Retrogaming Times
Issue #88 - Feels Great to reach 88 - October 2013


Table of Contents
  01. Introduction
  02. Video Game Snack Endorsement
  03. Youtube Classic Game Videos
  04. Ouya Reviews
  05. Video Game Hunter
  06. Sites of the Month
  07. WOW Moment
  08. Conclusion


Normally this time of year, I would do a Halloween themed issue.  You know where you review the same half dozen games again.  Like we need another review of Intellivision Dracula or Atari 2600 Haunted House.  Yawn.  Instead, I will figure out a theme as I go along.  But to have a haunted theme, I will put up a bunch of Video Game Urban Legends.  Some are real or have been told enough to make people think they are real.  Do you believe?

Video Game Urban Legend #1
The granddaddy of Urban Legends is how Atari took their unsold inventory of ET cartridges and buried them in the desert in New Mexico.  What else may be buried in there with the ET carts?  Pac-Man carts?  Prototypes?  Jimmy Hoffa?

Video Game Snack Endorsement
One area that video games have missed on is having their characters endorse products.  What good is being a famous video game character if you don't sell out?  And what better way to sell out than with snack foods.  Think about it, video games and snack foods go hand in hand.  Like football and beer or bacon and just about anything.  So with that in mind, here is the first in a series of video game commercials that should have been.

Video Game Urban Legend #2
An arcade game named Polybius appeared in a few arcades around the Portland, Oregon area.  The game supposedly caused players to have nightmares, go insane and even have suicidal thoughts.  It disappeared shortly afterwards, but it is said that men in black would come and collect data from the machines.

Youtube Classic Game Videos
With the Urban Legend theme, I decided to put videos that deal with two of the biggest video game Urban Legends. 

ET Burial Theory
Here is a video that talks about the the infamous video game burial.  Click this link to view it -

Polybius Theory
A game that causes seizures and has men in black collecting data?  Yeah, it sounds like a urban legend. 
Click here to view it -

Ouya Reviews
I know this is anything but classic, but I am enjoying the game system and decided to keep sharing it with you the readers.  So here is a few more game reviews.  This month, I will look at two games that fit in the endless runner mode.  They are also two games that I have spent alot of time playing as they are good for a quick game when I want something to play but do not have alot of time.

Plane Loopy
This game gets its inspiration from the classic Activision game, Barnstorming.  Both are about flying a plane from left to right while dodging obstacles.  But where Barnstorming is about getting through the course as quickly as possible, Plane Loopy is about flying as far as possible.  But they do both feature obstacles to avoid and both have birds as one of the obstacles.

Plane Loopy is both about flying as far as you can as well as collecting as many coins as you can.  You get coins for a number of feats including how far you can fly (you get an increasing amount of coins each time you pass 1000 meters) plus you also get them for flying through loops, breaking balloons, flying through clouds and flying over floating coins in the sky.  You can use these coins to buy better planes and powerups.  Part of the fun of the game is not only getting better planes, but also trying to unlock all the goals.  These goals include flying a certain distance, breaking so many balloons, flying a certain altitude and more.  There is even some negative ones like getting hit by birds so many times.

There is a variety of obstacles to avoid as you are flying.  Some are easy to avoid like trees and storm clouds which will zap you with lightning.  Others are a little hard to avoid like flocks of birds, other planes and very dangerous missiles.  But with some practice and a better plane, you can dodge these obstacles and really get far.  Currently, my farthest flight is 6827 meters.

This endless runner puts you in the driver's seat of a car that is being pursued by the police.  It is your goal to keep the chase going as long as possible while avoiding the police, dodging other vehicles on the road and not running into buildings, signs or other obstacles.  Sound easy?  It doesn't stay easy for long.  The speed ramps up, the obstacles become more plentiful and the police get more aggressive.

You start off in a city as the police are in hot pursuit.  As you try and make your getaway, you race past other vehicles that you need to avoid which include school buses, taxi cabs and other cars.  Hit one and the game is over.  You must also be sure to not hit street signs, buildings or other obstacles.  These will halt your progress very quickly.  As you are making your getaway, you will see money laying in the street that you can drive over and collect.  This will later give you money to buy upgrades.  You will also see randomly place ramps that you can jump over.  Why there are ramps on a city street is anyone's guess, but it makes it more fun.  You will also see random powerups floating around.  These include the much desired nitro which speeds you up and makes you invincible to crashing with other cars.  You are still susceptible to crashes with buildings, signs and ramps, so continue to avoid them.  Other powerups include a magnet to collect money and 2X bonus.  These only last a limited time, but you can later use your money to increase the length of the powerups.  And you can have more than one powerup at a time.  Nothing boosts your score like combining 2X and the magnet.

As you get further in the game, you will come across police road blocks as you leave the city and head out to the country.  You will also drive through tunnels and past other scenery as you race towards freedom.  But as the old saying goes, Crime does not pay and you will eventually get busted.  Once you do, you will get some stats for the game including how far you traveled, how much cash you collected and your final score.  Currently, my high score in over 11,000, which took a few nitro powerups to get.

Video Game Urban Legend #3 
Tomb Raider was one of the most popular games of the 1990's and Lara Croft was one of the most widely recognized video game characters.  So much so that rumors have circulated about a cheat patch that showed Lara Croft nude.

Video Game Hunter
One of my favorite finds happened in my first year of collecting.  I had my first find of a Colecovision during the summer at a garage sale.  But it was later that year that I was finally able to add to my Coleco collection.  It happened in the fall on my birthday of all days.  The flea market season was coming to an end and it was the last weekend or one of the last weekends for flea markets.  I went there hoping to find something to add to my collection.  What I found was one of the best deals that I have ever found at a flea market.

As I walked around, I spotted a boxed Colecovision in the distance.  I made a beeline towards the table, zipping in and out of the sparse crowds.  As I reached the table, I saw a stack of Coleco items with a price of $35.00.  I asked the person if it was $35.00 for the whole stack and they said yes.  I pulled the money out of my wallet as fast as I could and handed it them.  I then scooped up my stuff and headed to my car to drop it off.  With that, I headed home to check out my haul.

As I looked over the collection, I found that besides a boxed and complete Colecovision system, I also had boxed accessories.  There was the Atari Adapter, the Super Action Controllers and the Turbo Steering Wheel!  I was ecstatic

There was a total of 28 games with the collection.  They were all loose with instruction manuals in a shoe box.  But the nice thing was out of the 28 games, only two were duplicates for me.  Only Donkey Kong and Zaxxon were games that I already owned.  All the rest were new games and there was some great games as well!  First off, there was Turbo and Dukes of Hazzard for the Steering Wheel.  For the Super Action Controllers, there was Super Action Baseball and Super Action Football.  Then there was a few common games that were new to me like Frogger and Q*Bert.   Then there were two of my favorite arcade games - Mr. Do and Burgertime.  I also was reacquainted with two arcade games that I had not played in years - Tapper and Frenzy. 

I then found some games that I never heard of.  Sewer Sam and Squish'em Sam were my first experience with speech on the Colecovision.  I did not know there were any speech games for the system, something I thought was reserved for the Intellivision.  Two games that I never heard of and were not all that much fun were Frantic Freddy and Spectron.  But I did find some gems like Flipper Slipper and Oil's Well.  Other great games were Up n Down, Chopliter and a game that I remember seeing in a magazine but never played, Frogger II.

This gave a huge boost to my collection and made the Colecovision the system to play for the new few weeks.  It was one of the best finds and to get it on my birthday was a bonus. 

Video Game Urban Legend #4
One of the most told urban legends is the warehouse full of video games.  It is never a warehouse full of common games (which would be the most likely), but it is always something very rare and very valuable.  A few that I have heard over the years is the warehouse with the Chase the Chuckwagons that Purina made but did not ship out.  I have also heard the one about the warehouse full of unsold Vectrex consoles, games and 3D Imagers and light pens.  I also heard one about a Coleco warehouse full of Coleco Adam computers (both the stand alone and the add on), Coleco systems, games and expansions.

Sites of the Month
Keeping with the urban legends, I decided to showcase articles dealing the legends.  This way you can find out for yourself.

ET Carts Unearthed
This article talks about how a Canadian film crew are going to dig up the supposed ET carts  and prove once and for all if they exist.  This is one of many sites that ran the story -

This site does a pretty good job of talking about the game with links to supposed gameplay video.  Just watch it as the men in black are gathering data of anyone who looks into the game.

Madden Curse
Here is a site that explains how the Madden curse is more coincidence rather than fact.

WOW Moment
Winning a free life in a video game is nothing new.  It has been happening as far back as I can remember.  But when you can win a free game, that is something that was usually reserved for pinball.  When I first experienced that in a video game, it was truly a WOW moment for me.

The arcade near me always received the latest video games.  So you could come in weekly and find something new.  One such game was Ladybug.  It looked like a Pac-Man clone and at first I did not pay too much attention to it.  But I did eventually get over my bias and gave it a try.  I found a charming little game that while was inspired by Pac-Man, had enough unique features to make it a worthwhile game.

One of the things that caught my attention was the letters at the top.  There were two words that you were supposed to spell out, Extra and Special.  It took a few games for me to finally spell out Extra and get a free life, but Special was harder.  I wondered what spelling out Special would do.  When I finally was able to spell it out, I was WOWed by getting a free game!  I had never experienced a video game that allowed you to win a free game.

Video Game Urban Legend #5
One of my most famous urban legends is the dreaded Madden Curse.  It tells that any player who appears on the cover of the Madden Football game will get injured or have a bad year.  While there have been instances of it happening, they are more coincidence rather than an actual curse.  The bottom line is football is a dangerous sport and players get injured, whether or not they appear on the cover. 

Another issue closes.  Hope you enjoyed the Urban Legend themed issue.  Feel free to send me any urban legends that you heard and maybe we will do a sequel next year.  Enjoy your Halloween and give those kiddies some good treats.

-Tom Zjaba (This issue was done while listening to Neil Young, Nirvana and the Clash).

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