiles was so convincing that they could be riled-up to make a bad move or even a set of poor choices based on "anger."

Now that the playing field seemed more evenly matched, you decided that this would be your first year to play in the Brain Quiz games.  As all children do, you grew up playing these three games, first with your parents and Robo-Nursemaids.  You moved on to the street and eventually found yourself participating in not-quite-illegal back alley competitions.  As you worked your way up, you found that your fame spread and shady backers moved in, fronting money and rewards for players who jockeyed to win in local area competitions.

Now you're here.  Today is the second day of the Games.  Yesterday you played against human players and you bested them all.  Your games were quick; you easily moved in for the victories: there were no close games.  You looked into the eyes of every opponent and sized them up to easily base a strategy on how to best beat them.

Today your first opponent is an Intelligent Mobile.  This is a biological model.  It was built to look and act human.  Before today, you only ever played against "borrowed" tin-can Mobiles, whose "eyes" were steely and frosty; there was nothing readable in them.  The bio Mobile across from you is different.  Its eyes seem to show emotion and when you shift in your seat, you give something away, some small detail that the Mobile detects.  This, you now know, is the weakness you were looking for: these bio units are readable.

You look down at the Maxit board covered with its 100 positive and negative numbers and make your first move.  The Mobile follows, seeming to take its time.  A few plays pass between you both.  You look into the Mobile's eyes and recognize... thinking.  You take a positive number from the board.  The game continues while the audience cheers, boos and shrieks.  The eyes of the world are on you.

This year, you're certain that you'll beat the Machines.  You're going to come away from the competition the winner.  But in the end, that clear, thinking-look of the Intelligent Mobile across from you makes you understand that humanity has placed itself in mortal danger.  One day, the Mobiles are going to look beyond the Games toward... something worth much more to everyone.  But, for now, there is nothing to do but play the three master-level Brain Quiz games: Mindbreaker, Maxit and Hangman.  It's your move, Player.

 

 

(Anyone else up for making a background story?  I'd love to read someone else's cool ideas.)

 

Adam



#15 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:26 PM

I would, but Im not a writer. Im more of a researcher.

#16 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:42 PM

Only a few people played Brain Quiz in round 6.  I'll try to post the final scores in the next few days.  In the meantime, if you'd like to start playing catch-up games in the next round, then see the details here:

 

http://atariage.com/...ason-1-round-7/

 

I may revisit some of these six earlier games myself.

 

Adam



#17 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:42 PM

Season 1, Round 6 of the Arcadia 2001/MPT-03 High Score Club ended on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 10pm MST.  Three people played Brain Quiz in this round.  I expected this game to be boring; instead I was very pleased to discover that Brain Quiz is a hidden gem in the Arcadia's small game library.
 
Brain Quiz Scores (Final Table)
 
This was a participation round because these games don't use scoring systems that we could use to compete against one another.  James pointed out a cosmetic bug (the cursor isn't centered properly over the numbers/letters in Maxit and Hangman).  I don't consider this a bug because it seems intentional to me... but given the nature of the round, I still awarded James a point for being the only person to point it out.

 
Ballyalley     3 + 3 + 4 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 0 = 12 Points !@-$---*(-
James Jacobs   3 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 12 Points !@#-%-&-()
Tempest        3 + 3 + 4 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 10 Points !@-$------

Main Points for playing the games:
 
! - Mindbreaker - 3 Points
@ - Maxit       - 3 Points
# - Hangman     - 2 Points (One-player game)
$ - Hangman     - 4 Points (Two-player game)
 
Bonus Points
 
% - Brain Quiz  - Video Play       - (1 Point)
^ - Brain Quiz  - Video Review     - (2 Points) - No points awarded
& - Brain Quiz  - Documenting Bugs - (1 Point)
* - Brain Quiz  - Backstory        - (1 Point)
( - Brain Quiz  - Mindbreaker      - (1 Point) - Tie (8 Moves)
) - Brain Quiz  - Maxit            - (1 Point) - Highest winning score
 
This round's overall winners are Ballyalley and James.   Please check your final score. ;-)
 
Just like with Space Raiders, I wanted to do a video review of Brain Quiz, but I couldn't get my camera to focus properly on the screen because of the black background.
 
Final Thoughts on Brain Quiz
 
I had no idea that any part of Brain Quiz would be fun.  Despite going into this round with a preconceived notion that I wouldn't find any enjoyment in this game, I found Maxit fun.  In the last few weeks, I even explored Maxit on a couple of other platforms (Commodore 64 and Windows 3.1).  It's rare that I play a video game that I have no previous experience with at all, but somehow Maxit has slipped under my radar since I began playing video games in the early 1980s.
 
Next Round's Game: Catch-Up Round
 
There is no game for Round 7 of Arcadia 2001/MPT-03 High Score Club.   This is a catch-up round for the six games we've played earlier in this season:
 
S1, R1: Cat Trax
S1, R2: Space Attack
S1, R3: Escape
S1, R4: Funky Fish
S1, R5: Space Raiders
S1, R6: Brain Quiz
 
You can join the catch-up round here:
 
http://atariage.com/...ason-1-round-7/
 
Thanks to the couple of other people who played in round 6!  Brain Quiz isn't a game for everyone, but it's worth a try if you like puzzle games.
 
Adam







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