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Thread: The "Electronic games that weren't video games" thread.

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    Kirby (Level 13) diskoboy's Avatar
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    Default The "Electronic games that weren't video games" thread.

    I figured this forum needed a thread based on what us older gamers used to play before home consoles really hit the mainstream.

    Games or toys like Big Trak, Speak & Spell, Simon, Wildfire Pinball, Merlin, or board games that used a 'computer' of some sort... Even electronic vibrating football.

    I still have my Merlin I got for Xmas '79. It sits in the attic, when I last checked about 3 years ago, it still works. I still swear up and down, most cell phones of the early/mid-90's had stolen the Merlin's design.

    What were your favorite non-video electronic games?

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    Great Puma (Level 12) NE146's Avatar
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    I really loved Kenner's Star Wars Electronic Battle Command (the guy in the vid is kinda clueless on how to play by the way ). I bought another one not long ago to accompany my old original. I also liked Lakeside's "Le Boom" which is really hard to find info even on the internet these days.

    Anyway, I had a bunch of games.. However it's hard to distance Video Games from them for me because at the time, electronic games were the primary (the only?) way to be able to play arcade games at home.

    Matter o' fact the whole thing started for me by asking my mom over and over if she would buy me a "Space Invaders" when I think there was really no home adapation at the time! The 2600 version was way off and there were no electronic games of it.. that I knew of yet. Anyway one day much later we were at a store, and found "Akknvader" an Electromechanical game that really really sucked But we bought it. I was so lucky to find it again on Ebay decades later..


    Later on of course bunches of electronic versions came out, and then the Atari VCS version. So it was all good.

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    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Bambin...arFootball.jpg

    Played that thing for hours on end. Laying under a side table in the living room, to see the display better.

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Bambino/SFB.htm

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    Kirby (Level 13) diskoboy's Avatar
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    I was one of those rare people who had a Speak & Math.


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    I logged many hours into this dinosaur back in the day. Wish I still had it.

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    Can't forget about Dark Tower:
    Settle down, raise a family, join the PTA
    Buy some sensible shoes and a Chevrolet
    And party 'till you're broke and they drag you away
    It's okay, you can dare to be stupid

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17)
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    I had a bunch of electronic games back in my youth. I played the heck out of these things. Today I have a few of the remakes (which aren't quite the same, but itches do get scratched). I'll share my top 5 favorites.

    5. Mattel's Basketball

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Mattel/BasketB.htm

    Growing up in Indiana, I was practically born with a basketball in my crib. So there was little doubt that whenever I saw a basketball game. I was going to buy it. This is a pretty fun shooting contest.

    4. Coleco Tabletop: Pac-Man

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Coleco/PacMan.htm

    I never owned this, but in 3rd grade we had a class copy that we could play during inside recess periods. I don't believe I went outside for recess the entire school year.

    3. Auto Race

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Mattel/AutoRace.htm

    I still love this game. I've actually had dreams about playing it recently. It's such a simple racing game, but for some reason I just remember my adrenaline racing as I got close to the top of the screen.

    2. Mattel Football

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Mattel/FB.htm

    The classic. I never actually liked the sequel, Football II very much. Just the pure simplicity of this one appealed to me more.

    1. Bowlatronic

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Coleco/Bowl.htm

    Of course, being the bowling guy...this had to be #1. Large machine, lots of different angles, and ways to throw all kinds of shots. This game had it all. Most video game representations of bowling TODAY aren't as well done as this. I played mine until the buttons broke off. And then I found a way to make it work for another 9 months after that.
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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    My brother got a Tomy Hit and Missle electromechanical game for Christmas one year, I loved playing it. My sister ended up getting a Mattel Armor Battle handheld, we played it until the buttons wore out. I had a Tiger Sub Wars handheld. Broke the periscope arms off fairly quickly, unfortunately. I also had a Milton Bradley Big Trak tank with the additional trailer. That was a fun one, although I could never figure out what measurements it was using for programming. I received a Laser Attack board game back in the day, too. It was pretty cool with its color gemstones and the spinning light in the center, but I think I only played it a couple times.

    Nowadays I pick up any old classic handhelds I can come across in thrift stores. I've got a nice little collection now. I don't go all that much into electronic board games, though. I'll pick one up if it's interesting enough.

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    Milton Bradley Star Bird. That thing drove parents nuts.

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/MB/StarBird.htm

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    I had some Star Trek communicators and a base station I really liked. No game there except for whatever make believe stuff we dreamed up. Since they were just CBs, truckers hated us and would regularly cus us out.

    I had a Starbird. Not really a game. It was just an elaborate sort of sound effect toy.

    I had a Big Trak and really wanted the silly little trailer for it. I used to program that thing to go all over the house.

    I had the D&D electronic castle game. It had this grid of membrane spaces and would make sounds. You used the sounds to build a maze map with little orange plastic pieces. Your goal was to avoid a dragon and find its treasure. The game is long gone, but I still have the treasure miniature somewhere around here.

    One other favorite childhood toy was my police helicopter playset. It was this base with a lever coming out of it and a toy helicopter on the end. There was a control panel which could control the spin of the helicopter's rotor, and you could control it flying around in a circle. The object was to pick up these little blocks and people with hooks on the tops of them and deposit them in something or other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by y-bot View Post
    Milton Bradley Star Bird. That thing drove parents nuts.

    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/MB/StarBird.htm
    I was at my local flea market a few months ago and stupidly passed up on one of these, boxed, for $5. Didn't realize it had any value. I should've known, considering how the 80s toy market is right now.


    I'm a kid of the late 90s. Sigh, I wish I had something like this gem from the early 80s when I was a kid:


    You play a game of tic-tac-toe against a chicken. 'Nuff said.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    One other favorite childhood toy was my police helicopter playset. It was this base with a lever coming out of it and a toy helicopter on the end. There was a control panel which could control the spin of the helicopter's rotor, and you could control it flying around in a circle. The object was to pick up these little blocks and people with hooks on the tops of them and deposit them in something or other.
    That is called a Vertibird. I have one of the original 1970s ones and they are much fun. Seriously, flying a little helicopter around in circles around a base is a lot more fun than you think.
    Last edited by Ryaan1234; 10-30-2009 at 08:16 PM.
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    The one I remember playing the most might count as a video game. It was a LCD Burgertime handheld. Too lazy to look it up, but it isn't hard to find pictures of.

    I really dig the electromechanical games now, though. I've found a few at thrifts, and something about them just fascinates me. It's almost like they are super complicated but in simple ways. I'm not saying it right, but it is something about the contrast between the very basic electrical parts and the pretty complex mechanical winding/gizmo parts that tweaks something in my brain. I've got a baseball one, a game I haven't figured out, and another I'm not remembering at the moment. Maybe another one, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius View Post
    I really dig the electromechanical games now, though. I've found a few at thrifts, and something about them just fascinates me. It's almost like they are super complicated but in simple ways. I'm not saying it right, but it is something about the contrast between the very basic electrical parts and the pretty complex mechanical winding/gizmo parts that tweaks something in my brain. I've got a baseball one, a game I haven't figured out, and another I'm not remembering at the moment. Maybe another one, too.
    Have you seen the inside of Tomy's Blip?

    I had one that wasn't working. I opened it up and messed around a bit and it worked. It is hypnotizing to watch. It amazes me how they were able to simulate random movement using only gears. Those that know even a little about mechanics will know that gears are anything but random.
    Check my auctions here! I am in the business of finding off-beat things, including video game stuff!

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    Tomy Pocket Games is where handheld gaming started for me. Interesting topic here as our November RetroGamingRoundup Editorial is on handheld gaming.

    http://www.masters.me.uk/pocketeers/...ocketgames.htm

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    One other favorite childhood toy was my police helicopter playset. It was this base with a lever coming out of it and a toy helicopter on the end. There was a control panel which could control the spin of the helicopter's rotor, and you could control it flying around in a circle. The object was to pick up these little blocks and people with hooks on the tops of them and deposit them in something or other.
    I had something similar, but it was based on Star Trek. My parents bought them at our local Scaggs Albertson's supermarket, one for me and one for my brother. But his didn't work so they returned it. And then the next one didn't work, so his went back again. His lasted for about a week, then either it broke, he broke it, or he dismantled it to see how it worked.

    My brother and I both had Tomy Pocket Games. I had Obstacle Course, and I think he had Racing Game.

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    "Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?" Flashback2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryaan1234 View Post
    I'm a kid of the late 90s. Sigh, I wish I had something like this gem from the early 80s when I was a kid:


    You play a game of tic-tac-toe against a chicken. 'Nuff said.
    We had one of those when I was a little kid and it was annoying with a capital "A". I don't think we ever beat the chicken now that I think about it.
    "Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?"

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    Battlevision

    I still own a Battlevision even though it is not in very good shape

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    Quote Originally Posted by vivaeljason View Post
    Can't forget about Dark Tower:
    Looks like fun!
    Last edited by Blanka789; 12-05-2012 at 04:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atm55 View Post
    I have always wanted to play that and the electronic D&D game, they seem very interesting.
    There's an online version of Dark Tower. It's not the EXACT same experience, but it's still fun.

    http://www.hotflashgames.com/darktower.htm
    Settle down, raise a family, join the PTA
    Buy some sensible shoes and a Chevrolet
    And party 'till you're broke and they drag you away
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