APF MP1000 circa 1978
In case you're wondering APF stands for Al & Phil Freedman, the two brothers who founded the company.
The most excellent page out there on the APF family of expandable consoles:http://www.tcp.com/~lgreenf/apfpage.htm (EDIT in 2021: This page is no longer there. I didn't search for a new one.) (Nelio found it, here it is: http://www.nausicaa.net/~lgreenf/apfpage.htm )
That's got pictures of the carts and the console, but, alas, no screenshots of the games. That's what I'll try to provide as I go through the ones I have.
When I am able to take some OK pictures I'll post them with the appropriate entry. Damn, I miss my "video-in" capabilities.
I was able to get a APF console that says M-1000 on it, but has the game Rocket Patrol built-in. I don't know what's up with that. I've heard there's no difference between the M-1000 and the MP-1000, other than Rocket Patrol being built-into the MP-1000. Taking that statement literally, then it would be, in fact, true. My MP-1000 is so similar to the M-1000 that it has an M-1000 label, but it plays Rocket Patrol.
Rocket Patrol, APF MP-1000, 1978
In one of the articles on the APF page, it refers to a "space invasion" game. In 1978, this would probably conjure up images of a very famous quarter gobbler. This is not that game.This game features a small cannon at the bottom of the screen, a side scrolling starfield (which is, actually, very nice) and three ships that parade, conveniently, past the location of your cannon. Of course, they're not the same ships, they're just identical ships that are part of a whole armada of ships, of which you only see three ships at a time. To shoot them down, you fire your cannon, your entire cannon, by the way. We're not talking missiles or bullets here. That whole sucker launches at these alien mo-fos. You've got a 60-second minute, during which they start to move faster. After the minute is up, your opponent takes their turn. Then, I suppose, you laugh while you compare scores over a couple of brewskis and hope that some other cannons took out the rest of the fleet, because you've done your hitch.
There will be a screenshot of this one forthcoming, when the stars are just right, or when it's dark enough for my camera to use the flash without washing out the whole image.The sound is, well, it's kinda lame. I'm not saying I could do better, but there's really only two sounds: the cannon launching upwards and the explosion of a ship. The game is only a minute long so why bother littering it with other noises?
I guess, if you're sitting there having just unwrapped this little console at your birthday party, you'd be really embarrassed. Once you fire up Rocket Patrol, your friends with the Atari VCS, the Bally, the Odyssey^2, (hell, even your friend with terminal halitosis and a Fairchild Channel F), all of them, will laugh their asses off at you. After which, they will eat your cake and have a great time playing Gunfight or Combat -- somewhere else. (The kid with the RCA Studio II won't laugh, because he didn't even get invited to your party.)
We'll start going through this system, cart by cart, next entry.