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Bally Astrocade


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#1 Dr. Van Thorp OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 6, 2004 4:12 PM

http://www.alteeve.c...nce/System.html

Does anyone else remember this game system? I played with the deisplay model in a Montgomery Ward store once. It wasn't a bad system, and the controlers were some of the best available at the time. Aparently, there was a users group for people that wrote programs using the Bally Basic cartridge.

#2 christianscott27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 6, 2004 4:18 PM

sure, i've got one and most of them games. its a real shoulda woulda coulda beat atari system, it had the power and a great gaming name behind it. the games are ho-hum but one can only imagine what it could have done if fully exploited like the VCS was. oddly it was that programable feature that hurt it, people made their own games. or maybe it was just a quirk of retail positioning, if that had been sears instead montgomery wards we might be on astrocade age ;) oh, if you can find that elusive white ward's astrocade its extra rare.

#3 Vic George 2K3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 6, 2004 5:08 PM

Only have seen a TV commercial for the Astrocade system and some games being sold for it at an old video store, but never had any hands-on experience with one. I think the major thing that hurt the system was its relative obscurity in comparison to the Atari, Intellivision, and Odyssey 2 systems.

#4 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 6, 2004 5:12 PM

I forget where I had seen one. I think I saw it in Montgomery Ward too.

By that point, I already had an Atari 2600. But the Astrocade seemed above Intellivision quality. I remember playing the Pac Man and Galaxian clones while my family shopped.

I had kinda wanted one as a kid. If a working one dropped in my lap, I wouldn't complain. Otherwise, its just one of those things that I can deal with playing in emulation.

#5 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 6, 2004 7:00 PM

its a real shoulda woulda coulda beat atari system, it had the power and a great gaming name behind it. the games are ho-hum but one can only imagine what it could have done if fully exploited like the VCS was. oddly it was that programable feature that hurt it, people made their own games.


The thing is/was a serious programmable computer with a full TinyBasic cartridge! Too bad that it was likely to overheat and fail. Many were returned due to overheating. Thus the warning: DO NOT OPERATE ON A CARPET!

Now if it were made better .. and featured a full membrane keyboard like the Odyssey 2 .. there would have been no limit! We would be using Bally compatible computers .. and Microsoft would be subservient to Bally!

Now with all games .. some are poor .. and others are amazing: Gunfight; 1-4 person Checkmate (Atari Surround); Incredible Wizard (Widard of Wor); and Dogpatch are my favorites. Only Dogpatch is lacking for the Atari 2600! (Hear me Manuel?)

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#6 Cootster OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 6, 2004 7:12 PM

Well, a Wizard of Wor that doesn't flicker like a Gothic candle on a dark and stormy night would be nice, too. I'll never understand any of the love the AWFUL 2600 version gets . . .

Dogpatch was a airplane shooter, right?

#7 Ralph3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 7, 2004 12:30 AM

Does anyone else remember this game system? I played with the deisplay model in a Montgomery Ward store once.

I have played it at MG along with the 2600 display and later the 5200 (which we bought). I traded for one abut 3 years ago and I have about 15 games for it. Like it was mentioned earlier, some poor games and some great games. There is still some poor games being made today (COUGH! X-Box Shrek! COUGH!)

#8 Cootster OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 7, 2004 1:39 AM

There's a Shrek game for the Astrocade? :)

#9 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 7, 2004 9:33 AM

Dogpatch was a airplane shooter, right?


Dog Patch is about shooting a can in the air with shotguns!

Dogpatch USA was the name of a fictious town where the hillbillies of comic strip, Li'l Abner, lived.

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#10 glitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 8, 2004 12:16 PM

I think the main downfall of the Bally was the poor marketing. It never had anywhere near the distribution channel it needed to survive. IMHO at the time it was released Bally was used to selling arcade & pinball machines which didn't require a lot of public advertisement. Basically it's a small sales force selling to a small user base. They also weren't ready for the service & support issues that a home system generates. The Bally did have a fairly active "underground" following though. There were the usual usergroups and two news letters that were published monthly (Arcadian & Cursor [later Basic Express]). Expansion hardware was developed for it to be more "computeresque". I have the Blue Ram which was a memory expansion and allowed use of a real keyboard instead of the calculator touch pad for program entry. The Bally scene is still fairly active over on Yahoo (BallyAlley group) and at www.ballyalley.com. Currently they are finishing up the creation of an Astrocade II that is done using FPGA code running on a Burched or s3 board. The ballyalley website is a great place to get info on the Bally. The usergroup is fairly hardcore (technically that is) and most of their discussions are beyond what a normal collector would be interested in but still very very friendly.

#11 Carl Mueller Jr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:13 PM

I think the main downfall of the Bally was the poor marketing. It never had anywhere near the distribution channel it needed to survive. IMHO at the time it was released Bally was used to selling arcade & pinball machines which didn't require a lot of public advertisement. Basically it's a small sales force selling to a small user base. They also weren't ready for the service & support issues that a home system generates. The Bally did have a fairly active "underground" following though. There were the usual usergroups and two news letters that were published monthly (Arcadian & Cursor [later Basic Express]). Expansion hardware was developed for it to be more "computeresque". I have the Blue Ram which was a memory expansion and allowed use of a real keyboard instead of the calculator touch pad for program entry. The Bally scene is still fairly active over on Yahoo (BallyAlley group) and at www.ballyalley.com. Currently they are finishing up the creation of an Astrocade II that is done using FPGA code running on a Burched or s3 board. The ballyalley website is a great place to get info on the Bally. The usergroup is fairly hardcore (technically that is) and most of their discussions are beyond what a normal collector would be interested in but still very very friendly.

Bally Astrocade II? What?
 
Is this for real and what happened to it? That would be the most awesome thing ever, provided it could use the original controllers.





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