=                                             =
                =     "VIC-20 Cartridge Software Reviews"     =
                =         (One section of four total)         =
                =               AKA: Cartzilla!               =
                =                                             =
                =       Release date:  February 14, 1999      =
                =                                             =

         Copyright notice:  (c) 1999 Ward Shrake.  All rights reserved.
         However, the author and copyright holder grants his permission
         to any individual(s) for any non-profit use of this document. I
         just ask that any such people will be fair and honest in giving
         me my due credit for any and all work that I have done, just as
         I have gone to great pains to credit those before me. Thanks!

               Visit "VIC-20 Digital Archaeology" on the web:
                  Also be sure to check out:  ftp.funet.fi
                  (See the  /pub/cbm/vic20  directories.)

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GAME NAME:  A World at War
COMPANY  :  Handic Benelux B.V.
AUTHOR   :  unknown (198_)

GAME TYPE:  Board-style war game simulation. (Hex-based maps, turns, etc.)
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Keyboard. Disable bank 1 if present.
COMMENTS :  Not given a thorough review, due to its complex nature. You will
	    definitely need the original instructions to use any war game.

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COMPANY  :  Broderbund
AUTHOR   :  Steven Ohmert    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Original shooter, flavored with "Galaxian" & "Missile Command".
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Excellent. Technically impressive; uses bit-mapping on a computer
	    that was not designed to do this. The smooth, gliding movement of
	    the ships impresses, as does their recession-into-depth. Uses four
	    background scenes; another classy touch. However, from a purely
	    aesthetic point of view maybe the "hi-res" characters just seem
	    small and hard to see by today's standards? For its day ... wow!
SOUND    :  Good. Nice attempt at an interesting background tune; notes try
	    to rise and fall smoothly. Sound effects are average or better.
	    Considering the limits of Vic20 sound, this is also impressive.
GAMEPLAY :  Good, but takes some getting used to. See comments below.
OVERALL  :  Mixed. Technically speaking, this was leading edge stuff for its
	    day both in graphical ability and gameplay mechanic. But is it a
	    fun game to play? You decide. Some may love it, others may not.

AD TEXT  :  "A runaway best-seller for the Apple II and the Atari 400/800, is
	    a winner for Vic-20. Giant robot stingrays designed to fight
	    pollution have run amok and are attacking in waves from the sky.
	    A.E. tm ('Stingray' in Japanese) is a graphic masterpiece, with
	    screen after screen of spectacular 3-D effects. The arcade-style
	    action is masterful too, as you launch your remotely-triggered
	    missiles and detonate them precisely to coincide with the
	    swooping, diving, constantly changing flight patterns of the
	    deadly A.E.'s!" (From inside cover, Compute's Gazette, July 1983)
REVIEW   :  "AE places you in defense of Earth against squadrons of robot
	    sting rays. The Vic20 game includes four 3-D screens." (Press
	    release seen in Compute's Gazette, Aug 83, page 101.)
REVIEW   :  "The AE robots are out of control, darting around the screen and
	    making a nuisance of themselves. You need to drive them away in
	    three perfect attacks. Hitting your fire button lauches a missile,
	    releasing the button detonates it. So your timing is just as
	    important as your aim. Sometimes the AE fly in single file,
	    sometimes they break up into smaller units. Five screens." Seen
	    in Jan 1985 Computer Games, page 12. They rated the game an "A".
TRIVIA   :  Original (non-Vic20) version designed by Makoto Horai & Jun Wada
	    according to the screen credits. (Was Apple or Atari the first?)
COMMENTS :  The game uses the joystick in a novel way. Left and right do
	    just that, but "fire" is non-standard. Missiles that you fire do
	    not "go off" until you release the fire button. In other words,
	    press *and hold* fire until the missiles are at the altitude you
	    desire, then release the button, which detonates those missiles.
	    Meaning if you rapidly press and release fire (as in modern games)
	    the missiles simply explode a fraction of an inch over your ship!
	    This takes some getting used to, but it results in an explosion
	    which can destroy more than one ship at a time, too. The overall
	    effect reminds me of the game mechanic used in "Missile Command".

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GAME NAME:  Adventure Land Adventure
COMPANY  :  Commodore    [Vic-1914]
AUTHOR   :  See Trivia.   (1981)

GAME TYPE:  "Scott Adams Adventure Games" series. (#1 of 5.)
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 2 and 3). Keyboard controlled.
	    The game starts when you type "SYS 32592" and hit the RETURN key.
	    (If you are using a software emulator to run any game in this
	    series, try setting your memory expansion to 24k of RAM. These
	    four programs start at $4000, if your emulator asks you that.)

GRAPHICS :  Not applicable. These were text games. You type, it types back.
SOUND    :  See the trivia notes below, but not applicable for the most part.
GAMEPLAY :  Some will like it, some won't. A good change of pace, regardless.
OVERALL  :  It depends if you like text games or not. The whole Scott Adams
	    series was famous in its time and still has a following online.

AD TEXT  :  "You wander through an enchanted world trying to recover the 13
	    lost treasures. You'll encounter wild animals, magical beings, and
	    many other perils and puzzles. Can you rescue the blue ox from the
	    quicksand or find your way out of the maze? For beginning Advent-
	    urers and veterans alike." (Seen in "Commodore Power Play" Spring
	    1983 issue, page 105.)
AD TEXT  :  Box ads for the entire series read: "Welcome to the mind-boggling
	    adventures of Scott Adams! These true 'computer classics' are
	    among the most entertaining games in personal computing! Each
	    adventure is a completely different mind-fantasy, drawn from the
	    creative imagination of pioneer adventure game-writer Scott Adams.
	    There are 5 Scott Adams Adventure games on cartridge for your
	    VIC-20... we know you'll enjoy them all! Just look at the
	    adventures we have for you!" (Then it describes each as above.)
TRIVIA   :  While the folks at "Scott Adams / Adventure International" should
	    get their fair due for writing the stories and such (on the Vic
	    and other computers), Andy Finkel was responsible for doing the
	    actual programming on the Vic20 versions of the Scott Adams games.
	    Neil Harris was quoted in an online interview, saying that Mr.
	    Finkel had to trim 1/3 the memory out (24k to 16k) of the Vic20
	    versions to fit them on a cartridge at all. Quite a feat, really.
TRIVIA   :  The games in this series "talked" if you had an add-on piece of
	    hardware called the "Type N Talk". (Otherwise, with a standard
	    Vic20, the text just shows up on the screen as you might expect.)
	    The author hasn't personally heard the quality of this speech but
	    has seen reviews of the Votrax hardware itself, which were good.
	    (And I have to wonder ... would emulating this device be possible
	    or practical on today's IBM computers? That would be neat, yes?
	    Even just recording the speech as .WAV files would be cool, IMO.)
TRIVIA   :  All the games in this series seem to have one advertisement for
	    another game in the series within its available texts. At least
	    two games list a phone number to call, if your local computer
	    store doesn't carry the Adventure series. That's kinda cute, huh?
TRIVIA   :  The Scott Adams games were part of a larger collection. While the
	    Vic20 only had five of the games, others did exist for other game
	    machines of the time. The Vic order is as follows: "Adventureland"
	    is the first adventure, "Pirate Adventure" the second, "Mission
	    Impossible" the third, "Voodoo Castle" the fourth, and "The Count"
	    is the fifth in the series by Scott Adams/Adventure International.
	    For more info about the remaining games, go visit the Internet's
	    online newsgroups that cater to the "text adventure" crowd.
TRIVIA   :  Just in case you've wondered, this Scott Adams is no relation to
	    the Scott Adams that writes the popular "Dilbert" cartoon strip.
COMMENTS :  Merely to conserve some space here, this review is sort of my
	    standard set of observations for the other four Scott Adams games.

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GAME NAME:  Aggressor
COMPANY  :  HES (Human Engineered Software)     [C305]
AUTHOR   :  Jeff Minter    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Clone of the arcade coin-op "Defender" by Williams.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Good. Could use the radar screen from the arcade game, but what
	    is there looks good. Not a bad attempt at vector graphic lines!
SOUND    :  Average. Sound effects are good, but get repetitive quickly.
GAMEPLAY :  Good or better. Fast paced in most places, reasonable balance.
	    Your ship takes a while to turn around, and without radar, well...
OVERALL  :  Good. Not a bad clone of Defender, given the Vic's limitations.

TRIVIA   :  Actually, I don't believe I've seen *any* truly good port of Mr.
	    Jarvis' ballistic arcade game on *any* home machine, until Jeff
	    Minter's "Defender 2000" showed up for my Atari Jaguar system. I
	    guess this was his first official warm-up for the project? Go
	    take a look at the official Atari release of Defender, too. You
	    will see that it has an internal message that says it really was
	    done by HES instead of Atari. Hmmm. Jeff's warm-up number two?
TRIVIA   :  Mr. Minter certainly has a sense of humor. Inside his code is the
	    message "WELL ZAPHOD'S JUST THIS GUY, Y'KNOW". Once you've read
	    Douglas Adam's 5-part "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy
	    you'll understand that better. And thank Mr. Minter for making
	    you go read an excellent book series when you're all done, OK?

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COMPANY  :  Commodore   [Vic-1906]
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1981)

GAME TYPE:  Original game involving mazes and digging.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Average. Nothing fancy. Most likely based on character graphics.
SOUND    :  Average. Some simple sound effects, somewhat like the gobbling
	    sounds in Pac-Man, but that's about all. No theme music noted.
GAMEPLAY :  Good. Could probably be addicting to some. The idea of digging
	    holes for the other creatures to fall into, and the heart-beating
	    sound effects might build up some decent gaming tension.
OVERALL  :  Average to good. Not really flawed, but not wildly spectacular.
	    Younger children may love the game. For them, it may be ideal.

TRIVIA   :  This game involves elements from games like Pac-Man (the maze and
	    four characters chasing you) and Apple Panic (the digging). You
	    decide if this makes for a good game or not, but it's interesting.

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GAME NAME:  Alien Blitz
COMPANY  :  UMI (United Microware Industries, Inc.)     [1619]
AUTHOR   :  Peter Fokos and Thomas A. Giguere  (1981)

GAME TYPE:  "Space Invaders" clone. (Probably unauthorized.)
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick or keyboard play.

GRAPHICS :  Endearingly crude. In other words, much like the original.
SOUND    :  Keeps your nerves on edge, like the original. Great laser blasts!
GAMEPLAY :  "Just one more..."
OVERALL  :  Fans of the original Space Invaders will not be disappointed!

AD TEXT  :  "Your mind must be clear, your nerves steel, and your eyes sharp
	    to prevent the intruders from demolishing the three missile bases
	    under your command. To survive the bomb-dropping enemy, you must
	    think as you dodge, duck, hide, and blast your way to victory ...
	    or oblivion! Only the fittest can survive the onslaught of ten
	    skill levels and escape with missile bases intact." (UMI catalog)
TRIVIA   :  Internally, this is just a 4k game. Not at all bad, considering!
	    UMI was one of the only companies that had any games ready for
	    release in 1981. It is sort of comical that both Commodore and
	    UMI released a Space Invaders clone as one of the first games.
	    (Man, were people anxious to capitolize on SI's popularity!) The
	    only other company to release in 1981 was Sierra Online, BTW.
TRIVIA   :  The original arcade game has 55 invaders; 5 rows of 11 each. This
	    version only has 40 invaders. Maybe only an "expert" would notice?
	    The Gameboy cartridge, in Gameboy mode, also has 40 invaders, but
	    the Gameboy cart has sounds that are closer to the original game.
	    The SuperGameboy version, however, comes as close to true arcade
	    perfection as I've ever seen; it appears to download code to the
	    SNES and hand over control to it, for some mind-blowing nostalgia!
	    But aside from that one cart this may be the best clone I've seen.
	    Commodore's Avenger comes close, but this has a closer feel, IMO.
TRIVIA   :  With only minor changes, this game would fool most people if you
	    were to put it into an original-looking arcade cabinet. Since this
	    version and the original are both monochromatic, you could even
	    stick a colored overlay across the screen as later SI models did!
	    But don't forget that the original arcade game had no joysticks;
	    it was just a set of buttons; left, right and fire ... remember?
	    (Not that I'm seriously suggesting this... just a sick thought!)
COMMENTS :  Space to start game; it may pause for a moment first. Keyboard
	    controls: fire = SPACE, left = LEFT SHIFT, right = RIGHT SHIFT.

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GAME NAME:  Alien Sidestep
AUTHOR   :  Kerry Erendson   (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Variant of "Space Invaders".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Good. The movement and/or scrolling effects are well done.
SOUND    :  Plain. Just the average shooting sounds you'd expect.
GAMEPLAY :  A bit flawed. Fun at first, but after the novelty wears off....
	    The concept was kinda cute, but the experience isn't very deep.
OVERALL  :  An interesting change, but not likely to become widely popular.

TRIVIA   :  This is a 4k game internally, although it requires 8k to run.
	    This would seem to explain the lack of depth in the gameplay.
COMMENTS :  There seems to be only one good way to play the game. You have
	    to move left while shooting quickly, to make a slanting barrage
	    of bullets. This seems to be the only way to actually hit the
	    oncoming aliens. Otherwise, as the name states, they sidestep.
	    Once four aliens have landed past your defenses, it's game over.

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GAME NAME:  Alphabet Zoo
COMPANY  :  Spinnaker
AUTHOR   :  Sheldon White    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Educational.
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5). Joystick.
COMMENTS :  Not given a very thorough review due to its non-game nature. To
	    really use this cart, you'll need the original instructions.

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GAME NAME:  Amazing Maze
COMPANY  :  Machine Language Games, Inc.
AUTHOR   :  Unknown     (198_)

GAME TYPE:  Overhead maze game; "race against the computer or a friend".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick and keyboard.

GRAPHICS :  Plain, but they work for this game. Some cute touches, like the
	    non-winning character's laying down as if dead, once someone wins.
SOUND    :  Weak to average. Some nice touches, but it gets a bit repetitive.
GAMEPLAY :  Good. Making the interaction between the players a primary part
	    of the gameplay was a good move. Adding the computer to play
	    against makes it a solid enough game. Probably fun at parties.
OVERALL  :  Good. Some of its weaker points, to some people, may be its high
	    points to others. For instance, the goals of the game are simple
	    in the extreme. For parties or for kids, this would be great. But
	    if you want strategy or a deep gaming experience, look elsewhere.

TRIVIA   :  Written in BASIC, with some machine language routines included.
	    This is a 4k game, internally, although it takes 8k to run in RAM.
TRIVIA   :  There are some interesting messages hidden in the internal codes.
	    Judging by this, and three $EA's found in the beginning of the
	    carts code, it looked like there was going to be copy protection
	    inside the cart, at some point. However, since Ward dumped the
	    code from a glued and sealed original, someone in the company did
	    the removing, not someone who cracked the cart. The message found
	    at $AF00 to $AF97 says "the next sound that you hear, will be
	    that of your logic board melting down; this is the price one pays
	    for screwing with the master". It included screen codes, which
	    when sent to the screen would allow multiple colors, case changes
	    and the like. I didn't see that technique used until the C64 era.

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COMPANY  :  UMI (United Microware Industries, Inc.)     [1611]
AUTHOR   :  Roger L. Merritt    (1981)

GAME TYPE:  Clone of the arcade coin-op "Berzerk" by Stern.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick or keyboard. Disable bank 1 if present.

GRAPHICS :  Good. The original "Berzerk" was not a graphic wonder to begin
	    with. This is arguably better than the arcade game it is based on.
SOUND    :  Poor. The original arcade Berzerk game had some speech, which
	    made up for its poor graphics. This just bleeps when you shoot.
	    (No more "Intruder Alert" or "Coin detected in pocket" ... sigh!)
GAMEPLAY :  Good, but a bit frustrating once you've seen "Super Amok". Slow-
	    paced? Only one of your bullets is allowed onscreen at a time.
	    (However, if Super Amok seems too hard, maybe this is just right?)
OVERALL  :  Good. Could be lots of fun, even if "Super Amok" is better.

TRIVIA   :  As much as it sounds like I'm complaining about this game, it
	    does show how far the industry had progressed in a short time.
	    Berzerk was not out long in the arcades when this home version
	    had arrived. It was only 1982 when Stern put out "Frenzy", the
	    sequel to their earlier "Berzerk" game. Impressive to consider.
	    It wasn't that many years before, when almost all the games in
	    any arcade where black-and-white with huge blocky graphics;
	    remember Midways first game "Gun Fight"? This is Hi-Res compared!
TRIVIA   :  I figured out the patterns in most of the software companies
	    part numbering schemes. Most are easy enough. But what was UMI
	    thinking? Aside from the first two digits indicating whether a
	    particular game was made on cassette or cartridge, can anyone
	    else see any kind of pattern emerging? Did they use a dart board
	    to choose their other digits? Did they just make up numbers at
	    random, to make it look like they had more games? Wish I knew.
TRIVIA   :  Hey now! Don't be stepping all over my memories! (Hee, hee!) I'm
	    impolitely referring to a new 1996 Sega Saturn game called Amok.
	    I know zip about that game; just thought the name was interesting
	    in this context. Has gaming lost that much creativity? That even
	    names are now being recycled, along with gameplay concepts, etc?
	    Again, I'm not dogging the modern game, just wondering what's up.
COMMENTS :  See also "Super Amok". It's much more polished than this game is.
	    The basic difference is that this game used 4k of EPROM and its
	    sequel used 8k. Twice the memory space makes a big difference!

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GAME NAME:  Ape Escape
COMPANY  :  Spectravideo
AUTHOR   :  Mike Riedel and Greg Carbonaro   (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Variants of two arcade coin-ops; "Space Invaders" and "Rip Off".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Good. Lots of little helicopters and such onscreen, all moving
	    fairly smoothly as they steal portions of the "Spectra Tower".
SOUND    :  Good to very good. The sound effects are generally good, but the
	    little guy that vacuums up your dead players is way too cool!
GAMEPLAY :  Very good. Everything moves and/or responds quickly.
OVERALL  :  Very good. Perhaps simple in some ways (graphics?) but well done.

TRIVIA   :  The company name was taken directly off the title screen. They
	    seemed to have been a bit inconsistent about their own name.
COMMENTS :  See also "Cosmic Jailbreak". It looks nearly identical. This game
	    might have been sold to Commodore, along with what later was to
	    become "Star Post", which may have been intended to be a clone of
	    the arcade game "Tempest" when it was first programmed. May. That
	    is a whole other story, however, that's still being investigated.

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GAME NAME:  Apple Panic
COMPANY  :  Creative Software (Licensed from Broderbund)
AUTHOR   :  unknown   (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Conversion of the arcade coin-op "Space Panic".
REQUIRED :  Two versions; 8k or 16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5.) Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Plain looking backgrounds, with very detailed (hi-res) characters.
SOUND    :  Average.
GAMEPLAY :  Control is too fussy. You have to be pixel-perfect on ladders or
	    it won't allow you to move on them. And so on. Game runs slowly
	    too. Or rather, your character seems to move through molasses.
OVERALL  :  Flawed, but I can sure see where Broderbund got Lode Runner from!
	    They just rebalanced this game and had a classic on their hands.
	    The improved version sold well into the 1990's. This game is more
	    of a history lesson, however, than competition for Loderunner.

REVIEW   :  "Space Panic was the first of the climbing coin-ops, but it
	    wasn't a hit until it reached the home market as Apple Panic!"
	    (Seen in EG Trivia, page 111, Apr 83 Electronic Games)
REVIEW   :  "The first ladder game was not Donkey Kong, but an oldie called
	    Space Panic. This is a slightly revised version that puts you up
	    against apple monsters who kill you on contact. The goal is not
	    to save some fair damsel, as in Kong. Here you are out for blood
	    -- apple blood -- and the only way to kill them is by digging
	    holes in the floor and waiting for one to get trapped. Then you
	    smash him over the head with your pickaxe -- unless he climbs
	    free first. It's a well-programmed combination of action and
	    strategy that's infinitely more challenging than Kong. The VIC
	    version is actually better than the Apple game. In Coleco's
	    version of the original Space Panic, your character is a spaceman
	    instead of a miner." Seen in Jan 1985 Computer Games; rated "B".
REVIEW   :  "Apple Panic ... is the computer version of Universal's 'ground-
	    breaking' coin-op, Space Panic. As it happens, the aliens who
	    pursue -- and are, in turn, hunted by -- the game's shovel-
	    wielding hero, bear a singular resemblance to -- you guessed it --
	    apples! It was therefore a relatively simple matter to redraw the
	    aliens as ripe, red pieces of computer fruit. Other than this
	    minor change in graphics, the computer software version is faith-
	    ful to its source of inspiration. The action is quick and exciting
	    and this title, which has been around for over a year, continues
	    to do a good business. Like its role model, Apple Panic has become
	    a genuine cult favorite among computer gamers. The ladders, the
	    aliens, the holes -- all the familiar elements are here." (Seen
	    in Jan 83 Electronic Games, on page 52.)
REVIEW   :  Another article in Electronic Games, entitled "Closet Classics",
	    (June 1983, pg 84) said this and more ... "The object of the game
	    was to catch the aliens by baiting them into pits you'd dug, and
	    then covering them before they escaped. This was accomplished
	    with the 'digging' button. As you got to the higher levels you had
	    to dig two holes, perfectly placed, one above the other, to keep
	    the alien in. The average playing time for Space Panic was 30
	    seconds. You felt like you'd been hit going up the ladder by a
	    brick falling through the arcade. Or maybe you'd dug a hole too
	    deep to escape from. Whatever it was, Space Panic played too hard
	    and had to be buried. Someone must have seen it though, and liked
	    it, because the game was released as a computer game by Broderbund
	    under the name Apple Panic. This software version is deliciously
	    true to the original. So perhaps there is life after the arcade!"
REVIEW   :  A fairly lengthy article on the climbing games genre included a
	    few paragraphs on Space Panic. One quote: "Not only did Space
	    Panic prophesy the advent of climbing games, but of 'digging'
	    games as well!" (See Electronic Games, Jan 83, page 55.)
TRIVIA   :  As you can probably tell, the reason I spent so much time and
	    space on covering this title, is that it is the ancestor to many
	    other games. Games like Loderunner and Donkey Kong apparently
	    were direct descendants of "Space Panic" and/or "Apple Panic". If
	    you can get over the lack of finesse, maybe you'll like this one.
COMMENTS :  It appears that two different versions of this game were made. I
	    have seen both 8k and 12k versions, dumped from original carts.

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GAME NAME:  Arachnoid
COMPANY  :  UMI (United Microware Industries, Inc.)     [16__]
AUTHOR   :  Allen Pulsifer    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Clone of the Atari's arcade coin-op "Centipede".
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Nicely animated, but simply colored. Smooth motion overall.
SOUND    :  Average. Some sounds may have been reused in UMI's Video Vermin.
GAMEPLAY :  Good, but I still like the ultra-fast game Video Vermin better.
OVERALL  :  Centipede fans should definitely give it a try. This one may be
	    more polished and balanced, but the pace puts me off a bit.

TRIVIA   :  An internal copyright indicates that Mr. Pulsifer first wrote
	    his code in 1980 although this wasn't put out by UMI till later.
	    So I guess that means Video Vermin was derived from this code?

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COMPANY  :  Skyles Electric Works
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (198_)

GAME TYPE:  Utility program. An accelerator package for your datasette.
REQUIRED :  Unknown, as no one we know actually has one.
COMMENTS :  Not given a very thorough review due to its non-game nature. To
	    use this cart, you'll need the original instructions. May require
	    the original cart, too, if it includes special hardware inside?
	    This must have been popular, judging by repetition of ads run.

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GAME NAME:  Artillery Duel
COMPANY  :  Xonox
AUTHOR   :  See Trivia.  (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Semi-educational two-player game, seen on many other platforms.
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Average to good. They do attempt to draw some bit-mapped scenery.
	    They even throw in some moving clouds, across the hilly terrain.
SOUND    :  Not bad. Decent explosion effects. Nice "your turn" sounds. Some
	    sounds are better than others, but most are competent or better.
GAMEPLAY :  Fun, assuming you like this sort of thing. Boring, if you don't.
	    But the slowed-down pace may be a nice change from time to time.
OVERALL  :  See gameplay. This is a cute, almost "deluxe" version of the game
	    that almost every other platform eventually had. Xonox lacked in
	    imagination in picking this, perhaps, but did make a nice version.

TRIVIA   :  Hidden inside the internals of the game is a message that says
	    "programmed by jerry brinson dedicated to shana, jacob, audrey
	    and frankie". (It's at $7c61, for you hacker types.)
TRIVIA   :  It is interesting that this is one of Xonox's better videogames,
	    and is also their only 16k version for the Vic20 computer. I bet
	    they coded this from scratch and simply ported the others? For
	    this game, I may take back some of my usual nasty Xonox remarks.
TRIVIA   :  Xonox videogames sometimes came in special plastic cases, with
	    two games per cartridge. They felt this helped to make up for the
	    lack of greatness in each individual game. Basically, they had
	    their costs of manufacturing way down, so they could afford to.
	    If you open one of their carts, you'll see some of the best work
	    around; quality boards, epoxied-over onboard chip blobs, etc. But
	    the average gaming consumer of the time disagreed with their idea
	    of quantity-vs-quality. Xonox still has a lousy rep with classic
	    gamers. I don't blame the programmers; I'm sure they were forced
	    to just do a quick, half-adequate job most of the time. Anyway,
	    the flip side of this particular "Double-ender" was "Chuck Norris
	    Superkicks". Personally, I like the AD game better than CNS.

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GAME NAME:  Astroblitz
COMPANY  :  Creative Software
AUTHOR   :  Tom E. Griner    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Variant of the arcade coin-op "Defender" by Williams.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Excellent. The graphic effects Tom Griner indulged himself in is
	    technically impressive ... even to peers like Jeff Minter! (Mr.
	    Minter implied just that, in an online interview with R. Melick.)
	    Full screen use (inc borders), scrollies, neat fold-in effect...
SOUND    :  Good. I like all the effects, except perhaps your own explosion?
GAMEPLAY :  Very good or excellent. Very fast! Balanced well. Nice controls,
	    too. A very smoothly done game, showing off Mr. Griner's ability.
OVERALL  :  Arguably one of the best ever clones of Defender, on any machine.

TRIVIA   :  This is a 4k game internally, which just makes it all the more
	    impressive! (You'll still need 8k of memory to play it, though.)
COMMENTS :  Use UP and FIRE (together) on the joystick to start your game.

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GAME NAME:  Atlantis
COMPANY  :  Imagic
AUTHOR   :  See Trivia.  (1983)

GAME TYPE:  A port of the Atari 2600 title.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick or keyboard.

GRAPHICS :  Excellent. Very clean and detailed. Beautiful colors. Smooth, fast
	    movement. The graphics are so well done, in fact, that the Imagic
	    games don't run well on my VIC emulator! (Glad I have real VIC's.)
SOUND    :  Excellent. The shooting effects sound good, and the background
	    noises smoothly build tension, as the game gets faster and ....
GAMEPLAY :  Wonderful. Fast, tense, but well balanced. All this, in just 4k?
OVERALL  :  Impressive; give it a try. Imagic sure made some great videogames!

AD TEXT  :  "... Next, Bill gave Atlantis a shot. The Gorgon attack vessels
	    filled the skies above the underground city of Atlantis. Bill
	    fought back from his two missile posts. As night fell, and the
	    Gorgon death rays took their toll, Bill lauched his star fighter
	    and attacked the enemy head-on in the air. But little Billy was
	    no match for the feirce Gorgon warriors. No match for IMAGIC....
	    Let this be a warning to all you cocky, know-it-all, self-
	    proclaimed video game wizards out there: Laboratory tests have
	    proven that IMAGIC games, when played in large doses, may be
	    hazardous to your self-esteem and cause chronic Hugedigitosis
	    (sore thumb). In other words, our games are created by experts
	    for experts." (Partial ad, seen in Jan 83 Electronic Games.)
TRIVIA   :  Box art says "Game program designed by Bruce Pedersen."
COMMENTS :  Keyboard controls are: F1 to start, X and right SHIFT to fire.
	    The Atari version definitely has one extra gun, in the center of
	    the screen, that this lacks. But it doesn't really detract here.

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GAME NAME:  Attack of the Mutant Camels
COMPANY  :  HES (Human Engineered Software)     [C318]
AUTHOR   :  Jeff Minter   (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Variant of Atari's arcade coin-op "Centipede", but taken farther.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Very good. It may look plain at first but all that scrolling does
	    not come easy to the little Vic! Tight ML code, you betcha! Mr.
	    Minter either had a good assembler or lots of practice by now.
SOUND    :  Really nice. Some of the best sound effects on the Vic20, period.
GAMEPLAY :  Fast and furious, with lots to keep track of. Very well balanced.
OVERALL  :  Great! Mr. Minter was destined for videogaming greatness, says I.
	    It was pretty obvious by this point, if one paid any attention.

TRIVIA   :  This game was intended to be the sequel to Gridrunner.
COMMENTS :  I bought my Atari Jaguar (admittedly on close-out) just to play
	    "Tempest 2000" by you-know-who. So am I a bit biased? Sure. But a
	    good game is still a good game, hero worship or no. And I just
	    got in my copy of "Defender 2000"; worth a Jaguar, for those two.

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GAME NAME:  Avenger
COMPANY  :  Commodore   [Vic-1901]
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1981?)

GAME TYPE:  Clone of "Space Invaders". Most likely unauthorized.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Good. No complaints. The original game had five rows of eleven
	    invaders each; this game has ten. (Better than most ports had!)
	    Nice coloring, too, although purists like me may object a bit.
	    The rest of the world will think it's a much needed improvement.
SOUND    :  Good. Nothing to complain about. It's what you would expect. I've
	    only heard one version that comes closer to the original, myself.
GAMEPLAY :  Good. Smoother response than some other ports on other systems.
OVERALL  :  Darn good. I don't think any SI fan will feel any disappointment.
	    It's a simple, fun and addicting game. What more could you want?

AD TEXT  :  "It's an invasion of space intruders and you're the VIC 'Avenger'.
	    Space action for arcade enthusiasts." (Seen in "Commodore Power
	    Play" magazine, page 102, Spring 1983 issue)
TRIVIA   :  It is interesting to note that Commodore's first ever game cart
	    was a version of Space Invaders. (See how popular SI once was?)
	    It is also interesting to note that this is one of the rare times
	    Commodore made no mention onscreen of this being copyrighted by
	    them. In other words, there is no date or copyright displayed.
	    (Commodore later made a version for the C64 computer as well.)

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GAME NAME:  Baldor's Castle
COMPANY  :  Daedalus Digital
AUTHOR   :  Martin Kennedy (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Dungeon style adventure game.
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 1 & 2). Type SYS 20182 to start.

GRAPHICS :  Good. A bit plain in places, but good enough to do the job.
SOUND    :  Average to good. Just the usual sound effects, but done OK.
GAMEPLAY :  Depends on whether you (A) can figure it out without the original
	    instructions, and (B) whether you even like dungeon-type games.
OVERALL  :  See gameplay, and decide for yourself.

REVIEW   :  "Arfon Micro (111 Rena Drive, Suite C, Lafayette, LA 70503) has
	    released a new game for the Vic-20. Baldor's Castle challenges
	    you to fight off the monsters with your bare hands (if you are
	    able) or with bow and arrow, magic sword, potions and more. The
	    castle contains more than 70 rooms on three levels. It is
	    available on cartridge and sells for $29.95." (Seen on page 146
	    of Run magazine, Jan 1984 / premiere issue.)
TRIVIA   :  Largely written in BASIC, with some machine language routines.
	    The location of the game was also unusual for a cartridge, though
	    not unusual for a game written in Basic. The author apparently
	    just copied the image from his 16k RAM expander's memory area to
	    that same memory area on an (EP)ROM cartridge format. Only this
	    game and the Scott Adams games require a SYS number to start and
	    both because they sit in the area normally used by Basic programs.
COMMENTS :  If you're running this program via a Vic20 software emulator, try
	    setting your RAM expansion memory to 16k. This program starts at
	    memory address $2000 if your emulator asks for that information.
	    After it is loaded into memory, type the SYS 20182 code to start.

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GAME NAME:  Bandits
COMPANY  :  Sirius
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Variant of the arcade coin-op "Rip Off" by Cinematronics.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Excellent. In fact, so well done that the Vic20 emulator for the
	    IBM PC has a hard time handling this. (Apparently raster effects
	    were used, as well as character set swapping.) Nice moving star
	    field effect. Even colored stars; very nice. Smooth ship movement,
	    lots of colors onscreen, lots of objects ... very impressive!
	    (Expect it to look awful on an emulated system, however.)
SOUND    :  Very good. No music, but the sound effects are well done. Sounds
	    a bit like the best stuff from the better Atari 2600 games.
GAMEPLAY :  Very good. Requires some strategy and thinking ahead as you can't
	    outrun the bad guys once they've gotten ahead of you. Nice job of
	    balancing things, I thought. The arcade coin-op "Rip Off" was an
	    addictive game and I think you'll find this one can be as well.
OVERALL  :  Very nice. Games like this let you know just how little effort,
	    time and skill went into some other Vic20 games. This game hardly
	    looks like it was done on a home console at all, in comparison!

TRIVIA   :  The arcade coin-op "Rip Off" was a black & white, vector graphics
	    game. Even their space ships looked like they came out of earlier
	    coin-ops, such as Space Wars. (The triangular "asteroids" ship.)
	    The game tension and balance made this lots of fun to play. This
	    is another pre-joystick era game; left and right were buttons!

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GAME NAME:  Basic 4.0
COMPANY  :  Commodore
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (198_)

GAME TYPE:  Utility program. This adds commands to the VIC's BASIC language.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Keyboard.

TRIVIA   :  This is a 4k program internally, but will take 8k of RAM to run.
COMMENTS :  This cart takes the 8k of ROM that runs the VIC-20 itself, and
	    adds 4k more to it. In other words, the operating system becomes
	    roughly 50% smarter. Among the commands added are a number of
	    ways to improve the user friendliness of loading and saving data
	    and/or programs, how to see what is on a disk drive ("catalog"),
	    and more. This even includes a machine language monitor! I bet
	    any number of VIC-20 game programmers would have loved this cart.
	    Unfortunately, it is extremely rare. Only one copy was found to
	    date and that was on a disk from an early 1980s user group. If
	    this had been widely distributed, early on, this would have put
	    the VIC-20 far above its competitors of the time. But I suspect
	    Commodore, who wanted to kill off interest in the VIC-20 to sell
	    their new C64, knew that very well. In any case, the program does
	    work very well, but never got into general circulation. Oh well!

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GAME NAME:  Battlezone
COMPANY  :  Atarisoft
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Authorized translation of the arcade coin-op "Battlezone".
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Very good. Nicely done vector graphics, fairly quick movements...
SOUND    :  Good. They did as much as could be done, within the Vic's limits.
GAMEPLAY :  Good or better. They did a pretty good job of capturing the
	    (onscreen) look and feel of the original arcade game, I think.
OVERALL  :  Very good. I'm not a wonderful B'zone player, so true experts may
	    disagree gameplay is perfect. But this is still a very nice port.

TRIVIA   :  Internal messages show a date of "12-31-83" and "(c) 1983 atari".
TRIVIA   :  The original arcade game's cabinet stood eight feet tall. You had
	    to look through a simulated tank periscope to view the screen.
	    The special joysticks, one per tread, made gameplay special, too.
	    The cabinetry alone added something to the gaming experience, but
	    this type of thing later died off. Why? Arcade operators wanted
	    new games to come in a generic box, so they could easily swap out
	    the old guts for a newer game, when the quarters came in slower.
	    Now, they complain that arcade game companies only crank out
	    more and more of the same old generic stuff. No kidding, guys.

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GAME NAME:  Black Hole
COMPANY  :  Creative software
AUTHOR   :  Tom E. Griner     (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Original game, flavored by various early arcade vector games.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Really well done. The opening screen alone (on a real Vic20) is
	    just priceless. Mr. Griner is definitely showing off. The vector
	    style graphics are a feat in themselves, considering the limits
	    of the Vic20's screen resolution and so on. Bravo, Mr. Griner!
SOUND    :  Average. Hey, if he had to go with minimal sounds to get his very
	    impressive graphics, so be it. Not that the sounds are bad.
GAMEPLAY :  Good. Fans of early arcade games will probably appreciate it more
	    than the average modern-era gamer, who may be a bit confused by
	    it, and why this game would have been a big deal in its day.
OVERALL  :  Very good. Technically impressive but perhaps for limited tastes?
	    At the very least, load it up to see the neat graphical tricks.

TRIVIA   :  This is only a 4k game internally although it requires 8k to run.

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GAME NAME:  Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
COMPANY  :  Sega Enterprises, Inc.
AUTHOR   :  See Trivia.   (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Translation of arcade coin-op of same name.
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 3 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Very good. Graphically impressive from a technical standpoint, as
	    they are using the entire screen (including its borders) as part
	    of the playing field. Or at least it looks like it, at first. You
	    can't actually go over there, but it is part of the scenery. Nice
	    recession-into-depth perspective effect. The title has some nice
	    raster effect routines on the letters, which hackers may enjoy.
SOUND    :  Very good. A quality job on the sound effects but no music plays.
	    There is plenty of sound to keep you busy as the game progresses.
GAMEPLAY :  Very good. I can't see much difference, gameplay-wise, between
	    this Vic20 version and the C64 version. I've never actually seen
	    the arcade game this is based on, so can't comment on that aspect.
	    But the level progression seems steady enough, and pacing is good.
OVERALL  :  Very good. Impressive in a number of technical ways, but still
	    simple enough to be a good, playable game. Well done!

TRIVIA   :  Yes, that Sega. The folks that made Sonic the Hedgehog and the
	    Sega Genesis, years later. They must have really been trying to
	    do well, way back when. It shows in their finished code, and it
	    also shows in their full-color cartridge labels. Beautiful! A
	    hearty cheer for someone who cared, while everyone else did awful
	    looking text labels on their carts. I'm so sick of seeing labels
	    that only printed the name in text. Blah! I am convinced that one
	    of the reasons the Atari 2600 became so popular was their use of
	    colorful graphics on their carts. (And why collectors still want
	    them.) Most of the less popular systems had plain text labels.

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GAME NAME:  Bug Crusher
COMPANY  :  O.E.M. Inc., & Mr. Computer Products
AUTHOR   :  Peter Nissley     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Original space game, with hints of games like Frogger and Rip-Off.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Monochromatic character-type graphics, but movement is smooth. It
	    looks plain; I suspect different / more colors would have helped?
SOUND    :  Really good! It definitely adds something to the game. Whatever
	    your ship does, has a corresponding sound that syncs well with
	    the action onscreen. Would not be the same game without the sound.
GAMEPLAY :  The concept itself is a bit unusual, but the interaction between
	    the computer and the player is very finely tuned. Movement is a
	    bit touchy, perhaps, but extremely fast and smooth. I'm not sure
	    the balance is perfect? It seems you spend most of your time on
	    only half the screen, trapped between deadly objects overhead and
	    a dangerous object following you around. It is fast-paced and it
	    does have good tension, without seeming to cheat when you die. It
	    does give one the feeling you died because of the way the screen
	    was set up, at times. It is a judgement call, person-by-person,
	    to see if they consider the screen layout a flaw or good design.
OVERALL  :  Not perfect, but it can be fun nonetheless. Without the sound I
	    may have rated this game lower, but the quickly-responding control
	    and the feeling of tension make the game unique. This is a game
	    that will surely provoke some emotional response. Give it a try.

TRIVIA   :  This is a 4k game, internally, although it takes 8K to run in RAM.

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GAME NAME:  Cannonball Blitz
COMPANY  :  Sierra On-line      [CBL-401]
AUTHOR   :  Screen says "by I.C.G. programer Blip"  (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Variant of arcade coin-op "Donkey Kong" by Nintendo.
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 1 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Plain looking, but very smoothly animated. They chose resolution
	    over number of colors, essentially. (Compare to Donkey Kong.)
SOUND    :  Average or better. Nice attempt at background music, good effects.
GAMEPLAY :  You decide. It has that Nintendo-like tourism/exploration feeling
	    to it that I never quite fell in love with. But other gamers feel
	    tourism results in a deeper gaming experience, in some ways.
OVERALL  :  This is a quality game but it is of a game type that I just don't
	    care for much, myself. It was way ahead of the NES era, however,
	    if you want to give it points for something like that.

COMMENTS :  This is actually only a 12k game internally. (8k + another 4k.)

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GAME NAME:  Capture the Flag
COMPANY  :  Sirius software
AUTHOR   :  Paul Edelstein     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Original game. Something like a non-violent version of "Doom".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick and/or keyboard.

GRAPHICS :  Awesome. Split-screen graphics with multiple windowing effects
	    and first-person motion, all on a computer that does not even
	    have built-in bit mapping capabilities? Wow. Simply marvelous!
SOUND    :  Good. Reasonably good tries at tunes, with nice sound effects.
GAMEPLAY :  Where else have we recently seen multi-player, multi-room, first
	    person exploration games? Just add some monsters, and you have a
	    Vic20 version of Doom or Duke Nukem or whatever. How cool!
OVERALL  :  Wonderful. The concept is cool, the execution of it is cool, the
	    fact that it came a decade before this type of thing exploded in
	    popularity makes it way before its time, etc, etc. Check it out!

REVIEW   :  "A split-screen, first-person perspective shows the view seen by
	    each of two players as one tries to reach the flag on the other
	    side of the maze that the second player must defend. (He can kill
	    the first player just by entering the same section of the maze.)
	    A map at the bottom slowly charts your progress as you move
	    through the maze. Despite the excellent 3-D graphics and eerie
	    music, playability suffers because you must keep looking back
	    and forth between the map at the bottom and the maze at the top.
	    You can play against the computer, and it's on cartridge as well
	    as disk." Seen in Jan 1985 Computer Games, page 13. Rated a "C".
COMMENTS :  May be hard to figure out without the original instructions. The
	    concept itself is simple enough: two players, each trying to find
	    the flag first. This was a non-computer game a long time before
	    this game came out, but being able to play without a second human
	    being (against the computer) was still a novel idea, back then.

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GAME NAME:  Cave-in
COMPANY  :  Spectravision
AUTHOR   :  Greg Carbonaro     (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Original game, flavored by Pac-Man and snake/surround games.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Good. A bit plain or average looking, but they work.
SOUND    :  Good. Nice opening tune, but it gets a bit repetitive.
GAMEPLAY :  Average to good, but a bit unusual. Has a wide range of levels
	    (6) to choose from; from crawling along to over-in-two-seconds.
OVERALL  :  You decide. It seems like one of those love-it-or-hate-it games.

TRIVIA   :  The company name was taken directly off the title screen. The
	    company seems to have been inconsistent about their own name.

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GAME NAME:  Centipede
COMPANY  :  Atarisoft
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Translation of Atari's coin-op arcade "Centipede".
REQUIRED :  16k RAM (8k each in banks 1 & 5). Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Very good. Looks just like the real thing, except a bit blocky?
SOUND    :  Very good. Sounds just like the real thing, for the most part.
GAMEPLAY :  Very good. Only arcade fans could tell the difference, perhaps?
OVERALL  :  Very good. A fine translation, as far as I can tell. It works.
	    I prefer fast, tense games. Try "Video Vermin", if you do also.

REVIEW   :  "The classic arcade game in all its glory. Or most of it, anyway.
	    This is one of the fastest shooting games that exists. Your
	    shooter is at the bottom of the screen, and you've got to wipe
	    out mushrooms, centipede segments, bouncing spiders and
	    scorpions. Very addicting." Seen in Jan 1985 Computer Games.
TRIVIA   :  I don't own a trackball but I presume Atari's 2600 one works.

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GAME NAME:  Choplifter
COMPANY  :  Creative Software
AUTHOR   :  Tom E. Griner    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Authorized translation of Choplifter.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5; maybe additional 8k in bank 3. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Excellent. Smooth movement of objects, objects all recognizable,
	    etc. Some subtleties: parallax scrolling stars in background, the
	    neat title screen rotation effect, the angles changing to match
	    proper perspective as you cross the line going home, rotors that
	    seem to be turning on the helicopter, the flag waving at home....
SOUND    :  Excellent. Rotors sound like they are turning, pitch changes as
	    engine speed changes, etc. Just nice sound effects all around.
GAMEPLAY :  Choplifter is justly famous for its gameplay. In fact, the game
	    was converted from home systems to being an arcade game. Yes, the
	    process worked backwards this time. What more needs be said?
OVERALL  :  An excellent rendition of a classic. Mr. Griner always manages to
	    squeeze out the last ounce of performance; another fine TEG game.

AD TEXT  :  "Those are your men they're holding hostage! We don't care how you
	    do it, but you've got to shoot your way in there and bring 'em
	    back alive. You've got three choppers, probably not enough but
	    it's all we can spare. And the enemy camp is pretty heavily fort-
	    ified. With tanks, jetfighters and truly nasty laser bombs. Okay,
	    maybe it's a suicide mission, but somebody's got to do it. Dozens
	    of innocent lives are at stake. We're counting on you ... don't
	    let them down!" (Seen in Electronic Games, Dec 1983)
REVIEW   :  "The classic rescue game. Sixty-four hostages are held behind
	    enemy lines. You've got to pilot your helicopter and pick them up
	    while avoiding tanks, fighter planes and killer satellites. You
	    can shoot all you want, but the only thing that earns points is
	    bringing the hostages to safety. Choplifter features superb
	    animation -- the little men wave at you and salute. Your heli-
	    copter banks and sways like a real helicopter. This is a must for
	    your game library." Seen in Jan 1985 Computer Games, page 13.
TRIVIA   :  Ad also mentions this program was "selected as some of the 'most
	    innovative computer programs' 1983 CES Software Showcase Awards".
COMMENTS :  It appears that two different versions of this game were made. I
	    have seen both 8k and 12k versions, dumped from original carts.

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GAME NAME:  Chuck Norris Superkicks
COMPANY  :  Xonox
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Original tourism & action game.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Mixed. Some portions are hi-res, others are very low resolution.
SOUND    :  Bleeps and such. No impressive effects, and no background music.
GAMEPLAY :  Boring. The idea probably sounded good at the time; a tie-in with
	    a major action star, Pitfall's running character (except overhead)
	    and so on. But the actual gameplay seems like an afterthought.
OVERALL  :  Bad. Looks and plays like the generic port that it is. But from a
	    historical point of view maybe this game is interesting? It's one
	    of the first of the under-imaginative movie tie-in games. I have
	    to wonder if Chuck Norris actually ever saw the finished game?

TRIVIA   :  This game came as half of a "Double-Ender: a two videogame
	    cartridge". Artillery Duel was its better half, in my opinion.

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GAME NAME:  Cloudburst
COMPANY  :  UMI (United Microware Industries, Inc.)     [1636]
AUTHOR   :  Peter Fokos    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Original game, flavored perhaps by Activision's "Kaboom!" game.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Good. Fast and smooth movement, even if the characters are simple.
SOUND    :  Not bad. Catchy little tune, nice effects. The tune doesn't play
	    incessantly, which makes good sense. More like an attract mode. I
	    wish more games would shut up once in a while. Less is more here.
GAMEPLAY :  Fun. Fast-paced. Might take a while to get used to, but I like it.
OVERALL  :  Simple and fun. What more can you ask of any game?

TRIVIA   :  This is a 4k game internally, although it requires 8k to run.
COMMENTS :  Fire button to start. Your character fires in three different
	    directions. Use joystick movement and fire, together, to switch.

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GAME NAME:  Clowns
COMPANY  :  Commodore   [Vic-1931]
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Translation of Bally/Midway coin-op arcade game "Clowns".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Paddle controllers or a joystick; see comments.

GRAPHICS :  Good enough. Simple, but so was the arcade version of this game.
SOUND    :  Same as with graphics. Nice funeral dirge, when you die!
GAMEPLAY :  Good. More fun than you'd think by looking at it. Give it a try.
	    (If your characters control poorly, your paddles need cleaning.)
OVERALL  :  Good. An older game but a fun one. Gameplay is the key here.

AD TEXT  :  "Come one, come all ... see the amazing jumping clowns ... direct
	    from their show-stopping Bally/Midway arcade tour ... A true
	    arcade 'classic'! Colorful acrobats with scoring skill." (Seen in
	    the Spring 1983 "Commodore Power Play" magazine, on page 104)
TRIVIA   :  One of the "arcade classic" series of remakes of older arcade
	    games. The arcade version was made in the late 70's, according to
	    the KLOV (Killer List Of Videogames). There are aspects of other
	    arcade games incorporated into it; namely Carnival and Breakout.
COMMENTS :  Marko of ftp.funet.fi fame says that two completely different
	    versions of this game exist. One was programmed to use paddles,
	    the other to use a joystick. If your copy does not work with the
	    controller you are trying to use, switch to the other controller.
	    (By the way, C64 Clowns and C64 LeMans also had two versions.)

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GAME NAME:  Commodore Artist
COMPANY  :  Commodore    [Vic-1935]
AUTHOR   :  Richard Blum (Bubblesoft)   (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Utility program. Draw pictures on your TV screen.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Optional are joysticks, lightpens and printer.

AD TEXT  :  "A true lightpen drawing game ... you are the artist ... you
	    create the picture .. multi color!" (Seen in "Commodore Power
	    Play" magazine, page 104, Spring 1983 issue.)
TRIVIA   :  This cart may be rarer than most. It definitely came when the
	    Vic20's commercial lifespan was rapidly dwindling. The cart I
	    have (A) is only 4k internally, (B) has the other 4k half filled
	    with what looks like a C64 utility program, (C) came in a special
	    case the author believes was used only for limited production
	    runs, (D) is fairly hard to find. (Was it ever massed produced?
	    In other words, does anyone have a tan "normal label" version?)
COMMENTS :  Not given a very thorough review due to its non-game nature. To
	    fully use this cart, you might need the original instructions.

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GAME NAME:  Computer War
COMPANY  :  Thorn EMI   [THC 22006]
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  War simulation, apparently inspired by the movie "War Games".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Nicely done. Neat blinking light / "computer thinking" effects,
	    good use of bit-mapped graphics, multiple screens, and so on.
SOUND    :  Nice effects, overall, but no background music.
GAMEPLAY :  Not thoroughly tested, due to lack of full documentation.
OVERALL  :  Will not appeal to fast paced, "instant gratification" game fans.
	    May appeal to those who like slower paced, step-by-step games.

REVIEW   :  This was reviewed in the Feb 1984 issue of Compute. See page 134.
	    (The review was far too lengthy to duplicate here.)
REVIEW   :  "Inspired by the movie Wargames. The game is in three parts --
	    monitoring the missiles, shooting the missiles, and matching the
	    computer code to shut down the bases. The first and third sections
	    are okay, but shooting the missiles is laughably bad. There is a
	    lot packed into the game, but no part stands up as a good game by
	    itself." Seen in Jan 1985 Computer Games, page 14. Rated a "C".

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GAME NAME:  Congo Bongo
COMPANY  :  Sega        [006-04]
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Authorized translation of the arcade game "Congo Bongo".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Reasonable, but not great. Has various small flaws. Definitely
	    not a show-off piece compared to its peers. The Vic20 was getting
	    pretty advanced in age, by now. Did Sega just crank this out?
SOUND    :  I suppose it's intended to build tension, but it just annoys me.
GAMEPLAY :  I've never seen *any* version of this game that was actually fun,
	    so is it fair to just call this average? The C64 version looked
	    great but wasn't any more fun to play. I never saw an unemulated
	    arcade original, so I have to wonder if even *it* was any fun?
OVERALL  :  I consider this game a dog, but maybe others will like it.

REVIEW   :  "A truly awful version of the popular arcade game. You are a
	    hunter on a three-screen safari. Climb up Jungle Mountain. Trek
	    across Jungle River. Set Congo Bongo on fire. The graphics are
	    some of the worst we've ever seen. Some games simply can't make
	    the arcade to home translation." Seen in Jan 1985 Computer Games,
	    page 14. They rated the game a "D".
TRIVIA   :  See the other Sega games as well. (Star Trek and Buck Rogers.) I
	    already said it there, but I'll say it again ... bravo for cart
	    labels with some color and art to them! Phooey on text labels!
	    Unfortunately, I consider this carts label to be its high point.

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GAME NAME:  Cosmic Cruncher
COMPANY  :  Commodore   [Vic-1922]
AUTHOR   :  unknown     (1982)

GAME TYPE:  "Pac-Man" variant. Different graphics but same overall concept.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Fair to average. And I'm being rather generous, I think. Lots of
	    flickering on the 4 characters that chase you, for instance. Big
	    blocky graphics, for another. All in all, it's almost ugly.
SOUND    :  Not bad, but could be better. The Pac-Man theme can almost be
	    recognized, which is surprising as this was a legalized remake.
	    With some work, the sounds could become fully recognizable....
GAMEPLAY :  Good. It is almost surprising, as the screens look so bad that
	    you almost don't even want to give it a try. Put this game's code
	    for gameplay with say Jelly Monsters character graphics and we
	    would have a really nice port of Pac-Man, I'd say. (There may be
	    more work than that, but it would get you fairly close, fast.)
OVERALL  :  Mixed. Sort of the game that could have been but never was. The
	    authorized version of Pac-Man is no wonder, itself, so maybe...

AD TEXT  :  "Maneuver your 'Cosmic Cruncher' through the Milky Way and
	    'Crunch' all the pulsars in the galaxy ... eleven challenging
	    levels of play ... over 300 color / maze combinations. Exciting
	    arcade action!" (Seen on page 104, Spring 1983 issue of
	    "Commodore Power Play" magazine.)
TRIVIA   :  Commodore wasn't the only game company to try to make money on an
	    unauthorized Pac Man game. Magnavox also made a Pac Man variant
	    to hopefully sell more of their Odyssey2 home game systems. Mags
	    then said Magnavox got sued, lost, and had to change their game
	    to one that wasn't such a close copy of the original. (This adds
	    fuel to the argument that Commodore had similar problems. Whether
	    they were actually threatened or were just scared, I don't know.)
TRIVIA   :  See also Pac Man, Jelly Monsters, Trashman, and probably others.
	    If any of you ever get tempted to cut up Vic20 cartridges to make
	    "multicarts" or what not, Cosmic Cruncher would be a good choice!
	    It's not like they are rare. They are practically an ultra-common.
	    A reason for this may have been Commodore pushing it harder, since
	    they now knew for sure that they wouldn't get in trouble for it?

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GAME NAME:  Cosmic Jailbreak
COMPANY  :  Commodore    [Vic-1927]
AUTHOR   :  Commodore UK    (1982)

GAME TYPE:  Variants of arcade coin-ops "Space Invaders" and "Rip Off".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Plain looking, but it works well enough. You can't easily mistake
	    the characters for anything else. Nice sneaking-in-from-the-side
	    effect. It gets to you over time and helps build up game tension.
SOUND    :  Pretty good. Has those familiar SI background sounds to it.
GAMEPLAY :  Fun. Give it a try before you dismiss it for its simple looks.
OVERALL  :  Silly but fun. A nice combination of two excellent arcade games.

COMMENTS :  Compare this game to Spectravideo's "Ape Escape". Who copied who?
	    Did the Spectra authors later sell their game to Commodore, who
	    made this version? Did Commodore just liberate it via their UK
	    offices? Or were both games based on a third I don't know about?
	    There is definitely *something* going on between these two games.
	    If anyone has some solid info on this, let us know about it.

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GAME NAME:  Creepy Corridors
COMPANY  :  Sierra On-line, Inc.    [CCL-401]
AUTHOR   :  Don McGlauflin       (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Original game, influenced by "Wizard of Wor" and others.
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Only two colors, but the screen resolution is very good. Watch
	    your character and see if he doesn't move like the WoW character.
SOUND    :  Sparse. Only a few sound effects. Actually, that's kinda nice!
GAMEPLAY :  Fun, if a little slow-paced at first. Avoid monsters while moving
	    through a maze and collecting special objects. Hey, I think I
	    vaguely remember hearing about a game like that; Pac-something or
	    other? Hee, hee. This game also has touches of dungeon style play.
OVERALL  :  They took various ideas and integrated them well. It's a fun game
	    as is, and a model for future integration efforts. Perhaps a good
	    starting point for a modern Vic20 rendition of "Wizard of Wor"?

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GAME NAME:  Crossfire
COMPANY  :  Sierra On-line, Inc.    [CFL-401]
AUTHOR   :  Gordon      (1981)

GAME TYPE:  Authorized translation of the Exidy arcade game "TARG".
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Simple, but maybe that is good after a while when things speed up?
SOUND    :  Average. Nice effects but no music.
GAMEPLAY :  Good enough. Move in four directions and fire at aliens. And of
	    course, avoid them while moving through the maze.
OVERALL  :  I am not personally in love with the game but you can't win them
	    all, right? Maybe others will find the play mechanic appealing.

REVIEW   :  "Targ (Exidy): One of the most unique approaches to the maze
	    chase contest presents alien invaders moving over a grid of city
	    streets seen in overview. The game has become a home classic in
	    a slightly altered form as Crossfire from On-line for the Apple II
	    and Atari computers." (Not to mention the Vic20! Text taken from
	    Electronic Games magazine, June 1983, pg 89. The article listed
	    Targ among others they called "some forgotten coin-op gems".)
TRIVIA   :  Title screen says "Jay Sullivan's Crossfire". Not sure why.

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GAME NAME:  Cyclon
COMPANY  :  Boone
AUTHOR   :  Alan Pavlish      (1983)

GAME TYPE:  Space shooter; likely an unauthorized clone of arcade "Space Zap"
REQUIRED :  8k RAM in bank 5. Joystick.

GRAPHICS :  Simple, but pleasing. Would not look like much in a screen shot,
	    perhaps, but the animation is very smoothly done. They work. The
	    splitting apart of the enemy ships was a really nice touch.
SOUND    :  Better than average. Helps to build game tension, which is good.
GAMEPLAY :  Fast and fun. It's a very simple game to look at, but try playing
	    it a while. If you like fast-paced games, you'll really enjoy it.
OVERALL  :  I liked it quite a bit. Simple, fun and addicting. What else do
	    you want in a videogame?

AD TEXT  :  "More fun than humans should be allowed.... Calling all future
	    fighter pilots. Captain Fargo needs you! If you can defend your
	    ship against the attack of enemy star-cruisers, control of the
	    skies is yours. But beware! Creatures of the night will come at
	    you from all sides . . . firing at you with light missiles and
	    white-heat vapor rays. You can take only a few hits or you'll be
	    destroyed. Only a steady eye and rapid-fire reactions can save
	    you and your ship. The challenge is yours. Defeat is agony." (The
	    ad also talked about Crater Raider, which has not been found or
	    archived yet.) Later, it continues on; "Introducing two new red
	    hot releases from the Game Brains tm at Boone: Cyclon tm and
	    Crater Raider! tm Like all Boone games they feature: Rapid action
	    * Super smooth animation * Intense sound and color * Multiple
	    levels of difficulty * And profession Hi-Res graphics. And when
	    you buy a Boone product you get more than just a game. We have
	    poster offers. Memberships to Captain Fargo's Fan Club. And
	    updates on all new releases. Cyclon tm and Crater Raider tm are
	    at your dealers now! Demand the best. Demand Boone."
COMMENTS :  So far, only one copy of this game has been located, in prototype
	    form. It appears that it did come out as a tape game, from another
	    company, but I am only aware of the one actual cartridge, so far.

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                     End of this section of "CARTZILA!" 
                    (See the other three sections or the
                    full document for more information.)