Atari Centipede commercial with bad 1980s TV rap

Enjoy this 1983 television commercial advertising Centipede for the Atari 5200. Read the rest

Fantastically deep history of plug & play videogame consoles

Back in the early 2000s, cheap plug & play videogame consoles became ubiquitous. I remember spotting them for sale everywhere from toy stores to Walgreens. Self-contained systems, they integrated one or many games instead of allowing users to swap in cartridges or CDs. Today, Frank Cifaldi of the Video Game History Foundation shares the deep and geeky history of plug & play as a launching point for his research on the TV Guide Quizmaster, "something so rare it might not even exist." Below are a few bits from the thread. See the whole thing on Twitter!

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Fantastic Atari commercial from 1982

This outstanding 1982 TV commercial makes me want to play my son's collection of vintage Atari 2600 games. Except, of course, for Pac-Man.

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Review of a tiny handheld retro-game console: Bittboy Pocket Go

ETA Prime takes a look at the new Pocket Go from Bittboy. The $40 device emulates GBA, SNES, MD, SMS, PCE, NES, GBC, GB, NEOGEO, and more. Read the rest

How to make arpeggio music using MakeCode arcade

MakeCode Arcade is a Scratch-like programming language for writing retro-style games. In this video, John Park shows how to make arpeggio music using MakeCode arcade. In the early days of video games, the existing technology didn't allow for chords, so arpeggios were a way to get the feel for a chord by playing all the individual notes in a chord as quickly as possible.

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PyBadge is a credit card sized computer with a built-in display

AdaFruit recently announced the PyBadge and the PyBadge LC (Low Cost), a single board computer with a 1.8" 160x128 color display, buzzer-speaker, and 8 silicone-top buttons arrange for handheld gaming. The video above shows the PyBadge in a 3D printed case designed by Pedro Ruiz. Read the rest

The evolution of snooker video games

Starting with a 1984 version of snooker (kind of like pool with more balls and smaller pockets) for the Commodore 64, Nostalgia Nerd shows how videogame versions of the game have evolved over the years. Even though the latest versions are hyperrealistic, I think the simple C64 version is the most appealing, but as Nostalgia Nerd points out, the physics and collision detection are laughable. Read the rest

Review of the LDK Game open source handheld retro-game emulation console

ETA Prime reviewed the LDK Game, an open source handheld retro-game emulation console that can play games from Nintendo, Sega, and other retro-platforms. It costs $60. Read the rest

GB Studio is a free OS X app to make Gameboy style games

GB Studio' looks like a cool way to quickly build retro-games using visual scripting. You can play the games on a mobile phone, a Raspberry Pi, Itch.io, the web, or even a Gameboy. It's free and runs on OS X. Read the rest

Easy way to play retro video games on your Mac

OpenEmu is a free multi-platform retro video game emulator for OS X. It has emulators for Atari, Nintendo, Sega, PC, and Sony consoles. Setup is brainless Once you install it, you can drag and drop your ROM files (making sure, of course, you legally own them) into the app and start playing them. You can play the games from your keyboard, but I recommend getting a USB controller. The one I use is this Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad:

To configure it, go to Preferences in OpenEmu, click Controllers, select the controller you want to emulate, then follow the prompts for which buttons to push.

You'll be playing your favorite old games in no time. Check out the large library of great homebrew games that you can download directly from the app, too. Read the rest

Streaming 2003's Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: I am a padawan

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic is one of the most beloved video games of all time.

Ride along as I miserably stumble my way through an award-winning game 16 years after its release.

There is some great Star Wars backstory left forgotten by all but the most knowing fans! We can uncover it, or just read the faq.

I have never played all the way through this game, and only recently realized it had both been "Enhanced" with updated graphics for the Xbox One X in 2018. The Darth Revan story is famous tho. Star Wars fans can bring it up as a trump card in any discussion. Now I will be able to say "Yeah, I played through on the Xbox enhanced!" This should quiet all but the folks who have played the numerous mods.

I will be able to join their ranks. I'm usually auto-leveling my characters, and I keep forgetting to be "dark" but I really do mean ill.

Tonight I am about to close out the first major level, and leave the planet Taris... once I steal a ship and escape the Sith. Then it isoff to Dantooine where I train as a padawan.

I'm sure I'll make a great padawan. The best.

The RPG from 2003 is surprisingly fun to play. I did not enjoy the most modern hit RPG Red Dead Redemption 2, but I am very happy to play through this game and looking forward to the enhanced version of KOTOR 2. Read the rest

A brief history of the bizarre, unholy offspring of Tetris

In 1984, Alexey Pajitnov, then working for the Russian Academy of Sciences, completed his masterpiece, Tetris. It was perfection and, sadly, could only go downhill from there, as the inimitable videogamedunkey explains in this delightful video above.

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Cool Raspberry Pi retro-game player

Love Hultén makes beautiful game devices based on the Raspberry Pi and RertroPie. His latest design, which has a speckly textured finish, is called the Geoboi. Read the rest

The Nostalgia Nerd’s Retro Tech: Computers, Consoles and Games

Peter Leigh, known as the Nostalgia Nerd on his YouTube channel, has a cool new hardcover book out called The Nostalgia Nerd’s Retro Tech: Computers, Consoles and Games, which is exactly what it says it is - photos and descriptions of gear from the 1970s-1990s. Here are a few spreads from the book to give you an idea of what's in it and how the material is presented:

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Slack running on a Nintendo SNES

In the mid-1990s, Nintendo released Satellaview, a satellite modem for Nintendo's Super Famicom (SNES) only available in Japan. Just for kicks, Bertrand Fan hacked an SNES and Satellaview to run Slack. Bertrand has an intimate knowledge of Slack because he's one of the engineers building that platform. From Bert:

If you can beam satellite signals to a SNES, you can probably run Slack on it...

Most SNES games are closed systems. When you play a game like Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus, an educational game about dinosaurs with asthma that teaches you how to use an inhaler, the content is fixed on the cartridge.

But the game that comes with the Satellaview, BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen (BS-X それは名前を盗まれた街の物語), is different. It looks like a lot of Japanese RPGs but has one key difference: it can receive content beamed from the sky and that content gets integrated into the game....

Using a tool called SatellaWave, you can generate your own Satellaview Broadcast binary files.

Slack on a SNES (Bert.org)

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Play Bubble Bobble, Wolfenstein, and 13,000 other Commodore 64 disks free online

The Internet Archive now offers in-browser emulation of more than 13,000 Commodore 64 floppy disks. The Sentinel, Paradroid, Oregon Trail, Wasteland... they're all there, waiting for you.

Software Library: C64 (Internet Archive)

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Historical Dungeons and Dragons artifacts and an unreleased pilot for an 80s D and D radio show

I am a huge fan of Jon Peterson's beautiful doorstop of a tome, Playing at the World, an exhaustive history of D&D, RPGs, and wargames. So, I was delighted to discover his YouTube channel. Even though he only has a few videos on it, I found them all very interesting.

In "A History of D&D in 12 Treasures," Jon looks at 12 artifacts (I assume from his personal collection) that help in understanding the early development and history of D&D. It it so cool to see early correspondence between Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, early newsletters, rules for pre-D&D games that influenced D&D, and of course, the first printed, 3-booklet edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

Before there was Critical Role, HarmonQuest, D&D With Pornstars, and Wizards of the Coast's own Dice, Camera, Action, there was The D&D Radio Show. Or, there would have been if it had ever been broadcast. Back in the 1980s, TSR created a pilot for a D&D radio show that never saw air. Jon got a hold of the pilot episode. It's fascinating to ponder what RPG entertainment, now in its infancy, might be like today if it had taken hold over 30 years ago.

In this video, Jon sits down with fellow D&D history nerd, Bill Meinhardt, to go through the early boxed set editions of D&D to discuss how you can tell which printing is which. Read the rest

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