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Match Maker! Buzzword! Logix!

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Three games, one cart! This is getting out of hand . . .Before I talk about the individual games on this cart, I should point out that this entire cartridge uses the keyboard and nothing but the keyboard. I don't know why, but I find that admirable. This console actually uses its keyboards while other consoles only have half-hearted attempts at keyboards (Atari, Bally).

 

Match Maker! Odyssey^2, 1978

 

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This is one of those "deja vu" games, we've seen it on other systems before. I think I enjoy this version of "memory match for TV" a tiny bit more than the others. This is directly attributable to how painless it is to use the Odyssey^2 keyboard for typing in single letters (or short phrases). The graphics that you must match are very, very simple but are distinct from one another and are a veritable "who's who" of icons from other Odyssey^2 games. I'm not crazy about videogame versions of the matching game. I'd much rather crawl around on my floor with my children while playing Memory Match, but that may just be me. However, as these games go, I think the Odyssey^2's interface solution (with a full keyboard) is the most comfortable out of the video Memory Match offerings of the late 1970s.

 

Buzzword! Odyssey^2, 1978

 

Buzzword is just Hangman without any hangin'. You get eight chances to guess a word wrong and when you run out, game's over. Why would kids want to learn to spell if there isn't the threat of someone's virtual death looming over them? If they get the word right, there's no reward either, it's just "hit reset" and try to guess another word. This game is easier to play than the other versions I've managed to actually enjoy writing about, mostly because of the Odyssey^2 keyboard, but without a lynchin', there's just no spark to it.One more thing I must note about Buzzword: The directions claim that the Odyssey^2 picks each word from its "demonic dictionary". There's no other attempt at alliteration, nor any other references to nefarious elements of our demon haunted world throughout the rest of the pamphlet. Why, then, should they choose to do so for a dictionary? What the hell is up with that? Weird.

 

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Witness a single example of its demonic vocabulary.

 

Logix! Odyssey^2, 1978

 

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Logix! is a Mastermind variant with nothing to especially distinguish it from the others except that no number occurs more than once in the five digit number sequence to be deduced. This simplification does make the game more accessible for beginners, but there's no harder variation to make it more challenging after they get the hang of it. Maybe they couldn't afford the memory needs of a more challenging variant because the "demonic dictionary" of Buzzword was hogging all the space. (I know, I shouldn't blame what are probably design decisions on perceived console limitations, but I had to take another poke at the "demonic" thing.)

 

Yet again, what Logix! does have going for, it is the Odyssey^2 keyboard. It's just nicer to type in the guess than to do the joystick manipulations needed on the other systems. I don't remember how the Atari handled it (was it on Brain Games and used the keypad?) but I remember playing it on the Fairchild. I liked it fine on there, but I like it better with the full keyboard. If only there were tougher variations included.

 

Odyssey^2's Baseball is next. (and then Computer Golf, Math-a-Magic/Echo, and Sea Wolf/Missile on the Bally, which I missed during my 1978 Bally run through and then we're done 1978!)



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I remember a restaurant quite a few years ago used Logix! as their table paging system. Whenever a table would become available, the number (zero-padded) would be keyed in. The last two digits on the display were pretty meaningless, though I suppose if someone watched the thing for awhile they could mostly figure out the computer's number (though not the order of the first three digits).

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That's really interesting that someone would come up with a practical use for it. I wonder if the numbers burned into the picture tube over time. I wonder if there are any other games on old consoles that could serve in a similar capacity? Maybe Type and Tell to tell patients "Mr. X, the doctor will see you now" or something like that. Heck, even Keyboard Creations could have a purpose in life!

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That's really interesting that someone would come up with a practical use for it. I wonder if the numbers burned into the picture tube over time. I wonder if there are any other games on old consoles that could serve in a similar capacity? Maybe Type and Tell to tell patients "Mr. X, the doctor will see you now" or something like that. Heck, even Keyboard Creations could have a purpose in life!

 

I don't know if the thing was used long enough for numbers to burn in, but I've seen many television sets over the years with stuff burned onto them from things like public access channel marques, etc. I wonder why the people who produce such marquees don't incorporate a "screen scrubber" screen saver: just vary the positions of things a little bit over time and the burned-in character boxes wouldn't be nearly so noticeable. Not really a complaint about the O2 (since it wasn't designed for such uses) but rather the systems that WERE designed for such uses.

 

BTW, Crypto-Logic could be used as a 2x14 annunciator since typing more than 14 characters will cause your typing to wrap to the second line (had you noticed that?)

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BTW, Crypto-Logic could be used as a 2x14 annunciator since typing more than 14 characters will cause your typing to wrap to the second line (had you noticed that?)

 

Yah! I had forgotten, but the Crypto-Logic instructions actually tout it as a feature, and refer to it as an "electronic blackboard" or something in that vein.

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You bet, being able to use the keyboard in these games makes a huge difference!

 

And Mastermind without repeated symbols is much easier to beat...

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