News

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Regularly updated news on all topics relevant to Armchair Arcade.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Lady Bug and A-VCS-tec Challenge now available for the Atari 2600 VCS!

Lady Bug screenshot: for the Atari 2600 VCSLady Bug screenshot: for the Atari 2600 VCSThanks to our friends at AtariAge, two new homebrew games for the Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) are now widely available. While "A-VCS-tec Challenge" has been made previously available in a limited run (my original blog about it here) - though sourced from Europe - this is the first time I'm aware that this new, original arcade conversion of "Lady Bug" is available for sale.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Pluto is No Longer a Planet - Commodore Needs to Issue an Update!

Visible Solar System (Commodore, 1982) for the C-64: Screenshot from www.lemon64.comVisible Solar System (Commodore, 1982) for the C-64: Screenshot from www.lemon64.comWell, the final decision has been handed down and Pluto is no longer a planet to the chagrin of many and to the relief of others.

Matt Barton's picture

Don't Download this Song! Weird Al's Take on the RIAA

I really don't know where I'd be today if it weren't for Weird Al Yankovic. I grew up with his music, listening to his casettes on my ghetto blaster until they wore out. By that point, I had them memorized, so all was good. :-) Anyway, I have some very big news for Weird Al fans like me (and Bill!) Weird Al has just released another free song: Don't Download This Song. It's a satire on the music industry's war on file sharers. Definitely worth a listen, no matter which side of the issue you're on. Enjoy!

Bill Loguidice's picture

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!

Matt Barton's picture

Jane Jansen's "Gray Matter" Adventure Game in the Works

When it comes to designing and developing great graphical adventure games, three names stand out far and above the rest: Ron Gilbert, Rand Miller, and Jane Jensen. I doubt they need introductions, but suffice it to say that these are the folks responsible for The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Gabriel Knight--games so different from each other that it's almost ludicrous to lump them together in a single category. Gilbert's games are focused on light-hearted, satire, comic humor and Disney-like themes. The Myst games are clearly about hopelessly captivating environments, mostly surreal, and puzzles that would be at home in any Zen garden. Jensen's Gabriel Knight series, on the other hand, is about the characters and the dramatic (and supernatural) dilemmas they always find themselves in. It's about as close to an "interactive television show" as I've seen.

Matt Barton's picture

Shatner to Voice Kirk in Upcoming Star Trek: Legacy

Here's exciting news for Star Trek TOS fans: Shatner himself will be voicing Kirk in Bethesda's upcoming Star Trek Legacy. Furthermore, he's already out publicizing the game and drumming up enthusiasm for it, mainly because he feels that the Star Trek franchise has dropped to impulse and needs a good game to buck it back up to warp speed. Although Shatner apparently doesn't play videogames (his grandson will teach him, he says), it's nice to see a TV and movie star of his stature really stepping in to the videogame scene. The game itself sounds interesting enough. From what I'm able to gather, it's a massive space strategy game that covers all eras of Trek, starting with TOS and carrying all the way through to Enterprise. There will also be support for Xbox Live, and I assume PC players will be able to join in as well. That's exactly the kind of game that would've had me bouncing off the walls with glee back in 88.

Matt Barton's picture

These Game Musics are, uh, Suck

Error Macro has a blog up that's so funny it'll have you in tears: The Worst Songs in Videogames. The author has really done some great work here, both in selecting these horrid numbers and actually sampling them for your listening, er, torture? In actuality, these are really hilarious, and it brings to mind all those suits and culturally clueless Japanese business overlords who gave this crap the thumb's up.

Matt Barton's picture

The 25 Greatest Home Computers--According to PC Magazine

PC World is running an extensive feature called The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time. While I'm a bit skeptical of any such list that doesn't include the Commodore 64 (the list editors seem to think the Commodore Amiga 1000 was a "much better computer"), it nevertheless describes several interesting machines.

Bill Loguidice's picture

ZX81/Spectrum/Sinclair Software Updates for August 2006

Alien Mind for the ZX81/Sinclair/Timex Computers (16K)Alien Mind for the ZX81/Sinclair/Timex Computers (16K) ANDRE is back with the next new game in his regular series of releases for the ZX81 and Sinclair 1000/1500 1K systems, PICMAN. Of course stuff is also available for 16K models.

ANDRE's update (light editing for content):

Bonjour,

Have you seen SNOOPY?! He can be seen at the Website.

Matt Barton's picture

Codewheels, Manual-Look Ups, and Other "Features": Old School Copy Protection

Dongle: Without this dongle, forget about running that $400 program you just bought.Dongle: Without this dongle, forget about running that $400 program you just bought.Friends, I'm madder than a pirate sued for singing copyrighted shanties that game publishers are STILL belittling us with burdensome, unnecessary, and utterly useless copy protection.

With all the recent buzz here at Armchair Arcade about Pool of Radiance and other Gold Box games, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the infamous "code wheels" most of those games used to inhibit sharing copies of the game with your friends. Eric Lambert of Vintage Computing has an entertaining article up called Old-School PC Copy Protection Schemes that takes a look at these "vintage" forms of copy protection, most of which rely on materials included with the game.

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