This is not an April Fool's Day prank, but since it is April Fool's Day, I think it would be entirely appropriate to talk about something one wouldn't expect to find for the Channel F. I'd been trying to come up with ways to talk about the odd hack or homebrew every now and then. I don't want to do it too often, because it does fall outside of the chronology, but on odd dates and stuff, Friday the 13th, Feb 29th, April Fools and whenever, I'll do them for the heck of it.
Tetris (Channel F, 2004 - Peter Trauner)
Who says there are no good games written for the Channel F?
Title page. I don't know who Frank is, but the other two are easy to figure out.
If I remember correctly a gentleman named Fredric Blåholtz issued a challenge and a reward to get homebrewing started for the Channel F. He wanted someone to program a Channel F version of Tetris and he offered a complete collection of Channel F carts to the person who did it first. I believe there was a thread that spoke of this on Atari Age's forums.
Tetris in action.
There are probably ways of making a real live Tetris cart but I haven't made one. The screenshots are what it looks like on the MESS emulator when output to my TV. We used Playstation controllers to play it, which worked well enough.
The play is two-player, head-to-head. A single player game starts if you wait long enough after the second player loses. The score is simply the number of blocks emitted by the, um, block emitter. Unexpectedly, the winner of a two player game is determined by who survives the longest, not by the score. There are no scoring bonuses for taking out more than one row at a time, but, there does seem to be a way to punish your opponent for not doing as well as you. I was doing pretty well and my son started complaining that the game was adding rows to the bottom of his side! We weren't able to isolate the behavior completely, but it seemed to happen whenever I was able to get rid of two or more of my bottom rows.
End round shot
Is it fun? Of course it is, it's Tetris! There's no sound that I was able hear, so you might call it quiet fun.
Anyway, there it is: a game that doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to be fun on the Channel F. Who woulda thunk it?
Next Entry I'll start working on US released games for the Channel F starting with #19 Checkers.