chronogamer

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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.

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.

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