ARCADE AWARDS ANNOUNCED
“Demon Attack” (Videogame of the Year), “David’s Midnight Magic” (Computer Game of the Year), “Tron” (Coin-Op Game of the Year) and “Galaxian” (Stand-Alone Game of the Year) lead an impressive list of 1983 Arcade Award winners. The Arkies, originated by Reese Publishing Company’s Video magazine and now sponsored by Electronic Games, salute design excellence in all phases of the hobby. The Fourth Annual Arcade Awards cover games introduced into national distribution between October 1, 1981, and October 1, 1982.
This year, for the first time, outstanding games were also eligible for the Arcade Award Certificates of Merit. “We’re adding this new slate of honors as our way of acknowledging the tremendous strides game design has made in the last year or so,” says Arnie Katz, editor of Electronic Games and Chairman of the Arcade Awards Judging Committee. “Games that might have copped an Arkie as recently as last year would be shut out if we didn’t expand the award setup into less of an all-or-nothing affair.”
The Arkies will be presented to the winners at a mid-November ceremony to be held at New York City’s Tavern-on-the-Green.
A complete list of winners will be found starting on page four of this Arcade Express.
EDU-WARE SETTLES SPACE SUIT
Game Designers Workshop, a publisher of non-electronic boardgames, and Edu-Ware have reached a settlement in their dispute over Edu-Ware’s “Space” and “Space II” computer games. GDW had alleged that the two programs borrowed more than a little from its Traveler science fiction role-playing system. Under terms of the agreement, Edu-Ware agreed to stop making the game—something it doubtless intended to do anyway—and attempt to recall all existing copies. Informed sources report that Game Designers Workshop’s concern was aroused as a result of its plan to put out a computer version of “Traveler” sometime in 1983.
ARCADIA HAS NEW NAME
Arcadia Corp., the company producing the Supercharger, has chosen its new name. The firm henceforth will be called Starpath Corp. The Supercharger is a cartridge expanding gameplay capabilities of the Atari VCS by adding Random Access Memory. Starpath is also marketing a line of games utilizing the expanded qualities of the Supercharged VCS.
Additional venture capital and bank financing totaling $8 million will enable the firm to double its personnel over the next few months, and to gear up to be “a major competitor in the home video game business,” says Alan Bayley, President of Starpath. The change of name resulted from confusion with Emerson’s Arcadia 2001 videogame, and “because some people thought the name Arcadia suggested that we make games for arcades,” according to Bayley. “We needed a name that will allow us to eventually go beyond our present business of making arcade-quality games for the home.”
WILL ATARI LAUNCH ANOTHER COMPUTER?
Company officials remain mum on the subject, but word is leaking out of Sunnyvale that Atari is hard at work on yet another major hardware project. This time it’s something called the Atari 1000, and it is reportedly meant to occupy a niche just upscale from the manufacturer’s current 800 machine. The 1000 is said to utilize a 16-bit microprocessor and is expected to have a 64K memory. When this system will make its debut and the question of whether it will be software-compatible with the 400/800 machines are not known at this time.
NEW VIDEOGAME SYSTEM INTRODUCED BY TANDY
Tandyvision One is the name of the new electronic videogame system from Radio Shack, a subsidiary of Tandy Corporation. The system is an Intellivision look/play-alike, and runs all Mattel Intellivision and Sears Super Video Arcade cartridges. The 16-bit microprocessor produces high resolution animated graphics capabilities, and the familiar Intellivision-style controllers use the keypad pushbuttons and rotating disk to maneuver on-screen game components.
Tandyvision One comes packed with “Las Vegas Pocker & Blackjack”, and sells for $250. Radio Shack stores are stocking 15 of the most popular Intellivision game cartridges, and are also setting up an “Intellivision Cartridge Hotline” special ordering service for games that are not in the store.
APPLE SLATES NEW PRODUCTS FOR ‘83
Apple Computer, Inc. will release several new products during the next year, according to A.C.Markkula, Apple’s President. A high-end personal business computer code-named “Lisa” will debut in January. Later, a less expensive more limited business machine called “Mackintosh” will be unveiled. A new version of the Apple II, called the “Super II”, will be shown during the first quarter of ‘83, and an improved version of the Apple III is slated for later in the year.
Mr. Markkula stressed that Apple is “firmly committed to strengthening the integrity of its authorized dealer network”. It is believed that Apple plans action to halt sales by unauthorized retail outlets that usually undersell the authorized dealers.
PICK AXE PETE PICK-OFF PICKS CHAMPION PICKER
Tony Scardigno won the gold, proving himself the world’s champion picker in the Pick Axe Pete Pick-Off on October 9. The Pick-Off was sponsored by Odyssey to locate the champion picker in the popular climbing game, “Pick Axe Pete”. Five finalists won trips for themselves and guests to the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tn., where the crowd-pleasing event helped swell Fair attendance to its single day record of over 110,000. Tony’s prize was a pound of gold, worth between $6000 and $7000, depending on market value. He said he wasn’t sure what he’d do with the cash, but hoped to take “about an ounce” to buy videogames, and put the rest away for college.
Over 10,000 Odyssey players participated in the National Pick-Off by sending in photos of their top scores, hoping to qualify for the two-night trip to the World’s Fair and the chance to play for a pound of gold, the prize for the best picker. The country’s top players, each qualifying with over 9,000 points, were: Jodi Schumacher, the only woman in the group, and her brother Bryan, from Trenton, Ohio. The Schumachers are the only known family with two champion videogamers. George Floyd, Rogersville, Tn., a lefty who’s so used to his right-hand controller that he says he wouldn’t change. Mike McKim, a 12-year-old from Alexander, Arkansas, and Tony Scardigno, 10, from Weehawken, NJ, pint-sized, but a champion athelete when you put a joystick in his hand.
The Pick-Off was judged by Electronic Games editors Arnie Katz, Bill Kunkel, and yours truly, Joyce Worley. Katz MC’ed the event, giving play-by-play descriptions of the action to the crowds, with Kunkel adding color commentary and strategy hints as the on-screen contest battled to its exciting conclusion, in 3 rounds of timed play on mazes numbers 2, 4 and 6.
After the competition, Odyssey hosted a barbeque luncheon. The players relaxed and discussed strategy (they all agree it’s better to go up the left side, then wait until the key shows up), tried to learn what new games are coming, and expressed hope they’d meet at a similar event next year. Then it was off to the Fair. And a very fine time was had by all.
MATTEL IS GOING TO THE BIRDS
Mattel has purchased the exclusive home videogame rights from Walter Lantz Productions for Woody Woodpecker, the red-headed cartoon character. No word yet on the specifics planned for the videogame.
APPLE SUES PINEAPPLE
Apple Computer has filed suit against Formula International for copyright, patent and trademark infringement. Apple says Formula has been selling copies of the Apple II in kit form, under the brand name “Pineapple”. Apple seeks to halt sales of the kits, which are imported from the Far East.
ENVIRO GRAPHICS BEAUTIFY ARCADES
Wico Corp. is offering a unique new product to the amusement industry. Enviro-Graphics kits, designed by Willis and marketed exclusively by Wico, contain decorative material for dressing up an arcade to provide a visually stimulating environment. Each kit has a selection of wall hangings and signs screen-printed on durable foam board. They’re easy to mount on walls, ceilings or windows. The art is spectacular, reminiscent of the magnificent drawings found on pinballs, and the kit comes with everything an arcade needs, including scoreboards, announcements, and special supplies for tournaments and special events. The line will continually be updated with new sets of graphics introduced every six months. Arcades availing themselves of Enviro Graphics will be much prettier places to play, that’s for sure!
THE RETURN OF TRON
First it was a movie, then a game. And now because the coin-op is such a hit, “Tron” the movie will be re-released for the Christmas season. Disney officials cited the popularity of the game as the reason for this unprecedentedly early return of the movie to the theaters.
KEYBOARD FOR THE ATARI COMPUTERS
Screen Sonics, Inc. has developed a modular keyboard that can be added to the Atari 400 or 800 computers. When installed on the 400, the resident keyboard is left intact to be used for games and/or learning, and the new keyboard, dubbed the “Sidewriter”, is used for lengthy programming. Used with the Atari 800, the Sidewriter operates as an extension keyboard or provides a secondary operative location. The full typewriter keyboard is perfect for jobs requiring input of lengthy data, since its ease of use can improve accuracy and speed for most programmers. The Sidewriter sells for $169 for do-it-yourselfers. If Screen Sonics does the installation, it costs $249 plus postage.
Screen Sonics can also upgrade Atari 400 computers by expanding the Random Access Memory. For information, contact them at 314-434-0433.
PANASONIC TO OFFER COMPUTER
Panasonic is jumping on the personal computer bandwagon. The company will debut the “JR-200” in January. The new personal computer will be introduced along with approximately 50 software packs.
SIMULTANEOUS MOVEMENT IS FEATURE OF EPYX WARGAME
The gamer controls NATO armored forces against Soviet columns rolling across Northern Germany. The successful player can lead his forces to victory and shape the post-World War III world. “Armor Attack”, from Epyx/Automated Simulations, is a tactical simulation of tank warfare with 12 scenarios and a variety of terrains. Eleven maps are provided, or the gamer can create his own. Each side has six tanks with guided missiles and guns. Simultaneous movement and combat resolution take place in full color, and damage statistics keep the players updated on their armies’ conditions. Playable by one person against the computer, or head-to-head, “Armor Attack” allows each player to plot maneuvers without the opponent’s knowledge. The game is available for the Atari 400/800 computers, on disk.
FOOD IS A FACTOR IN VIDEOGAME PROMOTIONS
You don’t have to quit thinking about games even while you eat, at least if you adhere to a balanced gamer’s diet. Several companies currently have promotions that tie in with foods. There’s Nabisco’s Junior Mints/Ms. Pac-Man Sweepstakes. McDonald’s has a well-publicised Asteroids game going through the burger chain. Odyssey is the focal point in Kellogg’s Instant Win Video Game Sweepstakes. Even Jiffy Popcorn has a videogame tie-in campaign. I doubt that you could complete a full diet with companies running videogame promotions, but at least there’s enough of them to give you plenty to read on the boxes while you munch.
THE 1983 ARCADE AWARDS
Atlantis (Imagic, for Atari VCS)
Encounter at L-5 (Data Age, for Atari VCS)
Threshold (Tigervision, for Atari VCS)
Word Zapper (US Games, for Atari VCS)
Infiltrate (Apollo, for Atari VCS) Gorf (CBS, for Atari VCS)
Bowling (Mattel, for Intellivision
Triple Action (Mattel, for the Intellivision)
Venture (Coleco, for the ColecoVision)
Room of Doom (CommaVid, for the Atari VCS)
Riddle of the Sphinx (Imagic, for the Atari VCS)
Baseball (Mattel M Network, for the Atari VCS)
Sneakers (Sirius Software, for the Apple II)
COMPUTER GAME DIVISION
Castle Wolfenstein (Muse Software, for the Apple)
Kabul Spy (Sirius Software, for the Apple II)
Caverns of Mars (Atari, for the Atari 400/800)
Star Blazer (Broderbund, for the Apple II)
Preppie (Scot Adams International, most systems)
Juggler (IDSI, for the Apple II)
Neptune (Gebelli Software, for the Apple II)
Arcade Machine (Broderbund, for the Apple II)
COIN-OP VIDEOGAME AWARDS
Donkey Kong (Nintendo)
STAND-ALONE GAME AWARDS
Super Cobra (Entex)
Monopoly Playmaster (Parker Brothers)
VIDEOGAME CARTRIDGES: Planet Patrol (Spectravision); Towering Inferno (US Games); Demon Attack (Imagic for Intellivision); Stampede (Activision for Intellivision); Donkey Kong (Coleco for Atari VCS); Wizard of Wor (CBS for Atari VCS); Missile Command (Atari for the 5200); Super Breakout (Atari for VCS); Super Breakout (Atari for the 5200); Commando Raid (US Games for VCS).
COMPUTER GAMES: Protector (Synapse, for Atari 400/800); GFS Sorceress (Avalon Hill, most systems) Night of Diamond (Sir-Tech for Apple II); The Prisoner 2 (Edu-Ware for Apple II; Star Blaster (Picadilly); Shuffleboard (IDSI for Apple); Kamikaze (Hayden Software for Apple); Air Strike (London Software for Atari 400/800); Darts (Thorn EMI for Atari 400/800): Galactic Gladiator (SSI for Apple II); Swashbuckler (Datamost, for Apple); Dark Forest (Sirius for Apple).
STAND-ALONE GAMES: Electronic Battleship (MB Electronics); Tron (Tomytronics); Solar-Powered Games (Bandai); Arcade Time Watch (GCE); Taro (Fidelity Electronics); Othello (Gabriel).
COIN-OPS: Galaga (Midway): Space Dungeon (Taito); Tunnel Hunter (Centuri); The Pit (Century); Dig-Dug (Atari); Stargate (Williams); Reactor (Gottlieb); Jungler (Stern); Red Alert (GDI); Omega Race (Midway); Tutenkham (Stern): Fantasy (Rock-ola).
Reviews of New Products
|RATINGS:||1-4 -||The item has serious flaws.|
|5 -||An average game that does what it promises.|
|6 -||Better than average.|
|7 -||A good game, but maybe not for everyone.|
|8 -||A very good to excellent game.|
|9 -||An outstanding, state-of-the-art game.|
|10 -||Pure gold and about as good as a game could be. A rare rating.|
|KEY:||The information which heads each review follows the same simple format. First comes the name of the item, then its classification, and if it is a home arcade software program, the system or systems with which it is compatible. Finally, the manufacturer’s name.|
VENTURE/Videogame Cartridge (for Atari VCS)/Coleco
This is a credible translation of Exidy’s overlooked coin-op classic, for the VCS. Of course, it is stripped down to the essentials—no music, no converging walls and no monsters that disappear. It’s also a little annoying that rooms don’t fill in completely (as in the ColecoVision version) after Winky has snatched the treasure inside. These lacks should not obscure the fact that, compared to other game programs for the VCS, “Venture” is a solid entry with a good variety of action. Rating: 8
K.C.’s KRAZY CHASE/Videogame Cartridge (for Odyssey2)/Odyssey
This is the first game which can be enhanced through use of Odyssey’s new Voice speech synthesizer module. If it’s a fair sample of things to come, then voice games are certainly headed right down the success track. This maze-chase would be fun even without the Voice, but its addition permits the designer to endow K.C. with a roguish, fun-loving personality that’s just plain irresistible. K.C. must roam the labyrinth eating trees and segments of the Venusian Dratapillar while dodging this huge beast’s head as well as a quartet of lesser nasties called Drats. Chomping a Dratapillar segment puts the Drats temporarily at K.C.’s mercy. And oh, the joy of hearing K.C. chuckle contentedly after you’ve guided him to triumph! Rating: 9
SUPER COBRA/Stand-Alone Game/Entex
“Super Cobra” by Entex is based on the Konami coin-op classic, and can challenge even an experienced arcader. Pilot a copter through four screens, blasting enemy missiles and fuel tanks, avoiding meteors, then steering your craft through tortuous caverns. After the fourth screen, try to take out the enemy base with your own missiles and bombs. The fluorescent display uses square blocks to create the terrain and buildings, and a speed control knob allows the gamer to increase the action to a very sophisticated pace. Then the joystick and firing buttons are all that stand between you and the alien forces. “Super Cobra” takes real skill to master, and represents the state-of-the-art of scrolling shoot-outs for stand-alones. Rating: 9
GALAXIAN/Videogame Cartridge (for Atari 5200)/Atari
This is the only cartridge in the initial group of releases for Atari’s “third wave” programmable videogame system that has not previously appeared in substantially the same form for some other Atari system. It is easy to see why. Though “Galaxian” isn’t really a bad game, movement of objects on the screen is somewhat uneven, robbing this edition of the design’s most powerful visual image, the smoothly swooping alien gliding toward the player’s cannon at the bottom of the screen with lethal intent. “Galaxian” plays fairly well, but it just seems to lack some of the intensity of the Midway play-for-pay machine. Rating: 7
ENCOUNTER AT L-5/Videogame Cartridge (for Atari VCS)/Data Age
The colonists of L-5, a settlement just beyond the rim of Earth’s atmosphere, come under the attack of the Megalytes, and it is up to the arcader to use the anti-matter launcher to shoot the invaders as they approach. Difficulty is highly adjustable in this solitaire invasion game, and it escalates automatically every time the player scores 800 points. The graphic treatment is highly stylized and, with its striking screen colors, is quite attractive. To aim, the defender lines up the antimatter weapon at the bottom of the screen with the aiming cursor that travels along the top of the field. Anti-matter packets travel between these two points, destroying any enemy craft that gets in the way. Rating: 8
GORF/Videogame Cartridge (for Atari VCS)/CBS
This is a home translation of a coin-op invasion game that was mighty popular in the commercial amusement centers about a year ago. You are a space cadet of Earth’s far future, and your multi-phase mission is to defeat the forces of the aggressive Gorfian Empire which will otherwise overrun the Earth. In order to triumph, you must first defeat a horde of ships and droids in the lower atmosphere, then eliminate the Gorfian laser ship and its kamikaze escort, next brave the attack issuing from the Gorfian space warp and, finally, shoot it out with the flagship controlling the vast interstellar armada. This is a very creditable home edition, the limitations imposed by VCS hardware not withstanding, because it provides a lot more variety of play-action than the standard, march-down-the-screen style of invasion contest. Rating: 8
BASEBALL/Videogame Cartridge (for Atari VCS)/Mattel M-Network
Though this isn’t quite as outstanding as the same company’s “Super-Challenge Football”, it is certainly the best baseball game available for this programmable videogame system. Critics may carp that there are only eight men on the field—no shortstop—but that’s still five more than any other rival cartridge. Individual controls of each fielder are handled through an ingenious joystick control system that may cause some players a few difficulties until it is thoroughly memorized. Once again, the Mattel design team has demonstrated a sure touch with sports simulations. Rating: 8
DEFENDER/Videogame Cartridge (for Atari VCS)/Atari
They said it couldn’t be done, but Atari has done it! This is an excellent arcade-to-home translation of Williams’ superb—and very difficult—scrolling shoot-out. Apart from the fact that the defender ship disappears from the screen when it fires its nose-mounted gun, the graphics are convincingly faithful to the original. A great action game with plenty happening on the screen. Rating: 9
SEA FOX/Computer Game (for Apple II)/Broderbund
Ed Hobbs’ hi-res arcade-style wargame pits an attack submarine against a series of convoys and their escorts. The player can fire torpedoes toward the surface or horizontally, but only one metal fish of each type can be on the screen at a time. This, along with limited fuel capacity that requires periodic replenishment, introduces some stimulating elements of strategy into what would otherwise be a straightforward shoot-’em-up. There’s still plenty of blasting, but “Sea Fox” has the subtlety to keep home arcaders at the joystick (or keyboard, for those who favor that control method) for hours on end. Rating: 9
FREE FALL/Computer Game (for Apple II)/Sirius
Software Mark Turmell, who gave us “Sneakers”, is back with a novel switch on the climbing contests which are currently so popular. This time, the on-screen hero is falling from the top of the playfield and must exit the bottom edge through one of the four colored pits. The arcader uses the paddle to gently steer the character toward the goal during the descent, while avoiding the needles which rise toward the upper playfield boundary and the sizzling bombs that sail across the screen on girders. This has all the charm of Turmell’s celebrated Certificate of Merit winner, while offering a brand of action duplicated by no other computer contest. Rating: 8
The Nation’s Highest Scores
ELECTRONIC GAMES TOP SCORERS
Here are the current top scores from the editors of Electronic Games and Arcade Express. To compete, send a photo of the game screen showing the final score clearly enough for judges to read the numbers. All photos become property of EG and none will be returned. Include your name and address, and send to Electronic Games, 235 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10003.
UFO/Odyssey - Lee Raymond, no address given - 1,636
Asteroids/Atari VCS/Game #6 - Edward Semrad, Waukesha, Wi. - 199,930
Grand Prix/Activision for Atari/Course #4 - Mike Ratledge, Charleston, SC - 1:14:39
USAC Auto Racing/Mattel for Intellivision/Course #1 - John Bunk, Johnstown, Pa - 2:58
Galactic Invasion/Astrocade/Difficulty #1 - Steve Sabolich, no address given - 99,999
Spacechase/Apollo for Atari VCS/Game #1 - John Opiela, Philadelphia, Pa. - 42,600
Tron/Midway - Pieter Kreynx, Bethel Park, Pa. - 118,651
Zaxxon/Sega-Gremlin - Allen Rager, Millington, Tn. - 772,500
Wizard of Wor/Midway - James Hussiere, Poland Springs, Me. - 150,900
Vanguard/Centuri - Paul Baggett, Mesquite, Tx. - 259,250
Tempest/Atari - Eric Click, Houston, Tx. - 1,311,290
Robotron/Williams - Dennis Felland, Madison, Wi. - 76,223,720
Stargate/Williams - Joe Startz, Kenosha, Wi. - 20,449,975