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Roulette (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

Overlay for Roulette: I'll admit that the overlay looks nice.Overlay for Roulette: I'll admit that the overlay looks nice.Just to clarify, this is the Odyssey's version of the casino favorite, Roulette, and it's not the relatively fun, Russian variety of Roulette, where you risk embedding bullets deep inside your head.

Like a few of the Odyssey's games, Roulette is supported by the use of "off-screen" technology: betting chips, a betting board and a huge wad of fake cash. Roulette also uses one of the nicest looking overlays for the system. It's clearly a roulette wheel and they don't dumb it down by doing anything so pedestrian as turning the numbers right-side up just to make it easier to read. The player is given the illusion that they could be looking at a genuine, roulette wheel, albeit, a non-spinning, vertical, silent roulette wheel . . .

The smart kid in the audience asks, "If the wheel doesn't spin, how is a random number generated?"

Analogic (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

Analogic: Takes place on a spacescape overlayed by a grid of seemingly random numbers.Analogic: Takes place on a spacescape overlayed by a grid of seemingly random numbers. It impresses me that the Odyssey, a system that doesn't do math, would be the system to introduce a game with arithmetic as its focus. In addition to being the first math edutainment vehicle, Analogic is also the first Science Fiction-themed home videogame.

The Analogic Überlay is a grid of seemingly random numbers superimposed over a simple spacescape. I say "seemingly" because those numbers are actually a maze. (It's important to keep that in mind for later.) Each player controls a PlayerSpot which starts the game at either the planet Even in the upper left, or the planet Odd in the lower right. They represent “light beam transceivers”. The light beam itself is the BallSpot. To setup the game, players bring out the BallSpot and, using their ENGLIGH knobs, maneuver it so that it is constantly bouncing back and forth between the two PlayerSpots.

The object of Analogic is for each player to traverse the space between the Odd/Even worlds and reach the other player’s starting position before their opponent does by choosing odd or even numbers on a vertical or horizontal path. Doing so will involve math.

Cat and Mouse (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

Cat & Mouse Overlay: What's a five-letter word for devoured?Cat & Mouse Overlay: What's a five-letter word for devoured?Picture a crossword puzzle grid (see overlay left). You know the type, empty squares (for the letters) and full squares (uh, not for the letters). The players start with their Player Spots on the Mouse and Cat icons respectively, which are already placed in the maze. In one corner of the maze is a "mouse house". (Yes, that's what "they" call it). The mouse has to get to his house before the cat gets him, but must do so by moving through only the white squares of the maze. The cat must obey the same limitation. If either the cat spot or the mouse spot overlap with one of the dark parts of the crossword puzzle-like landscape, they have to go back to their starting position.

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Note to Enthusiasts: Intellivision Homebrew Development is Finally on the Rise

Same Game & Robots from IntelligentvisionFor a system line that sold over three (3) million consoles from 1980 - 1990, Mattel's (later INTV's) Intellivision has been woefully lacking in new homebrew developments compared even to some competin

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3D Lord of the Robots now available for the GCE/Milton Bradley Vectrex!

3D Lord of the Robots packaging for the GCE/Milton Bradley Vectrex3D Lord of the Robots packaging for the GCE/Milton Bradley VectrexCan man survice on homebrew software alone these days? Thanks to a heads-up from Vectrex News, I found out that "3D Lord of the Robots" is now out of pre-order and available for purchase for $50, with worldwide shipping included. It's available here. After receiving "Spike's Circus" yesterday, I felt it was my "duty" to order this game too, which is among the first 3D specific-games released for the original 3D and new homebrew imagers with color wheels for the Vectrex since the original three games. A 2D version of the game for those without imagers is included on the same cartridge, all within a box with a neat, engraved metal lid. How I'll find time to get around to playing these is a different story, but I'll definitely try. Look for coverage of these Vectrex games in future issues of Armchair Arcade!

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