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Videocart-1 Tic-Tac-DOH!



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Moving on to the cartridges available for the Fairchild VES in 1976.


Carts 1, 2 and 3. That's "it", I think.


I am not certain as to when these carts became available. They have a 1976 copyright on them so I'm assuming they came out that year. Since the Fairchild VES came out in August (according to Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames.) I'm going to have to say the following blogs take place during and between August 1976 and December 1976.




I won't do this all of the time, but there are four games on this cart. I'm going to look at each one. I won't do this for a cart with 50 games on it.


Game 1: Tic-Tac-Toe




Okay, so it's Tic-Tac-Toe. Did you ever play tic-tac-toe against a chicken? I remember a game at the Ulster County, NY fair back in the 1970s where you played tic-tac-toe against a chicken. That has NOTHING to do with this game, but I was having a flashback, so I thought I'd spill it all over you as well.


There's not a lot to like or hate about this game. There IS a wonderfully nice touch to it. If you lose, the game tells you with a rude "YOU LOSE, TURKEY". That's worth a chuckle right there. I'll rate this a Neutral Plus. The plus is for the Turkey comment and the fact that it can be played with one player.


Game 2: Shooting Gallery




An update to the Shootin Gallery games of yesteryear (note: Odyssey had four awesome Shooting Gallery games.). This doesn't use it's own light gun, but there is a nice twist to it.


A target is constantly going down the right side of the screen. After it goes off the bottom it starts at the top again (that's called "wrapping around" by the way.). You are given a paddle from which to shoot. The paddle is locked in a certain deflection position. Your job is to time a shot from that paddle at the given angle so that it hits the moving target.


This game doesn't suck, in fact it is interesting and just slightly challenging enough for me to keep playing it until I get through all the different angles and locations for the paddle-shooter. I'll give this a Good Plus. The plus is for the fact that it can be played with one player.


Game 3: Doodle


Not a game. You draw on the screen. Big Whoop. Move along, nothing to see here. I'll give this an UnGood. I'm not even going to show the picture of the ducky and the horsy I drew, because they weren't any fun to draw. The building with the monsters attacking it was also no fun to draw. Nor did I enjoy drawing a plane, a tank and Frankenstein. Not at all. :(


Game 4: Quadra Doodle




This is better than Doodle, though I wouldn't call it a game unless I was paid well. This draws a random design and reflects it across the horizontal and vertical center lines of the screen. It IS pretty. I can't deny it - I stared at this thing for about 15 minutes. The pattern starts to look like a design out of Taos, New Mexico, but with the wrong colors. Then the screen gets too busy and the pattern doesn't look so good anymore. I'll give this a Neutral Plus. I give it the Plus because it is pretty. Neutral because it ain't a game.


So, overall for Videocart-1, going outside and playing tag with your friends is still a better option.



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Hmm... still no comment on the fact that this thing is using real cartridges, ones that contain all the game logic and graphics! :-\


I guess these games/apps are a bit boring, but if we're back in 1976, wouldn't these be, like, awesome? Drawing in your TV? WHOA!


Back in the Odyssey reviews you were comparing them to what you could do at the time. Although these games aren't that amazing, one has to remember that this still isn't a time with a lot of systems to choose from. In a couple of years things would be different, but in 1976 these must have been fun! I think.


I really liked the Shooting Gallery one.


And what's that about playing Tic-Tac-Toe with a chicken? Should I google that?


*Googles it*


Oh. My. God. People invent everything. And chickens actually win!


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Hmm... I didn't comment on the fact this was the first cartridge based game? Wow, though maybe from the perspective of having played Odyssey (I know they weren't programmable, they were just circuits) which had cartridges, i don't know if someone back in 1976 would have been able to know the difference. Well, an 8 year old at least might not have known the difference.


Hahaha, thanks for linking the Chicken video. Yeah, I saw those at county fairs while growing up. Smart to google it!

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