Archive for February, 2012

TV Scoreboard is a go for UC 2012

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

This will be the first year that a 1st generation gaming system will be in the UC exhibit. The system will be the Radio Shack TV Scoreboard, a bit of an underdog Pong-based system from 1976, and sold through the early 80’s (believe it or not). This Pong-based system uses the General Instruments AY-3-8500 chip, for those tech heads out there. The system is black and white (of course), and sound comes from the unit itself, which is rather small. It can run off batteries or an AC power supply. Games built into this little wonder are: Practice, Squash, Hockey, Tennis, and two light gun games, Skeet and Target. Yes, it uses an old fashion toy gun, thus it looks like a real gun – no orange tip or such.

The TV Scoreboard will be running on my old 13″ Goldstar TV, which has seen better days. The sound doesn’t work well, but since the TV Scoreboard creates its own sound, this works out just fine. (I always hate to see a good TV set fail or slowly fade away, as this one is doing).

Finally a Pong system in the UC area, thanks to Jeff Koss, who is being kind enough to loan the system to the UC area (Thanks!). 🙂

Radio Shack TV Scoreboard

Radio Shack TV Scoreboard

And that is it for now… back to schoolwork again… (plenty more of that at the moment).

Something new crossing the ocean…

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

I sure hope it gets here in time, but I just got an email that a multi-cart for an older system (not yet announced for 2012) has shipped. I really hope this makes the show date, as it would make it easier for me to display games, plus I’d have access to some games I don’t have for the system yet.

Multi-carts, there are one thing I really like about the classic systems, thanks to the wonderful folks who make these things. (Wether they are 100% legal or not, that is another story – and I won’t go there in this blog).

Later… (got schoolwork to do – too much)

Starpath Supercharger joins Tele-Games system

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Testing went a lot quicker than I though for the next announcement. The Supercharger system by Starpath Corporation (Arcadia) was a add-on module for the Atari 2600 (and Sears clone) that increased the RAM available for games from 128 bytes to 6,272 bytes! This allowed for much longer games, and graphics of higher resolutions (equal to some of the personal computers at the time). The system came out in 1982, and with the video game crash the next year, didn’t last long (sad but true, even though rights to the game for the Supercharger still live on). This is one reason that the Supercharger is considered an underdog system, as it truly is, but things could have been different. It has to be somewhat underdog in style, or it just won’t be on display in the UC area.

Have to admit that I did not play with the Supercharger myself until years after it was gone from the market. Late 80’s or so, but even back then, it was a wonderful find. Amazing what this system could do for the Atari 2600.

For the UC 2012, only three games for this 2600 add-on will be available for play (but possibly more if requested), which are:
Communist Mutants From Space (a rather good Galaxian clone)
Rabbit Transit (and odd but fun mixture of Q*bert and Frogger – you have to play it to understand that)
The Official Frogger (Starpath got the rights to Frogger on tape, as the Supercharges used cassette tapes. You have to see this version of Frogger in action, as it an almost identical twin the the actual arcade game. Very fun to play!)

And that is it for additions to Atari 2600 games. Just glad to keep this focused on the underdog games, and add-ons, such as the Supercharger. Got to keep that underdog flavor, as many friends have mentioned in the last year. Branching out in this direction keeps me interested in continuing with the Underdog Chamber, as honestly, doing the exact same systems every few years gets a tad dull (just a tad though).

Back with hopefully another system announcement by weekend.

Starpath Supercharger

Starpath Supercharger 2600 add-on module

Tele-Games joins the UC area

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Yup, you read that correctly, if you remember this Atari 2600 clone sold by Sears under the Tele-Games brand. This system sold from 1977 to 1983, and went through three revisions. For the UC area in 2012, the Rev B “4 switch” model from 1980 will be on display, loaned to the exhibit by Jeff Koss (thank you!).

While the Tele-Games (Atari 2600) was not an underdog system, some of the games for it were, or at least are under appreciated today. This is the reason for the Tele-Games Video Arcade entering into the Underdog Chamber for 2012. As the Console Arcade room does, this system will focus on the (underdog) games for it, not the system itself.

Between Jeff, some snooping around AtariAge, and myself, the following list of games will be running for the Underdog Chamber this year. Note that all of these games will be there, but it will be unlikely that they will all run during the show, depending on time (and possible requests of course):
Air-Sea Battle (not a true underdog, but under appreciated in today’s modern times)
Bobby is Going Home (strange game released in 1983 in South America)
Canyon Bomber (Sea Bomber, the B-side of the cart, and another under appreciated game)
Double Dragon (released in 1988 – just amazing they could do this on the 2600 – tough game though)
Fast Food (an underdog game from 1982 that is rather fun to play)
Ghost Manor (produced in 1983 by Xonox, a true underdog game for the 2600, and another tough game too)
Kung Fu Master (late release by Activision, with the rarity of it making it an underdog)
Reactor (not a true underdog, but somewhat under appreciated today, this game is a blast to play)
Secret Quest (one of last the games made for the 2600, and unique in many ways)
Skeleton+ (home brew game for the 2600, the only one on display this year – great game!)
Solar Fox (a scarce game for the 2600 that is rather good)
Star Ship (scarce game that was also a release game for the 2600 in 1977 – give it a whirl if you dare)
Tax Avoiders (rare game from 1982)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (very rare game for the 2600 – kind of fun, but very odd too)
Tunnel Runner (a scare game that puts you inside the maze – like pac-man in 3D – a great game!)
Video Olympics (under appreciated game from the early 2600 years)

ANd that is it for now. There will be another announcement for the Tele-Games, but I need to test something first. If all works out, there will be three more games added to the list here, and good games indeed!

Tele-Games Video Arcade console

Tele-Games Video Arcade (and games)

More soon to come…

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Got two more systems today for the UC area, from friend Jeffrey Koss. I don’t expect issues, but I need to test them with the TV sets I haven (you never know), and finally do that TV inventory too. So expect more announcement soon.

I also ordered a video adaptor recommend by J.D. Norman, which would be great for another year, in regards to converting PAL output to regular VGA output (no more bulky convertor box if this works good). This is something I will test after this years show, but if it works good, I’ll get a few more. Plus would be nice to be able to use a computer monitor in place of a TV set (the monitor was much cheaper than a TV, and is the old square kind, so it would be great for an old game system). Trying my best to limit the CRT TVs, and they just take up too much space.

More to come…

Vectrex now in 2012 lineup

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

I keep bringing the old Vectrex back, and this year is no exception. I love the old 2nd (late) generation console system, with its wonderful built-in b/w screen and glorious vector graphics. Sound is rather good too, which helps with any game. This tiny self-contained system will be highlighting three games from Revival Studios: Color Clash, Debris, and Shifted (along with some game for the Odyssey2 from Revival too). I’ll most likely watch out for high scores, and post any online through Revivals Website, if anyone get a really good score on any of these three games.

Along with these great home-brew games, I plan on displaying some other home-brew games from the past as well: Moon Lander, Space Frenzy, Thrust, and V-Frogger, just to name a few. I will probably have some regular games too, which will be Mine Storm (which is always popular), plus Hyper Chase and Star Trek.

Welcome aboard Mr. Vectrex, the public awaits you in the UC 2012 exhibit.

(For those who haven’t tried out this old game system, do so! You have no idea what you are missing).

Super A’Can officially in UC 2012 lineup

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The Super A’Can (sold in Taiwan), and considered a 4th generation console, will be on display for the UC 2012 area (thanks to John Norman for loaning the system for the Underdog area). This true overseas underdog system will be running four games, C.U.G. (Journey to the Laugh), Sango Fighter, Son of Evil and Speedy Dragon.

This will be my first experience with the Super A’Can, since I personally have not sat down to play the system in the past. Will be an interesting experience, that I’m sure of, as I hope it will be for show goers as well.

For now, the 6th, 4th, and 2nd generation of consoles have entries in the UC 2012 exhibit. More are to come of course, with the most additions to the 2nd generation video game consoles. I plan on having at last one system from each generation, except the current and the 3rd generation (NES era).

For now, here is a shot of the Super A’Can console, courtesy of John Norman.

Super A'Can gaming console

Super A'Can gaming system