Happening in the Gaming World?
Welcome to the second month of Retro Times, a newsletter
for the classic gaming enthusiast! I have seen quite a
bit happening in the classic game market in the past
month. We are seeing many of the classic games being
redone on the modern systems. I saw a preview of a new
version of Battlezone. Before that, I saw a new Pacman
in the Mario 64 mold and a new version of Frogger. This
can be the spark that either sends the classic gaming
market booming or the market will remain small and
friendly. While I would enjoy increased business, I
would hate to see the friendliness of the industry go
away. We shall have to wait and see if there is any
impact. I have noticed that prices for some of the
"elite" games have been getting less in auctions. I have
seen Crazy Climber fetching around $100.00, where they
were going for about $50.00 more not too long ago. Some
of this may be attributed to a recent exodus from many
of the long time collectors and a wave of these titles
have resurfaced into the industry. I don't expect it to
last and the prices should correct themselves soon
enough. Makes me wish I had some extra cash to stock up
a few Chase the Chuckwagons to use for trade bait in the
You may have noticed that there are numerous changes to
the web page, especially in the classic gaming area. I
have been hard at work adding tons of stuff for sale,
more reviews and this newsletter. I hope to keep adding
more stuff and have some big plans for the coming year.
Well, enjoy the rest of the newsletter and your comments
and input is always appreciated.
What About Those Boxes and Docs?
An area in
classic gaming market that will see a major rise in
demand in the coming year is for boxes and rule books.
While I don't know of any boxes or docs that is worth
more than the actual cart, I think the day is coming.
The main reason is that there is A LOT less boxes and
docs available than actual carts. While many would argue
that without the cart, the others have little use, that
is no longer true. Many collectors are completist and
want the complete package. Plus, others like the artwork
on the boxes and docs and like to display them. The day
will come when the demand will far outstrip the supply
and the boxes will shoot up.
I did some number crunching to get a basic idea of how
many loose carts are there to every manual and box. As
we all know who have a decent sized collection, it is
much easier to find a loose cart than a boxed one. So I
decided to figure out the percentages and give you the
results. In my inventory and personal collection, I have
approximately 4500 classic games. So these numbers
shouldn't be too far off a national average. What I did
is simply add up all the carts I had for a certain
system, boxed or loose, and then divided the number by
the number of corresponding manuals and then again for
boxes. This game me a basic idea of the scarcity of the
manuals and boxes for a certain system. I did it for
four classic systems, because they were the ones with
the most carts and gave the best representations for the
system. The four I used are the Atari 2600, Colecovision,
Intellivision and Odyssey II. To make things easier, I
rounded all the results to the nearest number. Here are
the results, maybe you can do a survey of your
collection and we can compare numbers.
There are 6 loose Atari
2600 games for every manual.
There are 10 loose Atari 2600 games for every box.
There are 7 loose Coleco
games for every manual
There are 12 loose Coleco games for every box.
There are 3 loose
Intellivision games for every manual.
There are 5 loose Intellivision games for every box.
There are 2 loose Odyssey
II games for every manual.
There are 3 loose Odyssey II games for every box.
Notes: I found that the
Coleco is by far the hardest to find boxed, while the
Odyssey seems to be quite plentiful boxed. My personal
observations is since the Odyssey and Intellivision had
box designs that encouraged keeping them and using them
for the storage of the cart, more people kept them. My
belief is since you had to literally tear the Coleco box
to open it (the tops are sealed), it made the box less
desirable. Also, because of the box design which made it
tougher to get the cart and manual out, most people
discarded them. The main reason the Atari was higher was
the sheer number of shrinkwrapped games I had, most
which were probably bought at closeouts. While this
probably means little, it can give you something to
think about when you decide whether to shell out the
extra few bucks for a boxed version.
This is a
form of a question I posted on the classic game
newsgroup about a year ago. I believe the Atari 7800 was
a great system that had alot of great classic games. But
many great classics were left off the system and so my
question is what classic games would you have made for
the Atari 7800 that weren't? Use your imagination. This
could be any of the arcade games or any of the early
Atari games (like an updated version of Adventure or
Yar's Revenge). I did my top ten version for the serious
ones and another for humorous ones.
GAMES THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN
10. Missile Command-Redo it to add a two player
version, like the Centipede. Could have been great fun!
9. Crystal Castles-There may not be a lot of fans of this
game out there, but I always liked it and the 2600
version doesn't cut it for me.
8. Tempest-The 2600 may not have had the capabilities,
but I'm sure the 7800 could do it. A great game that
wasn't available for the home until the Jaguar.
7. Warlords-I would have liked to see an updated version
with different options like two players versus or
teaming up against the computer.
6. Pengo-One of the few reasons to put up with the
5200's joysticks. I would much rather play it on the
7800 and have my choice of joysticks.
5. Defender/Stargate-These classic games were
surprisingly missing from the 7800. Considering how
popular they were and how easy they could be ported and
hopefully improved, I am surprised.
4.Pizzatime-This sequel to Burgertime (was it actually
ever made?) is one of those games I have always wanted
to play. I am a major Burgertime fan and would love to
3. Wizard of Wor-Another of my favorite games (I always
danced to the beat of a different drum), which is also a
great two player game. See a trend here?
2. Satan's Hollow-I haven't played it since my youth,
but I have fond memories of this game. Maybe it was my
evil, rebellious side, but I would love to play this
1. Crazy Climber-While I enjoyed the 2600 version, I
would rather have a full version with the King Kong and
the improved graphics.
GAMES THAT THANKFULLY WEREN'T MADE
5. Math Grand Prix-Whee! Whoopee! Does anyone credit
this game for teaching them anything?
4. Hangman-Hangman is hangman, regardless of system.
3. Sneak n Peak-I know this and the next games weren't
made by Atari, but I'm taking liberties for the sake of
humor. Imagine the added features they could add like
twice as many places to hide and include a blindfold for
2. Journey Escape-With the better sound chip, we could
really enjoy those Journey songs. Happy, happy, joy,
1. ET-Now all those pits you fall in will look really
|Since I have so many
classic reviews on the web page already, I
decided to review some of the modern versions of
classic games. So without further adieu, here
are the review!
1. Q*Bert 3-At first I had a problem
with the game. The hypnotic backgrounds were
annoying and his nose bounced when he hopped.
But once I got past this, I found a very
enjoyable game that I am glad I picked up. You
have all the elements of the past game, plus new
enemies, different boards and lots of surprises.
I really like the different pyramids, as it
keeps it fresh. While I am sure some purists
would have a problem with this game, I think it
is great and play it often. Available for the
2. Mr. Do-Another
game for Super Nintendo that I waited until the
price fell before buying it (got it new for
about $20.00). While I have seen some people
complain about it, with most of their complaints
being trivial, I really like the game and forgot
how much fun the arcade game was. Considering I
have been playing the Colecovision version for
the past year and a half, this was a major
change. The dinosaurs and letters are smarter,
the graphics crisper and those animations
knocked me out the first time I saw them. I
hadn't played the arcade game in so long, I
completely forgot about them. It was a pure trip
down memory lane to see them again and that
alone was worth the price of admission. Ignore
the bad reviews (some people are never happy)
and buy it! Now if they would only release the
other three Mr. Do games on a compilation cart,
I would be in heaven.
3. Champ Kong-This
is one of those enhanced classics from Champ
games. You get a nearly identical version of
Donkey Kong with all the levels and animations,
plus an enhanced version with added bonus
levels. For the price, this is a good deal and
one I recommend. It is only for the IBM
computers, but if you are reading this, odds are
you have one. Also, there are all kinds of
different skill levels you can start with.
That will wrap up another issue of Retro Times. Hope you
saw some improvements with my second effort and
hopefully I can improve even more in issue #3 (check
back next month). As always, I love talking about
classic games and would love to hear your opinions. We
are always looking for submissions. Good luck and good