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Bowling / Micro Match-up, APF, 1978

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Bowling / Micro-Matchup, APF, 1978

 

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Bowling didn't suck. It's good for very young children or really smart dogs. This beats the RCA Studio II's built-in game of Bowling, in that APF's is a) In Color and b) actually has the ability to perform the complicated math calculations involved in spares and strikes.

 

(Yes, I'm still taking cheap shots at the RCA Studio II. It's part of the healing process.)

 

To Bowl, one must hit the fire button when the ball (white square) is at the precise point from which one would like the ball to launch towards the doomed pins (red plus signs). That's all there is to it. I started to do an analysis of how accurately it recreates pin interaction but I suddenly decided it would be more fun to NOT do that, so I stopped.

 

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This is a photo taken with a slow shutter so that blur you see at the bottom of the screenshot is really the bowling ball (square) oscillating at an amazing speed.

 

The Micro-Matchup portion of this cartridge is entirely different from the Bowling portion to illustrate the dichotomy inherent in the souls of the programmers, I guess. How they decide to put certain games with other games is beyond me. Matchup is like Memory Match. 24 squares with numbers on them. Type in the number and you're shown what is beneath the square. They've got Word Match-up, which is what you might guess. Pattern Match-up, which is actually more interesting than Atari's matching game (I can't even remember what it's called, A Game of Concentration, maybe?) in the sense that the patterns are multi-colored and they look like they are all taken from a museum of old TV-test patterns. The next variant is called Color Match Triplex or something like that. (Yeah, I'm not really emotionally invested in this cart if you haven't already guessed.) You have to match solid colored sets of three, turning over three at a time. The remaining two games are Triplex versions of the first two.

 

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Look, it's not that these games aren't moderately neato, it's just, *yawn*, you know?

 

I'm starting to understand the whole nostalgic pull to systems that are otherwise not worth having outside of collecting reasons, historical reasons or psychological punishment.

 

There had to have been a few families, maybe even as many as ten, who had owned the MP1000 and enjoyed using it. I can imagine a grown-up who now remembers fondly having played this game with her Dad or pet monkey. One could imagine that re-owning this system/cart brings back those warm fuzzies.

 

Someone like me, however, who doesn't have fond memories with which to associate the APF MP1000, can only do his best to grind through the games and wonder why the hell would anyone actually enjoy these games when there was the Atari, Bally and Odyssey^2 around, for what I'm thinking was less money? Hell, "fond" memories, I had no clue of this thing's existence until I started my "research" for chronogaming.

 

Of course, the answer is that the families that got it, fell prey to the Promise of a Home Computer and the coming of the Imagination Machine attachment. That attachment, aside from being exceedingly rare and likely expensive (though I'm pretty sure I saw one on eBay within the last year) would make this console a Home Computer, which, at the moment, is outside the scope of this blog. Yeah, I said "at the moment".

 

Okay, next entry: Blackjack. Oh, do we have to?



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What I find interesting is how good (relatively) the MP1000's graphics are compared to the other consoles of the time, especially with the built-in chracter generator. But as long as the games are stuck in that 1st generation, I can see how it pales compared to the other consoles.

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What I find interesting is how good (relatively) the MP1000's graphics are compared to the other consoles of the time, especially with the built-in chracter generator.

 

Yeah, at the time they were probably trying to sell it to education-minded parents who would then upgrade to the Imagination Machine. It seems they weren't spending too much time making the games very fun. It's a shame I can't get a hold of the games that have titles that sound more interesting than what I've got. There might have been something worth playing, if only briefly.

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What I find interesting is how good (relatively) the MP1000's graphics are compared to the other consoles of the time, especially with the built-in chracter generator.

 

Yeah, at the time they were probably trying to sell it to education-minded parents who would then upgrade to the Imagination Machine. It seems they weren't spending too much time making the games very fun. It's a shame I can't get a hold of the games that have titles that sound more interesting than what I've got. There might have been something worth playing, if only briefly.

 

The MP1000 looks like it uses the same display chip as the Tandy Color Computer; I think this would mark the first time that a home game machine has used a display controller that would later be used in a personal computer. Looking at the pictures, they probably wired it similarly to the CoCo (using D6 and D7 to control inverse video and semigraphics modes). It's been a long time, but I recall reading an article about homebrewing with that chip; seems an odd choice for a game machine, but I don't recall what else was out there.

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The MP1000 looks like it uses the same display chip as the Tandy Color Computer

I thought that character set looked familiar. The CoCo used off the shelf Motorola chips - 6809, VDG (Video Display Generator), and SAM (Synchronous Address Multiplexer). I wouldn't be surprised that since the MP1000 was based on a 6800 that it also used the same off the shelf part for video.

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But as long as the games are stuck in that 1st generation, I can see how it pales compared to the other consoles.

 

Perfectly put. When I saw the first screenshots of APF games, the system looked very capable and I was very interested in trying the games. Now, of course, I'm disappointed with what I've seen so far.

 

About these games, I liked the triplex mode of the memory matching game. At least that was something new.

 

It's good for very young children or really smart dogs.

 

:D

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