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I review games... How original...

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Spacemaster X-7 (20th Century Fox)

I’m going to try something a bit different today, I’m going to try and compress an entire review into one paragraph, let’s go. Spacemaster X-7 is one of the more original games released by TCF, and as far as I can tell it isn’t tied in with any known license. The main objective of the game is to destroy the star base in the center of the screen, by shooting it a whole bunch; this is made more difficult with an expanding and contracting shield that has ever shifting entrances. It’s not smooth sai

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Sea Hawk (Froggo/Sancho)

RUN EVERYBODY!!! IT'S FROGGO!!! Here's another Froggo classic, which of course is stolen from the rotting coffin that contains the corpse of Sancho, It's Sea Hawk! And my god... It's glorious. I won't pretend for a second that this is a good game,it really isn't, but it's still not the worst game that Froggo put out there, we all know which game that is. In essence Sea Hawk is Defender, but worse, or depending on how you look at it, Star Fox, but better. Seriously this game has very little in th

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DoctorSpuds

 

I've created a monster!

I have created a monster… Perhaps it was the fumes from my previous review but recent circumstances would have led me to this sooner or later. Recently I killed my 2600 as well as one I had gotten that same day at a local game sale, a word for the wise, if you have a 6-switch 2600 DO NOT re-seat the chips it will murder the console. As a test to see if my hypothesis is correct I took a system that was at death’s door, somebody had spilled soda in it and it would only play Congo Bongo and Warploc

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DoctorSpuds

The RCA Studio II

The RCA Studio II

Man, I hate to do the cliché thing of calling the thing I’m reviewing ‘terrible’ right off the bat, but seriously, the RCA Studio II might just be the most woeful games console I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Just a warning, my Google-Fu is pretty weak for this console in particular, mainly because there isn’t a whole lot that exists on it, and because it was disco-ed so quickly.   I got lucky recently. At my local game store he gets all sorts of weird crap in, and by weird

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DoctorSpuds

 

Name this game (U.S. Games)

Competition games are just the worst, because you know there were so many disappointed kids out there who wasted their money on the game hoping to win the grand prize and only getting a mediocre game instead. Name This Game is one of those disappointing competition games, and like many competition games before it the competition was never completed since the company folded before it could be finished. We’re now left with a nameless game, even though it has had multiple over the years when it was

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Something odd...

So today I did something that I've never done before. I took a broken, non-working system, specifically an Atari 2600, and fixed it. I bought the system and box together (matching serial numbers), with no inserts, paperwork, or controllers, at a highly reduced price. The last time I snagged a matching SN console and box it was a Vader with the box only and working for 90$, this time I got lucky and got this non working four switch Woody for 50$, and considering this guy sells working 2600's at 4

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DoctorSpuds

 

Good Luck, Charlie Brown (Atari)

I think we’ll start out pretty mellow with Good Luck, Charlie Brown. This game was slated to be released in the summer of 1983, but as you can guess, that never happened. Many licensed games were claimed by the Video Game Crash and this one is no different. Due to how simple the game is I’ll condense the review a bit, there is no soundtrack so I’ll just omit that paragraph entirely (get used to that).   Graphically speaking GLCB looks fantastic, the screen is colorful and there is plenty of mo

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The Music Machine (Sparrow)

I made an executive decision to skip Pepsi Invaders since it is just Space invaders with the aliens replaced with PEPSI, with infinite lives and a three minute time limit. I've already reviewed Space Invaders, which is basically the same thing, except with those few changes, so I'm just going to skip straight to The Music Machine   I actually have surprisingly little to say about Music Machine, it was sold in religious bookstores alongside the record of the same name, it is likely that to shif

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Dishaster (Zimag/CCE)

Its games like this that simply make me wonder “Why?” Why did a company release this game, what could they have hoped to achieve with a game like this? The short answer is always money, these companies that had no experience whatsoever in videogames simply got into the industry for the perceived wealth it would bring. Enter Zimag, these guys were in the game industry for less than a year, and guess which year that was? Yep 1983… so you can bet they didn’t last long. They released a grand total o

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DoctorSpuds

 

Spider Fighter (Activision)

It’s time to play a true classic, a game that seems to stand above the rest with its fun and quality. SPIDER FIGHTER!!! Or as I call it ‘SPIDER FIDER’, a game that is both fun and cathartic because I don’t like spiders and would much rather beat them up. Your objective in Spider Fider is to shoot the crap out of insects and spiders that are trying to steal the fruit from an orchard, to stop them you shoot poison pellets from your Bug Blaster. The Master Nest will spew out ugly bugs for you to co

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DoctorSpuds

 

Warplock (Data Age) Redux

Warplock is not an original game, its premise isn’t original, and its gameplay most assuredly is not original. Despite its unoriginality I can’t really find it in myself to dislike this game. I wrote my original review of this game immediately after buying this game for a second time. I originally overpaid for a copy at my local Pre-Played, only seeing on Ebay a few days later a boxed copy that was listed for the same price as what I paid for loose cart. I was understandably miffed and took it o

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Rescue on Fractalus! (Lucasfilm)

Rescue on Fractalus! (Lucasfilm)

Alright, so I think this’ll be a good game to start the 5200 with, Rescue on Fractalus! RoF was one of the first in a long line of games from Lucasarts, and as first games go this is amazing. I won’t bore you with a history of Lucasarts or of the 5200; I already did a whole write up on that, so let’s just jump into Rescue on Fractalus!     FRACTALS! I don’t know what they are, or how they are utilized in this game, all I know is that they were used to make a full fledged 3D

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DoctorSpuds

 

Astrowar (SpaceVision/Taiwan Cooper)

Alright so I have another non-game for you all today. I’ve run into this game way too many times while skimming through my collection of ROM files it’s starting to get silly. As far as I can tell AstroWar was only ever released in Europe, and it never actually found its way over to the U.S. or even South America (Citation Needed). I would classify AstroWar as a non-game, but it’s just on the bleeding edge so it could go either way. In the simplest terms AstroWar is Astroblast on its side, except

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DoctorSpuds

 

Moonsweeper (Imagic)

If one were to look at the most ambitious titles in the 2600 library Moonsweeper would undoubtedly be near the top, it’s so ambitious that the only game I can really compare it to is Solaris, which as we all know is another one of, if not the, most advanced games on the system. Moonsweeper was released in 1983, Imagic’s final proper year of operation, and as we all know they went belly-up in ’84. The programmer of this game, Bob Smith, has quite an impressive track record if I do say so myself,

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DoctorSpuds

 

Starpath Supercharger

When one looks at the 2600, they predominantly see cartridges, everywhere, more cartridges than one could shake the proverbial stick at, but far away… Across a sea of cartridges there is a dark corner. Nestled deep into that corner are twelve games, twelve pristine examples of innovation, of quality over quantity, this is the realm of Starpath. This realm is a maelstrom of quality, almost untouched by the hands of the casual consumer of retro gaming goods, because these games didn’t come on cart

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DoctorSpuds

H.E.R.O. (Activision)

H.E.R.O. (Activision)

Hype. I don’t get it, I don’t get it one bit. I constantly hear from my coworkers about the newest game they’ve pre-ordered and I just can’t help but wonder, “what if the game sucks? You just wasted 60 dollars on a game you’ll never play more than a few times.” I know I’m one to talk, I’ve spent more than 60 dollars on games that I’ve barely played as well but I got them for collecting purposes and the fact that the games I’ve bought are more than download codes is a bonus as well, so I can rese

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DoctorSpuds

 

Thunderground (Sega)

Thunderground was an oddity from Sega; clearly this game has some serious arcade potential, but was never released in the arcades. This game exists solely on the 2600, which is rather unfortunate since I think this could have gone on to be a hit, both in arcades and on the other home consoles. I was lucky enough to find a Taiwan Cooper version of this game that goes by the highly generic name of ‘Tank Mission’. The odd thing about the ‘Tank Mission’ box is that it seems to have been repurposed f

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DoctorSpuds

 

Alien (20th Century Fox)

I hate to say it but I’m feeling a bit lazy, so how about we pick some low hanging fruit for our review today. I’m feeling like a crappy movie tie-in game, how about that? There aren’t many to choose from, especially on the 2600, the only ones I can think of off-hand are Krull and Alien, ooh let’s review Alien! Yeah this is going to be different, I totally haven’t reviewed a Pac-Man type game before… hah hah haaah… Oh wait I reviewed Pac-Man. Screw it! I’m going to review Alien and there’s nothi

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DoctorSpuds

 

Survival Island (Starpath)

It’s time we turn our attention away from the Supercharger games that had the nice boxes and manuals, and look at the final two games released for the system. These games were not sold in stores, and were only available through mail-order, which as we know from other mail-order games increases the rarity and value immensely. Unfortunately these final two games are sometimes regarded as the worst games for the Supercharger, which is rather unfair since they are both as original and perhaps even m

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DoctorSpuds

 

Attack of the Timelord (Magnavox)

This is a day to be remembered in the short history of this blog, today is the day I review my first Odyssey 2 game. The Odyssey 2 was Magnavox’ 13th foray into the home console market (they made a lotta Pong consoles), but this was Magnavox’ first console with interchangeable ROM cartridges. The Odyssey 2 is an absolute beast, this is mainly because of the large QWERTY style membrane keyboard mounted on the top of the system, now correct me is I’m wrong but this is the only ‘Home Videogame Cons

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DoctorSpuds

Video Olympics (Atari)

Video Olympics (Atari)

It is very rare, in fact I daresay it has only happened once, where a game comes out that entirely kills the previous generation of games/consoles. In fact it only could happen once, and only in a market dominated by a single game… Pong. 1972-1977 was the age of Pong and Atari and Magnavox were, of course, at the forefront of it with oodles of copycats trailing behind. As 1977 rolled around though the public’s interest in Pong had no doubt waned considerably and as console manufacturers dumped t

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DoctorSpuds

 

The week of rarity!

I’ve had a little idea… How about I do another week of, but instead of reviewing games that I own, I review games that I will NEVER own, ever. And what games would these be? How about some R10 games! Due to the fact I’d have to pawn off my kidneys to even afford a single one of these cartridges I’ll have to forgo the “Own It to Review It” rule I’ve been working under. Unfortunately many of these R10 games are there simply to them having a rare cartridge shell, I’m looking at you Xante, or being

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DoctorSpuds

 

Suicide Mission (Starpath)

Alright… A show of hands, who here has played Asteroids? Hmmm, okay, that’s a good number of you, who here has played the 2600 port? Oh, even more of you, that’s interesting, who here thinks the 2600 port of asteroids is a good port? Well there go a few hands, alright a few more. Who here has heard of Suicide Mission? Well that’s not many hands at all… how disappointing. Last one, who here thinks that Suicide Mission, a game that many of you haven’t heard of is as good, if not better than the 26

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DoctorSpuds

 

Gangster Alley (Spectravision)

This game oozes unique. It is if not one of the only shooting gallery style games on the system, we're not counting Task Force by Froggo since it's the same code. The game was put out by Spectravision (Spectravideo in Europe) who are mostly known for Chase the Chuckwagon, Mangia and Bumper Bash, when it comes to rarity these guys are all over the spectrum. Thankfully Gangster Alley is one of their more common games, and I can see why. The game is quite fun for the first few minutes then it's fla

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DoctorSpuds

 

Video Pinball (Atari)

This game is rather special to me, since it was the FIRST Atari 2600 game I had ever played, and it seems like a good time to review it since in about a week I’ll have something very special relating to pinball and the 2600 coming in, and I’m so very excited. Video Pinball is just one of those 2600 games, y’know the type, the games that sit on your shelf forever, but when you look at it you smile knowingly and nod your head, like “I know this game sucks, but I like it anyway”. And honestly, I wo

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