Sunday, May 14, 2023

Go Play Your Video Game (Part 2)

 A couple of weeks ago I did little piece about the first video game that really made an impact on me. Since then, I've had real trouble trying to work out what would come next? I mean, I played a LOT of video games in my youth. 

The arcades on the seafront took up a lot of my time, with the addition to games like Galaga, Defender, Tempest, and Missile Command getting my full attention. My brother-in-law was just as hooked to some of these, especially Galaga and Phoenix. But when Gauntlet happened, my D&D group were particularly obsessed. The evenings seemed to be spent watching the D&D group play Gauntlet in Pastimes amusements, with the dulcet tones of 'Elf shot the food' echoing around the place. 

But video games were the big thing, and it was only a matter of time before you could take these games home. A few of my friends had Atari VCS machines (Atari 2600), with their iconic 'fake wood' bit at the front, and the joystick controller with a single red button. I got one later thanks to my parents, and soon I was blasting those space invaders at home on the b/w TV in the 'front room'. 

My cartridge of choice in those days was Berzerk, with the little robots running around the maze, but the one that really amazed me was Warlords. Such a simple little game which is basically four-way Breakout. Each player had a 'castle' which was just a few rows of coloured bricks around a 'crown' and you had a shield you could move around like the Breakout bat. You bounced a ball back at the other castles, to knock down their walls and hit their warlord. Really simple game that you used a paddle controller, but it was the first game I played with four players (even before those Gauntlet days), and it was just really cool. 

Sorry, wasn't a very exciting post this time... 


Anonymous said...

Did you have "Adventure" for the 2600?

David F. Chapman said...

Never owned it, but did play it - I either borrowed it from someone or rented the cartridge. I wasn't very good at it, and never completed it (and certainly never found the legendary easter egg). Strange how I didn't have the patience for that, but I do remember laboriously mapping Sabre Wulf and Atik Attak on graph paper so I could find my way around.