Below are two new iPhone photos, this time of sealed copies of Firebird's The Sentry (1987), Atari ST version, and Philips' Jeopardy! (1994), for their CD-i platform. The Sentry was the US version of The Sentinel, an oft-ported and highly original simulation/puzzle/action game, and of course Jeopardy! is one of the truly countless adaptations of the popular game show and one of the late life CD-i titles. I still own and remember playing the C-64 version of The Sentinel/The Sentry (and struggling with it), and also put in quite a bit of time into Jeopardy! (love trivia!) on that same legendary computer. I also picked up the unreleased Coleco Adam version in the mid 80's, which was released to the public domain, and may very well have been the original version since it had a copyright of 1984 and the other versions weren't released by Share Data (Sharedata) until several years later if I recall correctly. Regardless of the origins of the first official computer version of Jeopardy!, the Coleco Adam version - as expected - is a fine interpretation with some nifty features that didn't necessarily find their way into later "ports".
Welcome to the weekend with Matt Chat 5, covering another of the all-time greatest retrogaming classics. This week I look at Acornsoft's Elite, the pioneering space-trading game that made such a huge impact in the mid 1980s on the BBC Micro and other platforms.
Remember back in the late 1970s and early 1980s when games used to come on cassette, publishers such as Avalon Hill would pack on as many as a half dozen or more different platform versions of one game onto the front and back of one cassette? And how in the age of the 5.25" disk, the front and back of a disk were sometimes sold with, for instance, an Atari 8-bit version on one side and a Commodore 64 version on another? This became a lost art with the rise of the 3.5" disk, as there was only one side and no way to split formats; it wouldn't be until optical media rose to prominence that we would again see multiple platforms on one disc (usually Windows and Mac). Or was it a lost art on 3.5" disk? I was unaware until about a year or so ago that multiple platforms on a 3.5" was not only possible, but was actually used in a commercial product by at least one company, Rainbird, who developed a seemingly impossible dual format Atari ST/Commodore Amiga disk for their game, Starglider II. As luck would have it, I recently won a dual format Starglider II to go along with the standard, single platform releases I already have in the series. Of course, according to its Wikipedia entry, releasing Starglider II in this format made the game extremely unreliable so the technique was abandoned, but it's still of significant historical interest as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps some time after it comes I'll attempt to load it on each of the systems and see what happens!