Retrogaming Times
Monthly
Issue #21 - February 2006

Table of Contents
01. Press Fire to Start
02. The Many Faces of ... Winter Games
03. 8-Bit Face Off
04. Winter Sports on the Vic
05. Commodore SixtyForum
06. Cincinclassic 2006 News
07. NES Review: Ski or Die
08. Retrogaming Commercial Vault
09. The Titles of Tengen
10. Chris Oberth Interview
11. Nintendo Realm
12. Game On 2.0 Returns
13. Game Over

Press Fire to Start

Greetings, gamers, and welcome to a special issue of Retrogaming Times Monthly. In honor of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, this issue is a salute to winter sports games. Here we take a look at games on several systems so you can stage your own winter Olympics. Plus we got several other articles as well. So light the giant torch and let the games begin!

The Many Faces of . . . Winter Games

With the Olympics right around the corner, our theme this month is that of winter time games and thus we bring you the Many Faces of "Winter Games". Epyx sure knew how to make us gamers happy back then and this sequel to the very successful "Summer Games" & Summer Games II [both covered in RTM #03] is no exception. Epyx uses the same setup and interface for selecting players, events and awarding medals etc. But of course the dominant background color for the events is no longer green or blue, but white. In fact, snow white - and these 7 dwarfs er uh events come to life: Biathlon, Bobsled, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skating, Hot Dog Aerials, Ski Jumping, & Speed Skating. The 2600 has an alternate set where Figure Skating and Freestyle Skating are replaced by Luge and Slalom. There was no official IOC licensing in place, but this game still sold very well. Just in time for this review, we have a brief interview with one of the integrators for the C64 team that created Winter Games, programmer Chris Oberth. Look for that elsewhere in this issue.

Here are the Winter Games events. The original Apple and Commodore 7, plus a couple added ones for the 2600

"Biathlon" is a nice combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Cross country skiing alone would be too long and dull. Ski as fast as possible, by matching your joystick rhythm to the skier's legs, but keep your pulse down so that you can be steady when shooting and hit all of your targets. There's a 5 second penalty for each target missed. There are several screens, flat, uphill, downhill and target shooting. You must quickly react and begin performing the correct moves as soon as you show up on the next screen. Your momentum (or in most cases the lack thereof) will continue on to the next screen. This will initially be a very frustrating event and is the longest as well. When you get good at it, your time will only be about 2 minutes, but still quite a marathon to go that long without making any mistakes or losing focus. There is a set pattern of screens, so practicing over and over again will reward you . . . or drive you insane trying. The 2600 version is much different than the others as it uses the same screen as the Slalom (see below) where you joystick movements need to match the pounding heartbeat to minimize time.

"Speed Skating" is a head-to-head all out sprint on the ice. Get that rhythm and gradually increase your speed (matching the skaters legs with your joystick) and keep focused or lose that edge. This is a half a minute event, and not a joystick breaker.

"Ski Jump" you must leap at the last moment before your runway ends, soar as clean a profile as possible to get the best distance and then stick that landing. There are two screens - the runway hill shown from a distance with your skier about 5% the height of the screen, followed by the landing screen (downhill), where you have both the distant view and in then the upper right corner is a window, or a picture in a picture close up view of your flight in progress. This event is easy to learn, highly interactive and relatively short - most excellent! You can clearly see when your profile get distorted and it is up to you to quickly react and correct it to max your distance. This event uses the most randomness and so every flight requires a unique set of adjustments. If you play it a couple hundred times you should become both skillful enough and eventually be lucky enough at the same time to have surpassed 220 meters. Your best score in three tries.

"Figure Skating" is like the Olympic compulsory round - perform all the required elements once and do not fall or move awkwardly. The rink, with its flag colored walls and colorful spectators scrolls to the left as the skater appears to move right - but actually stays centered on the screen.

"Freestyle Skating" is the open or free skate where you perform the long program and skate the same elements, but mix them up into a graceful and creative presentation. You can repeat each of them up to 3 times and as usual, awkward movements or falls really hurt your score. This and Figure skating are my least favorite events as it is not obvious what causes a deductions. I think that an awful lot of trial and error will help to teach what the judges (programming code) is looking for. Considering that a perfect score is possible, and there is time and room for margin here, this event may be the most Olympic like of all in this ensemble. You can keep getting better, or learn what makes you worse, but it may take an awful look of time to learning it as well as to put together the right ingredients and then go out and execute the script. Gamers who say they do not like the Winter Games as much as Summer Games I or II are often those most likely to note that these 2 events are frustrating, not to mention so very similar.

"Hot Dog Aerials" is a mini freestyle ski jump, but not for distance, rather for athletic artistry. You perform up to two mid-air stunts in the same jump. There are 2 flips and 4 stunts to choose from. This is the easiest event to master, or should I say to get a perfect score in. Heck I've gotten a perfect 10 just messing around. Once you score that perfect 10.0, you're not very likely to play this again. Say wait, you can do a stunt and a flip, or 2 different flips. So there are actually, let's see . .. 9 combinations of moves that you can try to score a perfect 10. OK - I'm pushing it a bit but there is some replay value here.

"Bobsled" race has three different views on screen at once. Your two man team and their progress along the track can be seen in real-time via a half-screen, top view of the course. This top view maps out which direction you'll be turning, but you're gonna have to just learn that from memory anyhow - R/L/R/L/R/L/R/R. A side view window shows your current speed. And then the important view is a 3rd person rear view showing all the action as you head downhill. It's like a cross-section of the chute with the sled's position along the surface or walls, which change colors as you enter curves. This is a relatively short and fun race, but this one will not be so easy to figure out what is the best means to going faster. Some obviously bad moves result in slowing down, but finding that niche will take a lot of practice. Your best time in three tries.

"Slalom" and "Luge" replace the two freestyle skating events on the 2600.

"Slalom" takes you skiing downhill through 36 gates as fast as possible. This is an awkward race and the collision detection is the worst of any Winter Games event. There are people and trees in the way and there is no way to glide through this race. You have to slow down and /or stop sharply to make some turns and it will take a LOT of mapping and memorizing to optimize your path and then execute. In that regard, even though this is cruel and frustrating, it is better than repeating the almost identical Ice Skating events. Just when we threw out a repeat event, the 2600 version of the Biathlon gets severely changed by using this very same top view Slalom course. Gone are the 4 different side views while skiing, but there are still the same 5 targets to shoot screen.

"Luge: is a one man sled with most of the same action as in the Bobsled, but there is only a top view of the race and immediate chute in front of you. Below you is shown a speed bar to see how fast you are going. Unlike Bobsled, you will need to brake (fire button) and slow down or crash, and there is no bobbing (as is found only on the 2600 Bobsled). The 2600 Bobsled looks almost the same here with only the top view and not 3 views at once. Your best time in three tries.

"Curling" is a team event where one player throws the block and another brushes away the ice and any silly April Fools like Jokes done early by this writer - like this one.

Let is Snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Arcade: None
Home versions were all released by Epyx

•Apple II - 1985 by Action Graphics for Epyx
•Atari 2600 - 1987 by Steve Baker & Tod Frye for Epyx
•Atari 7800 - 1987 by Action Graphics for Epyx - released by Atari Corp.
•Commodore 64 - 1985 by Action Graphics for Epyx [Chris Oberth - Opening Ceremony, Speed Skating & integrating events]

Worth mentioning, but not covered here are these non-US or next generation of systems:
Amiga 1987 R. Ditton, E. Ditton, T. Skelly, Dave. Thiel by Epyx
Amstrad CPC 1986 by Epyx / US Gold
Atari ST 1987 by Epyx / US Gold
MSX 1986 by Epyx
NES 1987 by Epyx / Pony Co. for Acclaim (covered in 8-Bit Face Off)
PC Booter 1986 by Action Graphics for Epyx
Sinclair Spectrum 1986 by Jon Woods, Geoff Brown & F. David Thorpe of Sentient Software - multiple releases by Epyx / Kixx / US Gold

Prequels: Summer Games & Summer Games II by Epyx - see RTM issue #3
Sequels: World Games, California Games, The Games: Summer Edition, The Games: Winter Edition.

Many screenshots for Winter Games can be found at: http://www.mobygames.com/game/winter-games/screenshots

Home Version Similarities: Except those in <> all home versions have: a brief opening ceremony that can be skipped or watched again any time <2600 only a torch>; a menu system that can be navigated by keyboard (when available) or via joystick; a choice of up to 8 players; enter up to 10 characters for you name <2600 only choose the country> and a choice of 16 nations <2600 only 8>; there are no skill or difficulty options, so everyone plays at the same level; players take turns vying for medals in each of the 7 events <7800 only 4 events>; with the overall competition there are scoring updates between events <2600, 7800>, the name of the next event is announced; or play a single event; or play all events in sequence; you can also play just a set of selected events <2600>; or 1 player can practice of any 1 event without any ceremony or delays; there is always two player simultaneous action or a computer supplied opponent in Speed Skating; record a world record to disk, or view the world record high scores saved on disk ay time <2600, 7800>; there's no pause button, but no event is very long and there is an infinite delay that awaits the click of your fire button before any event or action continues - most excellent!! ; there's music for the opening ceremony and before or after most events <7800>; Figure Skating <2600, 7800> has music during the event <AP2>; continue the next game with the same set of players or start over; most events have a semi 3-D perspective; and you can abort any game and return to the main menu. There are no false starts. In general, Winter Games is as good or better than Summer Games, but not quite as good as Summer Games II.

Have Nots: Atari 7800 (39)
My first reaction was like everyone else - where's the music? I was worried that my 7800 audio chip went bad. I was not as lenient in my sound score as other reviewers have been. There's only about 75% of the total sound effects missing and the only music is the opening ceremony. Sound is mediocre (5) at best - maybe they forced this out the door with no music to capture the timing for the Calgary Games. Fortunately, the Gameplay is first class (9), and although there are only 4 events, they are well done and most people seem to like these events the best. Addictiveness is very good (7), missing the overall competition, not having the thrill of high scores on disk, and again, the staying power of only 4 events. I'd rather have 3 more mediocre events added than only 4 total. Graphics are impressive (8) in some places, but mostly limited such as mono-colored athletes and less animation. Not to mention the variety of only 4 events. Controls are perfect (10) - but better if played with a 2600 stick. Note that the cover art is similar to other versions and shows Freestyle Skating, which was NOT even included. The 2600 package revised their cover to remove the absent Freestyle Skating artwork and replace it with a profile of Speed Skating which was included.

Bronze Medal : Atari 2600 (41)
My first reaction was it was great to see 7 events here. Hate to see events go away, but Luge and Slalom replacing 2 events keeps the 2600 in the race. Not happy about the change in Biathlon, but the overall Gameplay is still outstanding (9) with most of the menu system in place and the events are pretty close to the original. The motion of objects, and gravity or physics is the worst here, but still OK. Addictiveness is fun to play (7) as good as 2600 Summer Games (SG), but the thrill of the overall competition is very watered down as compared with the C64. There is no displaying of the medal counts after events, simply an overall champion awarded. The collision detection is the worst here, particularly the Slalom, which also kicks you completely out of the gates 180 degrees and delays your progress as well. Graphics are impressive (8) and probably better on average than in 2600 SG, but no where near the detail of the C64. The graphics variety, backgrounds, multi-color scrolling, animation, multiple moving items are great. Sound is exciting (7) easily having the most numerous and well done sound effects on any system (covered here). Bad news is that like the 7800, there is only music for the opening ceremony. Controls are perfect (10).

Silver Medal : Apple II (42)
My first assumption was that the internal audio would stink, but I was pleasantly surprised when it did not. The Sound is well done (8), and the audio team put in an excellent effort here with music before and/or after nearly every event, as well as during each medal ceremony, the overall champion and opening ceremony too. There are a handful of sound effects missing, but you'd have to play the other versions to realize what they could have had. Gameplay is magnificent (10) with the complete menu and scoring systems and everything in place from SG and SG II. Addictiveness is fun to play (7) with the ease of playing, abort and replay, practicing, selecting which events you want, naming your player, picking a country, having high scores and all done as well or better than in SG and SG II. But . . . then they lost a point to the C64 as you MUST flip the disk sides back and forth after EVERY event. Really delays your progress on playing, plus it puts wear and tear on the disks and system to boot. Graphics are superb (9). Although no aspect of the graphics, in any event is quite as good as the C64, it is just barely behind on most of them. There's plenty of action, power bars, timers, text alerts, scrolling, details, backgrounds, multi-color, multiple detailed items in motions, color variety, picture in a picture, split screens, multi-screens, and animation. In over 100 different graphics elements I checked for - it matched the C64 in every one with nearly the same quality - but as I said, a wee bit less in most cases - but still a solid 9 overall. Controls are quite impaired here with the usual analog stick problems, but the keyboard option seemed to be pretty effective for me. The only real drawbacks were when you needed a fire button and it was a long event, such as the Biathlon and Figure skating so I scored this an (8). As usual, Apple ][ games are only available on diskette.

Gold Medal: Commodore 64 (46)
My first reaction was this one was expected to win, but not without a fight from the 7800 - boy was I wrong (about the 7800). Maybe the Atari 8 bit could have scored better - but one was never made - and probably never even started. As expected, the Gameplay is excellent (10) with all the same notes as above in the Apple. The Addictiveness is enjoyable (8) and has the best replay value. The flipping of diskette sides has wisely been minimized to only occur twice per game, and the time lost while waiting for events to load is a very easy to live with 10 seconds or less. Graphics are fantastic (9), as noted above in the Apple 2 write up. They even include some running water and flags flapping. Sound is the best (9) remarkable, with music for all events and nearly all effects. Some events have music before or after, and a couple during - the Freestyle Skating. Turn on the TV in the winter and if you flip channels and simply listen to the TV, you know from the music that you have tuned in Ice Skating/Dancing. Same thing here - you've gotta have that music. Controls are perfect (10). Only available on disk.

Comparison of Winter Games with Summer Games. Individual scores are the same unless noted. Plus I list a brief reason or cause for the scoring difference.

7800 (overall -5): Addictiveness (-1) with fewer events and no overall champ. Graphics (-1) fewer events and less multi-color. Sound (-3) there is only opening music and almost no sound here.

2600 (overall the same 0): Same scores across the board, but I like SG a bit better.

Apple ][ (overall +5): Addictiveness (+1) everything is now in place. Graphics (+1) more color and variety. Sound (+2) nicer music & throughout all events. Controls (+1) fewer complicated or long events.

Commodore 64 (overall +1): Sound (+1) nicer music & throughout all events.

Comparison of Winter Games with Summer Games II. Scores are the same unless noted:

Apple ][ (overall +1): Sound (+1) music throughout all events.

Commodore 64 (overall -2): Addictiveness (-1) only 8, and not 16 events. Graphics (-1) no closing ceremonies, less detail and fewer colors.

Acknowledgements, Updates and Errata from last month.
I confirmed that there was an official disk/cassette version of "Frogger" for the Color Computer by Cornsoft Group 1983. Add that to my list of games to find and review some day.

Next Month: Come back next time as we finally get around to Doing the Donkey Kong (or maybe Donkey Kong Jr) for the Intellivision, Colecovision, C64, Apple II, TI, Vic 20, Atari 2600, 7800 and Atari 8 bit computer. Contact Alan Hewston at: Hewston95@NOSPAMstratos.net or visit the Many Faces of site: http://my.stratos.net/~hewston95/R0T/ManyFacesHome.htm.

8-Bit Face-Off: Winter Games

Another dead column resurrected? Yes, I decided to bring back the 8-Bit Face Off as an occasional feature comparing games released on the three major 8-bit game systems: the Nintendo System, the Sega Master System, and the Atari 7800.

For this edition I decided to put Winter Games in the hot seat. Alan has already covered the Commodore 64, Apple II, 2600 and 7800 versions in the Many Faces up above. Now I'm going to compare the 7800 version to the the NES version, which was developed by Pony Co. and published by Acclaim. I decided to try using the layout Ken Horowitz uses on his excellent Genesis website Sega-16.

NES Screen 7800 Screen

1. Presentation
When you boot up either cartridge, you get the trademark opening ceremony, which is still nice to watch. Both the 7800 and NES versions have only four events, two of which are found in both carts: speed skating and bobsled. The NES game has figure skating and hot dog aerials, while the 7800 version has the ski jump and biathlon. So you could say that the remaining events were split between the two platforms. Also the NES version only allows 2 players to play and you can only choose from six countries, while the 7800 lets up to 8 players choose from a bevy of nations (including some country called ATARI). I should mention that in either version, once you play through all four events the games just end; the 7800 has no closing ceremony and neither does the NES.
Advantage: 7800

2. Graphics
Both versions have their pluses and minuses. For the most part the 7800 graphics do resemble the Commodore 64 original and they have larger sprites than the NES. The only exception is the opening ceremony, the NES has a larger man running the torch, while the 7800 has a tiny sprite running up the steps, plus the 7800 is missing the waving flags and mountains found in the NES. Some of the athletes on the 7800 look broken up, especially in the Speed Skating event. The NES sprites have all their holes filled, plus the NES version has some graphics details the 7800 is lacking such as shadows in Speed Skating and a better-looking Bobsled tube. However the animation on the 7800 is pretty smooth and fluid, while the sprites on the NES have stiff movement. It looks like both side offset each other; this round is going to be split between the two ports.
Advantage: Draw

NES Screen 7800 Screen

3. Sounds & Music
This is where the NES comes back. The 7800 has only one music tune, and that's the opening ceremony theme. You don't get any of the national anthems after each event, or any of the pre-event tunes. The NES version does play the national anthems when you select a country and after each event, and they sound decent. The sound effects in either port are nothing special but they do their job. The NES does lose some points because there's an annoying beeping noise when you move the cursor on the menu screen. Also the music in the figure skating event is VERY painful to listen to. So while the NES does fall back several places it still has the slight edge over the 7800.
Advantage: NES

4. Gameplay
I played the NES version with the standard control pad and the 7800 version with the Atari Joypad. For the most part both pads were responsive in most of the events. However the NES version has some problems. The Bobsled controls fine, the Hot Dog and Speed Skating are a little stiff but still workable, but the Figure Skating is the worst. It's difficult to get the skater to do any of the jumps and turns correctly, which puts a dent in the NES score. The 7800 version has pretty smooth gameplay throughout, but the Biathlon can often take a lot of effort to get your skiier in gear unless you know the correct rhythm. Unfortunately only having 4 events hampers the replay vaule of both titles; the games get over way too soon and without a closing ceremony there's no sense of accomplishment. The 7800 has is a little more fun to play due to its eight-player capability. So overall the 7800 takes this round.
Advantage: 7800

NES Screen 7800 Screen

Conclusion
At first glance it seems that the 7800 is the winner of this Face Off with a 2-1-1 score, and you'd be correct. However it's hard for me to consider it the winner when both the NES and 7800 ports got short-changed. When you consider that the 7800 got a decent port of Summer Games and the NES is host to a great port of California Games, you can see that both systems were/are capable of much better conversions of the Commodore original. So my reccomendation is if you must play a winter sports title on either system, pop in the 2600 version of Winter Games in the 7800 and enjoy that. Otherwise stick with the C64 original.

For more of the 8-Bit Face-Off, visit my Nintendo website, NES Times (come.to/nestimes)

Winter Sports on the Vic

Here I am in Australia, in the middle of summer, sweating away in over 40 degree heat (105+ Fahrenheit) and I have to think about winter sports. You have got to be kidding right? Well hopefully it might cool me down a bit as a dream of skiing down a nice snow covered slope.

As you may remember in a previous Vic 20 article, the Vic isn't home to too many sports games. But after much searching I discovered a few. Some are very bad, some are even worse, and there is one very impressive looking game that I just couldn't work out how to play. Oh well, on with the reviews.

During the Vic's reign there were many simple games written (usually in BASIC) that featured a scrolling track with objects to avoid. Depending on the graphics used and the colour scheme, the games could be car racing, motorbike racing, dodging asteroids in outer space, or snow skiing. I can remember having quite a big collection of such games (now long lost on tapes that just won't load up any more) including quite a few skiing games.

The games were very simple scrolling affairs, with a white background for the snow, and a few green trees and black rocks to dodge as you skied down the ski slope. Some were a little more advanced and featured coloured flags that you needed to ski around to accumulate points. The games were all very similar and became a bit tedious after a while. The majority of these games were freebies that were typed in from magazine listings. But some were commercial games. One such game was Ski released by Commodore themselves.

And that was about it. But in recent years a few interesting home brew games have been coming out, including a few skiing games.

Ski Run Speed Ski

Ski Run and Speed Ski were released as part of the mini-game comp. Ski Run is a very simple game that has very basic graphics. Scrolling is reasonably smooth but the huge amount of tree and other objects makes playing the game quite hard. Speed Ski is a much better game. Graphics are an improvement but still very basic. In Speed Ski you must go through the flags to properly complete the course.

The most impressive looking game I have seen for some time is Biathlon. Everything looks fantastic, with a very well drawn skier and the back ground graphics are just wonderful. But the problem here is that I have no idea of what to do. The instructions are written in German (or some similar language) and I cannot decipher them. I have pressed every key on the keyboard, but nothing seems to work. Maybe there is a reader who can email me and tell me how to play the game. It was such a shame to find something so graphically impressive and not be able to play it to check out the gameplay.

Although I love my Vic 20 to bits, unfortunately it is not the best machine when it comes to winter sports games. I think I will treat myself to a game of Gridrunner to make up for it?

Commodore SixtyForum: Winter themed games on the 64

Continuing our Winter Theme . . . here's a sample of the Commodore 64 games out there that are based upon the outdoors in those colder months of the year, or inside on the ice rink. Once again I did not find time to review any of these, but here they are (with help from Gamebase64.com:

First, let's start with "Winter" in the title.

•Winter Camp (1992 Thalamus - arcade misc)
•Winter Supersports '92 (1992 Flair Software Ltd. - sports multi event)
•Winter Wonderland (1987 Incentive software - Hi-res Graphical adventure with text)
•Winter Games (1985 Epyx - sports multi event)
•Winter Challenge (1988 Tynesoft - sports multi event aka Winter Olympiad 88)
•Winter-Holidays (1989 Systems Editoriale s.r.l. - arcade misc)
•The Games, Winter Edition (1988 Epyx - sports multi event)
•Garfield - Winter's Tail (1989 The Edge - arcade misc)

Those with the word "Ice"

•Cave of the Ice Ape (1987 Ahoy , Ion International Inc - arcade collect'em up)
•Ice Busters (1985 (looks like Donkey Kong) Cascade Games Ltd. - arcade)
•Ice Hunter (1983 Colosoftware - platformer)
•Ice Palace (1984 K-Tek / K-Tel Software - arcade misc.)
•Ice Palace (1985 Thorn EMI Computer Software - adventure)
•Rupert and the Ice Castle (1986 Quicksilva - platformer)
•Thin Ice (1984 Cascade Games Ltd. - arcade misc.)

Those with the word "Snow"

•Frosty the Snowman (1990 Your Commodore / Argus Specialist Publications Ltd. - arcade misc.)
•Snowballs (1987 Protocol Productions - arcade pinball)
•Snowboard Race (1988 Magic Disk 64 / CP Verlag - skiing)
•Snowman (1992 Game On / CP Verlag - shooting cross hairs)
•Snowman, The (1984 Quicksilva - platformer)

Those with the word "Penguins"

•Mr. Frosty and the Killer Penguins (1985 Scorpio Gamesworld - platformer)
•Pengo (1983 Colosoft - arcade arction)
•Penguins (1986 Ahoy!/Ion International, Inc. - Frogger-like)

Those with the word "Arctic"

•Arctic Fox (1986 Electronic Arts/Dynamix - Tank Simulation)
•Arctic Shipwreck (1983 Commodore/F°451 Software - platformer)
•Spy vs Spy III Arctic Antics (1986 First Star Software - Strategy)

Those with the word "Frost" or "Freeze"

•Frost Byte (1987 Mikro-Gen - Platformer)
•Frosty the Snowman (1990 Your Commodore/Argus Specialist Publications Ltd. Arcade misc.)
•Mr. Freeze (1984 Firebird - Arcade)
•Space Freeze (1983 General Masters Corporation - Arcade misc.)

And finally, those "Hockey" games.

•Hockey Mania - 2003 Protovision Sports - Ice Hockey
•International Hockey - 1985 Advantage*Artworx - Ice Hockey
•International Ice Hockey - 1992 Zeppelin Games - Ice Hockey
•Powerplay Hockey USA vs USSR - 1988 Electronic Arts - Ice Hockey
•Slapshot II International Hockey - 1985 SQS(Superior Quality Software) - Ice Hockey
•Superstar Ice Hockey - 1987 Mindscape, Inc. - Ice Hockey
•World Champion Ice Hockey - 1991 Artic Computing Ltd. - Ice Hockey

In some categories there were also several clones and other versions that I omitted.

Alan Hewston, husband of understanding wife Kathy, and father of 8 yr old dancer Samantha, and 5 yr old "Super Smash Bros." fan Timmy, can be reached at Hewston95@NOSPAMstratos.net

Cinciclassic 2006 News

CINCINNATI, OHIO - The organizers of Cinciclassic announced today that the 2006 Cinciclassic Classic Gaming show would be held April 7th and 8th at the Fairfield Banquet and Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Citing an ever-growing attendance the organizers have been able to find an even larger location in order to meet the growing demand. The last show held in 2002 brought in over 800 attendants and 40 vendors. This years show promises to be even bigger.

CinciClassic focuses on the classic gaming systems from the 70's and 80's, including systems from Atari, Intellivision, Colecovision, Vectrex and many more. Get your trigger-fingers and thumbs ready, because many of these systems will be on display at the show for attendees to play. Several classic arcade and pinball machines will also be available for play (in free-play mode!). Newer console gamers are welcome to come and play a wide variety of playable systems ranging from the earliest Pong TV units to the XBox 360.

Feeling competitive? The competition will be fierce with CinciClassic's tournaments and contests. Whether you're a high-scorer, a team player, or a videogame trivia-buff, you'll test your mettle against CinciClassic's fun and challenging game tournaments and contests. Prove your skills and win great gaming prizes!

Feel like expanding your classic game collection? Want to start collecting for a new system? CinciClassic will have vendors on-hand with the widest range of classic games available for sale and trade in a casual, no-pressure environment. CinciClassic also offers an open auction, so buyers and sellers can name their own price for gaming goods of all kinds. Bring your extra games to the show!

Admission to CinciClassic is still FREE due to the generous support of our sponsors. Come out and enjoy the fun! CinciClassic 2006 promises to be the biggest and best CinciClassic ever.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.cinciclassic.org/, or send an e-mail to info@cinciclassic.org. If you are interested in exhibiting at the show, please contact us at mailto:vendors@cinciclassic.org

NES Review: Ski or Die

When the snow starts falling the slopes come calling, even for Lester and Rodney of 8 bit skateboarding fame. After establishing Skate Or Die as a reputable franchise on the NES and Gameboy, Konami / Ultra introduced its winter cousin, Ski Or Die. The game borrows heavily from the original Skate Or Die in both interface and events. Rodney's Ski Shop is the center hub of five events which can be participated in: Snowboard Halfpipe, Acro Aerials, Downhill Blitz, Snowball Blast, and Innertube Thrash.

Snowboard Halfpipe gives you two minutes to score as many points as possible with Lester judging your performance. Tricks are performed off of the surface of the tube itself, moguls, or the lip of the halfpipe. You begin in the slowest of three speed settings, picking up momentum as you successfully complete tricks. Trick by holding the A button and pressing the control pad in different directions for different tricks based upon speed and location. Pull off a good variety of tricks and earn a higher bonus at the end. As expected from Lester, duplicate moves earn half the points. This is by far my favorite event in Ski Or Die, be sure to watch out for the chainsaw wielding rabbits!

Acro Aerials is extreme ski jumping in which a panel of five judge your moves on a sale of zero to ten. Similar to the High Jump in Skate Or Die, speed is controlled by rapidly moving the control pad left and right while holding either A or B. Most will find doing well in this event, as with the High Jump in Skate Or Die, is only possible by using the NES Advantage's joystick. Once airborne holding the A button along with different directions on the control pad allows you to pull off a handful of tricks which must be chained together for big points. Oh, and don't forget to stick the landing.

Downhill Blitz borrows much of the Downhill Race portion of Skate Or Die except this time you're on skis. The objective here is to get down the mountain as fast as possible, tricking off anything you can. As with most of the game the A button + a control pad direction is used for airborne tricks. It's a little more fun than the Downhill Race from Skate Or Die was but that isn't saying a lot. If the controls were a little more responsive this would have been an excellent event but as things are take it or leave it.

Snowball Blast is the only radically new addition in terms of this series of games. Instead of skiing or snowboarding this event has you shooting. You must defend your ground as waves of humans, the chainsaw rabbits from the halfpipe event, polar bears, penguins, and abominable snow monsters cross the screen. Watch out for ski instructors though, hitting one will cost you 50 snowballs and the last thing you want to do is run out of ammo. The control pad moves a crosshair and pressing the B button causes you to throw a snowball. However what's really cool about this event is the multi-dimensional feel of its design. On the HUD in the bottom right there is a four quadrant radar that displays how many enemies are in each direction. Pressing the control pad in the direction you'd like to face + the A button will allow you to move to that quadrant. Enemies will run from one side to the other, gang up behind you, and run away if you have them pinned down. There's probably no AI here but it does add quite a bit of challenge to what would otherwise be a static minigame.

Innertube Thrash is the icy version of the Jam from Skate Or Die. Race Lester down the mountain riding on innertubes, attempting to pop his while defending yours. Avoid bear traps and mousetraps along the way, picking up air pumps and patches will help you recover from damage. A true to form weapon system has you picking up dinner forks, lawn darts and finally a pocket knife to slow Lester down with. The control pad dictates player movement, button A + the control pad rotates your 'tube and the B button attacks. I'll say one thing, it controls a lot better than the NES version of Toobin' does.

With how snowboarding and extreme skiing have become olympic sports in recent years you could say that Ski Or Die was ahead of it's time in bringing these events to the common household. Sure the game didn't have huge success during its commercial release but for extreme winter sports on the NES you simply cannot go wrong with this game. That goes double if you enjoyed Skate Or Die since they are very similar in execution.

Retrogaming Commercial Vault

For our winter games issue, I managed to find a commercial for a winter sports game. So I present to you the ad for Activision's Skiing. It's done simple enough; we visit the cabin of "World Class Skier" Claude LaFeet, who's both a French stereotype and a lame pun at the same time. Anyway Claude basically describes the game for us as he plays along and keep crashing into the game's obstacles.

"'ello! Activison asked me to demonstrate zer exciting new videogame, Skiing. Pop ze cartridge into you Atari Video Computer System and fly through downhill curses(?). Oop! Over moguls. [crashes into tree] A small boo-boo. Many slopes to challenge you. Try ze Slalom race. Shush through tight gates [crashes into flag] Sacre bleu! And Voila! It's Skiing by Activision. So real you must have it. Snow kidding! [normal American voice] I think I hurt myself."

See? he's a world class skiier. It says so on the screen. Shouldn't he be paying attention to the screen instead of us? Remember, I'm a French guy.

I don't know what's worse; crashing into a tree while skiing or listening to this guy's terrible French voice?

The Titles of Tengen - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Although there have been many games based on the Indiana Jones films there is only one arcade game, based upon the ending of the second movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Of course the prime location for these machines were the lobby arcades of many movie theaters but if you wanted to play at home on the NES you'd have to wait until three years after the game first hit the arcade. So in 1988 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released on the NES and since it was an Atari game the conversion would fall under the Tengen label. Sadly the wait to relive the latest adventure of the famed archeologist would be met with disappointment.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was one of the most well designed arcade games of the mid 1980's with music and sound effects straight out of the movie. It even featured voice clips, the first Atari System I arcade game to generate speech, further recreating the world of the original film. The graphics were very detailed and well drawn and control was smooth and did a good job of staying true to the source material. As with many Atari arcade games of the era the player was allowed to select a starting difficulty level and earn a bonus for completing the more difficult stages right out of the gate. Easy mode featured three stages: rescuing captive children from mines, the mine car chase from the end of the film, and finally recovering a Sankara stone from the Temple of Doom. These stages would loop three times becoming increasingly difficult until all three Sankara stones were recovered. Then the game would progress to the medium difficulty setting where the three stages from the easy mode would be played again at a more difficult level. After recovering the three Sankara stones new levels would begin: the escape along a suspension bridge and ultimately a showdown with the evil Mola Ram himself. After this the game would progress to the hard difficulty setting and begin again.

For having such a great game to build from one would expect the Tengen NES port to at least follow the same formula of the arcade game. However instead of attempting to directly recreate the arcade experience, Tengen went a different route and attempted to add more standard adventure game aspects with mixed results. Instead of progressing stages taken from the film the game is broken into twelve waves which incorporate bits and pieces from the arcade original. The main objective of most of the waves is to rescue children from the ever changing mines as well as find a key that opens the exit to the next wave. Along the way guns, knives and bombs can be picked up from the children after they are rescued as well as hidden passages, which begs the question why can't the kids just free themselves since they have knives and bombs? The B button makes Indy jump, something added that was not present in the arcade and the A button uses the currently selected weapon. Holding the Select button and pressing a direction on the directional pad selects your active weapon: Up for bombs, Left for your gun, Down for the whip, Right for your knife. In the arcade Indy only had his trusty whip and many will find holding Select + a D-pad direction is an awkward motion. There are also other pick-up items such as arrows that indicate the presence of warps, map fragments which help to guide you later in the game, and jewels that can be picked up for points.

Instead of splitting different kinds of gameplay into separate levels they are incorporated, so you'll be riding mine carts in the same waves you have to free children. The Sankara stones don't show up until wave nine and are all picked up at the same time. However you then have to complete waves ten and eleven without dying or you lose the Sankara stones and have to backtrack and pick them up from wave nine again as they are needed to exit wave eleven. It's a lot of bother honestly especially since there's no game save. Wave twelve contains the rope bridge sequence and the escape to the confrontation with Mola Ram, which after all the work it takes to get there, is anti-climactic since all he does is disintegrate and disappear.

The graphics are rather bland all the way up until the end especially when compared to the beautiful visuals of the arcade original. Sprites are still decent though and Indy has some nice animations. The NES port holds up well enough in the audio department as the Indiana Jones theme plays during level intermissions and the background music is of the same style as it was in the arcade. Sound effects are sparse but passable. What kills the NES version in the end is how tedious it becomes after a few levels in, especially toward the end. It's not NES Rygar or Deadly Towers hard but it can get rather frustrating. Tengen took a quick reaction arcade game and attempted to craft it into a shallow run of the mill adventure game. Honestly after the first couple waves it begins to feel less and less like the arcade game and more like a separate title based upon the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom license. This isn't what I nor many others that played Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in the arcade wanted to end up with on the NES. Arguably this is one of the reasons why the Tengen port was so poorly received, it wasn't a direct arcade conversion like nearly all of the other Tengen NES games. It's an average game on its own merits but not what was expected.

I should also mention that there are two versions of this game that are identical save for some copyright information. After their legal battles with Nintendo, Tengen licensed the game to be legally published by Mindscape who was an official Nintendo licensee. Why a company would step up and want this licensed under them instead of games like Super Sprint or Rolling Thunder is anyone's guess. Find it in the arcade, play it and love it. Leave the NES version far behind.

"InsaneDavid" also runs a slowly growing gaming site at http://www.classicplastic.net/dvgi.

Interview with Programmer Christian Oberth
Part 1: Winter Games

This is part one of a two or possibly three part interview. We'll begin mid stream in Chris' career and talk about Winter Games. After all, that is our theme this month. In our next portion, hopefully next month, we'll start from the beginning of his career and learn how he came to be a programmer of one of our favorite classic joystick era games. Then we'll cover the rest of his career and talk about the current projects, future and find out some of his favorite games and memories from the classic era. Chris had found my review of the Many Faces of "Oil's Well", back in the Retrogaming Times issue #68. I had said, "I'd love to track down Chris Oberth today to get the full (no doubt interesting) story behind the tale of these three video games" meaning, how Anteater, Oil's Well and Ardy the Aardvark were related. Chris tracked me down and said that he'd like to do an interview some day. So, here goes a short one for now, focusing on Winter Games.

A recent pic of Chris Oberth
RTM: How did you get the opportunity to work on Winter Games and how old were you at the time?

Chris: I was 30 at the time that I got the assignment from Bob Ogden. He was involved in the project and I had just started working at Action Graphics at the time. I worked for them for about 6 months, almost exclusively on Winter Games.

RTM: How was Action Graphics involved?

Chris: I believe that Epyx subcontracted them to make the first few versions back then. I worked on the C64 team. Another team worked on the Apple 2 and the IBM PC Booter. There may have been others. Some of my efforts and ideas may have helped the Apple ][ team, but I cannot recall the details or any specific work.

RTM: Did you know many of the programmers and were any of them working together in the same building at Action Graphics or did you work from home?

Chris: I knew Dave Thiel, his office was just down the hall and we had worked together a few years before at 'The Electric Keyboard'. He was also the programmer that I knew the best at that time. I think I was the only one working at Action Graphics (western suburbs of Chicago). The rest sent in their work remotely.

RTM: What special programming tools or computers did you use or have access to? Or was it pretty much coding with a C64 and 1541 drive?

Chris: Yup. Actually, I vaguely recall us using the then brand new Commodore 128's. Which was, way cool!

RTM: Did you have any thing like a Final Cartridge, or other ROM cart tool that helped to code things and debug?

Chris: Yes, we used a C64 debugging cartridge.

RTM: Were you familiar with Epyx and Summer Games, and on what system(s)? Did this help you with working on Winter Games?

Chris: Oh yes I was and loved playing it on my old Apple II (serial# 201). This made it quite easy to see where the final product was heading.

RTM: Do you recall who else was on your team, what they worked on and how things fell into place for the C64 team?

Chris: I assembled the various events after the others wrote the code and play tested their events. The only event I worked on was 'Speed Skating' as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. I do not recall after 20 years who all helped, or what events everyone did. Maybe RTM could grill the ex Epyx people (Jon Freeman, Jim Connelley).

RTM: We'd love to. If anyone knows how to reach them, let us know. We wonder what event was your favorite, and which one you were the best at?

Chris: No surprise. Speed Skating was my favorite and I was the best at it. But, I cannot recall my fastest time any more. It's been quite a while since I've played those games. Can you recommend a good C64 emulator?

RTM: Since I am not much up on emulation, hopefully a few of our readers will email Chris and give him some pointers and suggestions on emulation and maybe help him along if he has any problems. This is your chance to give back to Chris and help him reminisce as well.

RTM: Speed skating is significant as it was the only head to head event in Winter Games. The head to head events in Summer Games I and II really made it a more complete multi-player experience. The code was probably a bit more complex, not to mention the addition of a computer opponent when there was only one player. That computer was good at learning, catching up, and even winning at times. Can you tell us much about the head to head effort or the Artificial Intelligence of the computer opponent?

Chris: I believe I used much of the code and/or algorithms that already existed for Summer Games. I used Rowing as the guide for the head to head as well as for the computer. Try as I might. After 20 years, I just don't recall how the AI was designed or modified for the final product. It most certainly adjusted itself according to how well you played.

RTM: Were there any additional events that your team were still working on, or did not make the final package?

Chris: I do not recall what else we had going as possible events, as I was mostly integrating them together. We were not pressed for time, considering we had Summer Games code to work from. I think Epyx was satisfied with what we had and went with it.

RTM: What other memories can you share about working at Action Graphics, or working on Winter Games, the play testing, or seeing it released a few months later?

Chris: I was having a BLAST, and couldn't wait to get to work in the morning. It was satisfying to finally get to work on a major game, on a platform other than the Apple II.

RTM: Was there any follow on work for Epyx after Winter Games?

Chris: Unfortunately not. This was right after 'The Video Game Crash of 84'. Game jobs were scarce, so I took a position as 'Technical Support Manager' at Datamension.

RTM: That leaves us in a nice stopping point for this month. We can talk more about your career in our follow up interview session(s). We'll also talk about games like "Anteater", "Boulder Dash", "One on One", and some of your other works as well. Many thanks for your time and we hope that we can continue to piece together and reminisce some of your early career and give credit and acknowledgement of your work to our readers and your fans.

Chris: I look forward to dredging up memories of the 'good old days' of video gaming.

Come back next month where we hope to ask Chris some more questions about growing up, getting into programming, some of the games he worked on, and any computer or video game projects both before and after Winter Games. Feel free to submit questions ASAP to the RTM staff and we can ask them to Chris in our next interview session.

You may also contact classic video game programmer Chris Oberth in person at: coberth@hotmail.com. Make sure to check out one of his recent shareware games called Swopple at: http://www.swopple.com/

Nintendo Realm - Early May to Early November 1984

By the middle of 1984, Nintendo gained the support of it's first two third party companies, Hudson and Namco. While Hudson was just getting it's feet wet in the gaming industry, Namco was a long time veteran, being the producer of the revolutionary hit Pac-Man. Namco followed in Nintendo's footsteps by reproducing rather pixel accurate conversions of their earliest arcade hits.

Before we dive in, here are two extra bits of info. There's a cartridge that Nintendo released during this period that wasn't a game. On June 21, 1984, Nintendo released the first version of "Family BASIC" which was allowed users to write their own programs in BASIC (in Japanese). Unfortunately I could find very little info about this, so if you happen to know anything about this, please email me. I also want give a big thanks to Jay Eng who wrote in to let me know that Nintendo released another updated version of Mario Bros. in Europe called Mario Bros. Classic. It's a far better version to deal with than the Famicom disk version since it you don't need to bother with disk support or Japanese menus.

Golf, published by Nintendo and released on May 1, 1984
Like Tennis and Baseball before it, Golf presents an early and basic golf game for Nintendo fans. Golf adopts a presentation that is rather radical for it's time. The screen is divided in to three sections. On the right side of the screen, you see the layout of the entire hole that you're playing on. The left side of the screen is divided in half. The top half shows several stats about the hole, the wind, and your performance, while the bottom half shows your golfing avatar at the tee, taking swings at the ball. Hitting the ball involves the now common method of pressing the button three times, first to start the swing, second to switch from swing back to swing forward, and third to nail the accuracy of your shot. Being unfamiliar with golf myself, I find it hard to understand how my club selection can improve my swing, but a Google search on golf could probably help me out with that. This game was also released for play in the arcades as Vs. Golf. Definitely for Golf fans only.

Hogan's Alley, published by Nintendo and released on June 12, 1984
For a Nintendo's third Zapper game, Hogan's Alley offers the most variety of game play. There are three different modes. The first two can be considered a glorified police trainer. In mode A, three panels will slide from the left in to position and turn to face you. Now you must decide who is a bad guy and who is an innocent bystander. The number above the panels tells you how many seconds you have to decide who you will shoot at, and after that time is elapsed you are penalized for every bystander you shot and every bad guy you missed. Mode B is a lot like Mode A, except that the panels are presented in a more realistic setting, with people appearing in the windows of buildings or out from behind fences and so on. The last mode is Trick Shot mode where cans come flying out from the right side and begin to fall to the bottom. Careful shooting will keep them afloat and in to the lanes on the left. The lower the lane, the more points you score, while the tiny ledge in the middle earns you the least points.

Golf Hogan's Alley

Donkey Kong 3, published by Nintendo and released on August 4, 1984
The Kong is back... or is he? Many people think of DK3 as the red headed step child of the Donkey Kong series. It is rumored that this game was not designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, but rather by the lead engineer of the original Donkey Kong. It's not a bad game, it just doesn't fit the usual Donkey Kong mold. This game does not feature Mario at all. Rather, our hero is the unlikely bugman Stanley, who has only ever gone on to appear in two handheld Game & Watch titles, Green House and (not so ironically) Donkey Kong 3. Poor Stanley is reduced to mediocrity because all he can do is blast bugs and spray Donkey Kong in the behind to scootch him up the vines a little bit at a time. Aside from his super bug spray, he has no power ups, or fancy moves. Despite this, DK3 presents a fun, if repetitive, challenge to the player to prevent Donkey Kong's bees from stealing Stanley's precious plants while evacuating Donkey Kong from the stage. MAME players need not apply to this version of the game.

Nuts & Milk, published by Hudson and released on July 28, 1984
Enter the Famicom's very first 3rd party title. Nuts & Milk has always struck me as an interesting game, not because of the gameplay, but because of the multiple similarities to previous Nintendo developed titles. The title screen follows the exact same formula as Nintendo's title screens, and the layout for the score, lives, bonus timer, and round are very similar to Donkey Kong. It's almost as if Hudson originally started with the code to one of Nintendo's first games and altered it to make a new game. Nevertheless, Nuts & Milk is a cute concept in it's own right. You are a pink blob trying to rescue your pink blobette from the blue enemy blobs. You can climb up chains and jump and utilize spring boards while the blue blobs try to catch you. In order to rescue your blobette, you must collect every piece of fruit in the stage before ultimately meeting her in front of her house. There are 50 stages including bonus rounds, and the game even features a simple stage select cheat which you access by pressing Select. You can even design your own stages for experimentation, but the results can not be saved.

Donkey Kong 3 Nuts & Milk

Lode Runner, published by Hudson and released on July 31, 1984
Right on the heels of Hudson's first game for the Famicom came their second, Lode Runner. Lode Runner was first a classic 8-bit computer game, appearing on the Apple, Commodore, and Atari family of computers. Hudson brought it's strategic game play to the Famicom with a few variations. For one thing, the sprites where enlarged, which means the entire level does not fit on one screen, so horizontal scrolling was also introduced. Not being able to see the entire screen is a slight disadvantage, not just because you can't see where all of the piles of gold are, but also because you can't always be sure where the enemies are. A little careful planning alleviates this problem. You can dig holes to your right or to your left with the A and B buttons respectively. Grab all gold piles and you're granted access to the level's exit by way of an extended ladder. The enemies hunt you down relentlessly and can even keep gold piles away from you unless you force them to fall in to one of your pits. 50 levels from the original game are contained here, and you can jump to any round by pressing Select and using A or B to select the round. The sprites of the enemies went on to become the inspiration behind one of Hudson's most popular series, Bomberman.

Galaxian, published by Namco and released on September 7, 1984
Namco earns the honor of the Famicom's second 3rd party publisher with the recreation of their first arcade hit, Galaxian. It was Galaxian who first stole Space Invader's thunder in Japan's arcades and pachinko parlors by expanding on the already successful formula of "ship blasts overhead aliens." Galaxian did so by providing it's aliens with a little bit of Artificial Intelligence. Instead of just mindlessly marching back and forth, the Galaxians occasionally break formation and dive down at your ship in a bombing run. Flagships that swoop down are accompanied by escorts and are worth a varying degree of points depending on how many escorts you clear out before nailing the flagship. The game doesn't have a lot of depth, but it does provide a good diversion. It's interesting to note that Galaxian was the first arcade game with true RGB color, yet the Famicom version of the game has a distinct difference by coloring the lowest level of Galaxians green instead of light blue and I've always wondered why.

Lode Runner Galaxian

Devil World, published by Nintendo and released on October 5, 1984
Here we have a peculiar Nintendo developed title that very few readers in North America will recognize. Devil World was released in Japan and Europe, but was excluded from release in the United States due to its heavy use of religious iconography. In a nutshell, the game is a variation on the Pac-Man formula. You are a dragon that needs to collect all of the dots in a maze and avoid contact with enemies. However, the game differs from Pac-Man dramatically in two regards. For one, the dragon can not consume any of the dots on the screen unless he is holding on to one of the many crosses scattered throughout the stage. For another, the maze is constantly scrolling around in one of four directions as the devil above commands his minions to shift the maze's position. This creates unfortunate situations where the dragon can actually be crushed by the maze and the edge of the screen. While holding a cross, the dragon is also able to spit flames at the enemy minions. When burned, they reduce to an eyeball which the dragon can then eat for bonus points before they return to normal.

F1 Race, published by Nintendo and released on November 2, 1984
Last but certainly not least, we come to another Nintendo title that was not released in the United States, although some loyal Nintendo fans might recognize it as the title of a Gameboy game that came packaged with the four player adaptor for the Gameboy. The Famicom presentation of F1 Race boils down to little more than a glorified Pole Position game (which probably explains why out of all of Namco's arcade titles, Pole Position does not appear on the Famicom.) In fact the game play is nearly identical to Pole Position, with a wider variety of tracks. You choose between Low gear and Hi gear as you maneuver around competing cars. It's a neat game for the collector, but easily surpassed in quality by the later release of Rad Racer.

Devil World F1 Race

Game On 2.0 Returns

I received this interesting tidbit from RTM reader James Catalano ajcatalano7@sbcglobal.net about an interesting video game exhibit in a sceince museum.

===

Game On 2.0 is returning to the Museum of Science & Industry here in Chicago on February 3rd. Since I work at the museum, and will be working the Game On 2.0 exhibit, I've included a listing below of every game that will be featured in the exhibit.

Thank you, James Catalano

(*) denotes a game new to the 2006 GAME ON 2.0 exhibit

ADDED GAMES:
Amanda The Witches Apprentice - Sega Dreamcast (*)
Centipede - Arcade (*)
Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. - Sony
PlayStation 2 (*)
Deathchase 3D - Sinclair Spectrum (*)
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Forza Motorsport - Microsoft Xbox (*)
Gran Turismo 4 - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Harvest Moon - A Wonderful Life - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Initial D - Sega Saturn (*)
Lets Go By Train! Shinkansen - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Madden NFL 06 - Microsoft Xbox (*)
Mario Superstar Baseball - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Moto GP 3 - Microsoft Xbox (*)
One on One - Commodore 64 (*)
Pokemon Emerald - Gameboy Advance (*)
Pokemon XD - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Prince of Persia - Sega Megadrive (*)
Pro Evolution Soccer 5 - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Pump It Up: Exceed! - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Puyo Pop - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Secret of Monkey Island 2 - PC (*)
Shark Attack - Handheld (*)
Singstar Popworld - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Star Soldier - Nintendo Famicom (*)
Star Wars: Battlefront II - Microsoft Xbox (*)
Street Gangs - NES (*)
Super Cobra - Handheld (*)
Tennis - Magnavox Odyssey (*)
World Circuit - PC (*)
WRC: Rally Evolved - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Xevious - Arcade (*)

ALL GAMES BY LEVEL

LEVEL 1: EARLY GAMES
Asteroids - Arcade
Berzerk - Arcade
Centipede - Arcade (*)
Dig Dug - Arcade
Donkey Kong - Arcade
Galaga - Arcade
Galaxian - Arcade
MAME Emulation - PC
Missile Command - Arcade
Ms Pac Man - Arcade
Pong - Generic
Space Invaders - Arcade
Space War - Vectrex
Xevious - Arcade (*)

LEVEL 2: TOP TEN MOST WANTED
Deathchase 3D - Sinclair Spectrum (*)
Fighting Street - PC Engine
Freeway - Atari 2600
Lemmings - Commodore Amiga
Mario Bros. - Nintendo Famicom
Mario Superstar Baseball - Nintendo GameCube (*)
MSX Collection - Sega Saturn
One on One - Commodore 64 (*)
Ridge Racer - Sony PlayStation
Tempest 2000 - Atari Jaguar
Tennis - Magnavox Odyssey (*)
Tetris - Nintendo Gameboy
Virtua Tennis 2 - Sega Dreamcast
WRC: Rally Evolved - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)

LEVEL 3 GAME GENRES

PUZZLE:
Bust a Move 4 - Sega Dreamcast
Codebreaker - Atari 2600
Puyo Pop - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Sokoban - Sega Megadrive

ROLE PLAYING GAME (RPG):
Adventure - Atari 2600
Final Fantasy VI - Sony PlayStation

ADVENTURE:
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - PC
Secret of Monkey Island 2 - PC (*)
Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Nintendo GameCube

RACING:
World Circuit - PC (*)
Indy 500 - Atari 2600
Super Mario Kart - Super Nintendo

ACTION:
Breakout - Atari 2600
Super Buster Brothers - Super Nintendo
Parappa the Rapper 2 - Sony PlayStation 2
Super Monkeyball 2 - Nintendo GameCube

SHOOT EM UP:
Star Soldier - Nintendo Famicom (*)
R-Types - Sony PlayStation
Gradius V - Sony PlayStation 2

SPORT:
TBD

PLATFORM:
Pitfall - Atari 2600
Bubble Bobble - Sega Saturn
Prince of Persia - Sega Megadrive (*)
Mario 64 - Nintendo 64

FIGHTING:
Street Gangs - NES (*)
Streetfighter 2 Turbo - Super Nintendo
Virtua Fighter 2 - Sega Dreamcast
Garou Mark of the Wolves - Neo Geo

COMPLEX SIMULATION:
Animal Crossing - Nintendo GameCube
Sim City - Super Nintendo
Populous - Super Nintendo
Pilotwings - Super Nintendo

STRATEGY:
Elite - NES

LEVEL 4: MAKING OF
Golden Tee Live - Arcade
Pokemon XD - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Sims - Sony PlayStation 2
Tomb Raider - Sony PlayStation

LEVEL 5: USA AND EUROPE
Amanda The Witches Apprentice - Sega Dreamcast (*)
Jak and Daxter - Sony PlayStation 2
Links 2004 - Microsoft Xbox
Madden NFL 06 - Microsoft Xbox
Metroid Prime - Nintendo GameCube
MotoGP 3: Ultimate Racing Technology - Microsoft Xbox
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - Nintendo GameCube
Pro Evolution Soccer 5 - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Singstar Popworld - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 - Nintendo GameCube
Yaroze Games - Sony PlayStation

LEVEL 6: JAPAN
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Lets Go By Train! Shinkansen - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)
Initial D - Sega Saturn (*)
Sailor Moon S - Nintendo Super Famicom
Steel Battalion - Microsoft Xbox
Warning Forever - PC

LEVEL 7: CHILD'S PLAY
Bob the Builder - Sony PlayStation
Cookie Monster Munch - Atari 2600
Game and Watch Gallery 4 - Nintendo Gameboy Advance
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Hey You Pikachu - Nintendo 64
Junkbot - PC
Pokemon Emerald - Nintendo gameboy Advance (*)
The Tweenies - Sony PlayStation

ELECTRONIC GAMES
Alien Attack
Caveman
Donkey Kong
Shark Attack (*)
Simon
Speak and Spell
Super Cobra (*)
Zelda

LEVEL 8: MULTIPLAYER MAYHEM
Forza Motorsport - Microsoft Xbox (*)
Saturn Bomberman - Sega Saturn
Super Smash Bros Melee - Nintendo GameCube
Warlords - Atari 2600

LEVEL 9: SOUND
Chillingham - PC
Rez - Sony PlayStation 2
Space Channel 5 - Sega Dreamcast

LEVEL 10: CHICAGO STYLE
Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. - Sony
PlayStation 2 (*)
Golden Tee Live - Arcade
NBA Street Vol. 2 - Sony PlayStation 2
Spongebob Squarepants 3D Obstacle Odyssey - PC
You Don't Know Jack - PC

LEVEL 11: CINEMA
Discs of Tron - Arcade
Star Wars - Arcade
Star Wars: Battlefront II - Microsoft Xbox (*)

LEVEL 12: RATINGS
-None-

LEVEL 13: CHARACTER DESIGN
Mario All Stars - Super Nintendo
Sonic Mega Collection - Nintendo GameCube

LEVEL 14: FUTURE GAMES
Gran Turismo 4 - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)

LEVEL 15: MAGAZINES
-None-

LEVEL 16: NEW RELEASES
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Nintendo GameCube (*)
Pump It Up: Exceed! - Sony PlayStation 2 (*)

Game Over

It's time to extinguish the torch on this issue. We hope everyone enjoyed this special Winter Games edition of RTM. Be sure to come back next month for another issue of the longest running retrogaming newsletter. Until next time, Ciao!

- Adam King, Chief Editor

Copyright © 2006 Adam King & Alan Hewston. All related copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged.