You Read It Here First
We’ve re turned with a fresh selection of non-games, cartridges which don’t exist — but should. They might not advance our culture one millimeter, but the staff would have endless fun with them. The way we look at it, if Odyssey and Atari can publish magazines about their games, we can publish games in our magazines.
How were these games selected? Simple. Thirty brutally clever ideas were shown to videogame fans around the nation, from which twenty-five were dismissed as absurd, unworkable, or dull. The remaining five are presented here. We won’t tell you the words used to describe them.
David and Goliath
The kingdom builder vs. the Philistine champion. Armed with a slingshot, you run around rocky terrain, trying to strike the giant with a stone. You’ve got to hit him thirteen times before he goes down; he has only to smack you once with his spiked club.
You only have three rocks in your girdle. If you fling them off-screen, you’re out of luck. Each time one smites the giant, you must recover it or reach for another, reload, and shoot again. Any hits below the gargantuan’s waist do not count.
The player is allowed three Davids before the game ends. The trick is to stun Goliath in as short a time as possible.
L-5 is the point in space at which the tug of the moon’s gravity and the pull of the earth will hold an artificial planet between them.
Your task is to build an artificial world. There is no shooting or flying involved: you are at the controls of a master computer, directing various spaceships about their task.
Rock excavated from the moon is sighted on your radar, so you must dispatch the space scoops and catch the tons of debris. Once it has been recovered, the rock must be welded to other rock using the electron torch. This operation must be completed swiftly, for the radar shows that more rock is being flung from the moon.
In the meantime, you must juggle supplies coming from earth, placing prefab dwellings upon the budding planetoid in preparation for the first shuttle-load of inhabitants.
There is no time, no point score. You must successfully complete the task before that first ship of earth people arrives.
Notre Dame will never be the same.
You take the side of the legendary Hunchback, having rescued Esmeralda from the hangman and now defending her from the riotous ranks of Parisians.
The measures you take are severe, but necessarily so: the populace is trying to batter down the door to the cathedral. At your disposal are an unlimited supply of flaming logs and three pots of boiling oil — the counterpart of Defender’s smart bombs, ridding the screen of all your enemies. The object is to clobber as many of the mob as possible before they can make a hole in the door and enter.
As Quasimodo you can scale the walls, earning extra points for taunting the masses by climbing over the balustrade and hanging from the gargoyle beneath your position. But beware! Every once in a while Esmeralda feels a wave of guilt and tries to fling herself from the parapet. You are warned by her awful shriek - giving you only seconds to reach the wrongly-accused murderess and prevent the girl from dashing herself to the streets below.
Timmy has gotten himself into real trouble now! He was trying to tip a nest of hummingbirds from a branch, when the limb cracked and sent him flying. He’s clinging to the tree while raging rapids try to carry him toward a waterfall.
As Lassie, you have fifteen minutes to cross two hundred different terrains. There are various dangers such as mountain lions, steep cliffs to be climbed a narrow step-at-a-time, and hermits who have a liking for collie-fur mittens.
If you fail to make it home and get Gramps before time runs out, Timmy is all washed up.
You have three Lassies with which to make the strenuous journey.
A racing game to end all racing games!
You’re in the front seat of the bobsled, on a course which the Olympic committee has condemned. But being an adventurous soul, you want to make the run.
As you speed along, melted ice can cause you to skid; rocks poking through the surface cause you to rattle or crash; tourists getting in the way cause you to swerve. Hitting any of these obstacles costs you points and slows you down.
All the while, you are spinning round and round. Thus, your view will be upside-down as often as it is right-side-up, or you may find yourself watching the world whiz by from the side walls of the run. In all, not a match for the faint-of-heart.