odyssey

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Ski (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

The Overlay for Ski: Deep in the heart of the Vazhdok Mountains . . .The Overlay for Ski: Deep in the heart of the Vazhdok Mountains . . .Ski! We liked this! Whoo-wee!

There's an alien concept you need to understand about this game in case you haven't actually seen it. Look at the Uberlay. This is a different type of Uberlay from the Hockey, Tennis or Football Uberlays, which were translucent. The Uberlay for Ski is almost completely opaque. The only areas through which any light shines at all are the dashed lines indicating the skier's intended trail and various obstacles located "off-trail" like trees and mountains.

Hockey (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

1972HockeyOverlay: It is pretty, but I keep thinking, why are they facing-off over the Japanese flag?1972HockeyOverlay: It is pretty, but I keep thinking, why are they facing-off over the Japanese flag?Hockey is another "sport port" from the real-world to your television through the magic of . . . The Odyssey!!! I'm not sure I "get" this game of Hockey. I do get it in the real-world, all right, but not this variation.

The game starts with a face-off, which is refreshingly different from the first three games we played. (Table Tennis, Tennis and Football) Set the two paddles across from each other and maneuver the PUCK between them so that it is whizzin' back and forth at an amazin' speed.

Football (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

1972FootballOverlay: This is the overlay for Football on the Magnavox Odyssey.1972FootballOverlay: This is the overlay for Football on the Magnavox Odyssey.Football on the Odyssey, for my son and I, is worse than staring at a blank wall. We're not into football. We don't watch football. We don't even own a football. (well, we have a Nerf(tm) somewhere.) I honestly think that if two football fans played this game they would try it for 15 minutes and say "Screw this! Let's go outside and throw a football around."

Football is more of a "football abstraction". It's as if the game is asking you to pretend that you are playing a football simulation. It includes an Ãœberlay, a gameboard, about 40 cards, a football marker, and a yardage marker and utilizes no less than three of the pack-in Odyssey carts. The gameboard is included to use with the football and yardage markers to keep track of the ball and, um, the yardage, as one would expect.

Matt Barton's picture

Coin-Op TV interviews Ralph Baer, Inventor of Electricity

Who invented PONG? Better yet, who invented the video game? Most people would say "Nolan Bushnell," and a few others "William A. Higinbotham." Or was it Steve Russell? It's a tough enough question for any serious videogame historian. However, if you asked Ralph Baer, he'd tell you that he was the first person in the history of the world to "come up with the idea of playing games on a screen" or some such nonsense. At any rate, although an avid self-promoter, Ralph Baer truly hasn't gotten the credit he deserves for his hard work and ingenuity with the "Brown Box," the first home game console and the progenitor to the Magnavox Odyssey. Now, thanks to Coin-Op TV, you can see Baer in his domain, and get his perspective on how videogame history REALLY begins with him. (Note, if the link doesn't work, try here.)

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