AZTEC for Apple computer (Datamost 1982)

If you grew up with an Apple computer in the 80’s, chances were very high you’ve played Datamost’s AZTEC. This dandy of an adventure game was the pinnacle of gaming for the Apple 2 back in the day!

Imagine yourself as an Indiana Jones (c) type adventurer journeying into the bowels of an ancient South American temple in search of a mystical, and mysterious idol! The quicker you acquire and bring said idol to the surface/entrance of the temple, the more cash it’s worth! I’m not saying the temple catacombs are a cakewalk to maneuver through, far from it!  Just a few creatures you’ll run in to are Spiders (of course), Snakes (sure), Scorpions (you bet), a Giant Octopus (excuse me?), Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs (WHAT???), and the occasional Aztec Warrior, plus a bunch of other awful things you wouldn’t want to step on. Like I said, no cakewalk!

What makes this dash through an Aztec tomb more daunting? The laundry list of keyboard controls! Check it, ready? Here you go:

W-walk

R-run

J-jump

S-stop

C-climb

A-turn left

D-turn right

G-crawl (once)

P-place and light explosive

T-take

O-opens box or digs in trash pile

L-look in box

Z-inventory

F-goes to fight mode. Below are keys while in fight mode:

S-spin around

A-move one to left

D-move one to right

L-lunge

M-strike down

G-draw fun

Space bar-shoot

W,R, or J -move mode

Did you get all that? Good, because you’ll be using all of ’em!

Oh, did I mention the joint is also booby-trapped? Falling bombs, flooding rooms, compacting walls, and more all wait to do you in. Good luck Indy….type of generic adventurer! You’re gonna need it!

The graphics at the time were top notch, the game play was fun and fresh as the temple map would change every time you played. Heck, it’s still fun to play now a days. Check out the video below and see what I mean!

Enter if you dare…press any key…

Space Invaders

Celebrate Atari Day With Space Invaders!

Being the 26th of the month once again it is time to celebrate Atari Day. There is so very much to love and celebrate as well when talking about Atari of course. Although as usual I am focusing on a particular game for the Atari 2600. A port of the massively popular as well as legendary Space Invaders from 1978!
Space Invaders - Flyer

When Tomohiro Nishikado set out to create Space Invaders I certainly doubt he realized how popular it would become. In Japan there were arcades that offered nothing but the “fixed shooter”. Just rows and rows of Space Invaders for gamers to spend their money on. As a matter of fact it’s been reported that by the end of 1978, Taito, who produced the game had manufactured over 100,000 arcade cabinets.
Space Invaders

To say nothing of the amount of money that the success ofSpace Invaders earned for the company. I ask you, how does 600 million dollars sound? Having said that, bear in mind that was only for Japan in its first year alone.

Now as you might imagine when Atari announced they were going to be producing a home port for their Atari 2600. It was kind of a big deal. Not only did it mark the first arcade title to be licensed for home use. It smashed sales records for the 2600 as well. Steven L. Kent’s 2001 book The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon has in fact said that it helped to quadruple the sales of the Atari 2600.

Were you aware the Atari 2600 port was part of the How To Beat Video Games Series?

Which leads us to why in particular Atari made sure to mention their home version of Space Invaders in print. As much as possible. As well as producing rather charming television ads like in the case of the one below entitled Uncle Frank.

[Via] Dig That Box RETRO

Far smarter people than myself have pointed out that the Space Invader themselves have become almost an iconic symbol. Representative of video games itself – more well known than even the likes of Mario!

Listen to Uncle Vic’s hit novelty song inspired by Space Invaders!

Now the great news is you can easily join the Atari Day celebration and play Space Invaders right this second.


By and large it’s available online in one form or another, I would recommend the online services of the Internet Archive.

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.

To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!

Arby's Pac-man Glasses

Pac-man Glasses from Arby’s

I love purchasing vintage collector’s glasses. If you do the same, and put them in a collectors cabinet, you should love me. Because I am the person making all of your glasses rarer. That is right, I like to use the glasses that I buy. Not only do I use them, but I use them heavily. These are not special occasion glasses, these are everyday glasses that get washed in the dishwasher. I get great joy from using them. Still, whenever I buy a new one, I get the urge to preserve. That is exactly what is happening with my new Pac-man glasses.

These glasses were sold by Arby’s in the early eighties. You could get it for just 59 cents with the purchase of a medium soft drink. It was a great deal. Unfortunately, as a youth, I was not Arby’s adjacent. Therefore no Pac-man glasses for me until now. I picked up two, one is slightly used looking, but the other is crisp and colorful. It just begs to both be put up on a shelf and filled with a cold soft drink. Right now, I am debating what to do, but I know what will happen in the end. I will use it.

Fortunately the Arby’s Pac-man glasses are still pretty affordable. You can usually find them for under 6 bucks each. Online, people will jack up the shipping. After all this is vintage glass they are putting in the mail. So if you can find a glass in person that costs a little but more, it is worth it. Another bright spot, this is a collection of one. Arby’s made just the one design. So if you pick one up, your collection is complete.

They have a commercial for the glasses. This did not run in my area or I am sure I would have remembered it. The animation is swell. Pac-man not only chases ghosts and gets chased, but chows down on some Arby’s food and their logo. This is a great gem from the golden age of video games. It is almost as good as the glasses it is promoting.

Watch the classic Arby’s Pac-man Glasses Commercial

Video Game Stars – Gametoids are the new Factoids

A new channel has popped up on YouTube. It’s called Video Game Stars and it is put together by Emmy Award-winning producer TJ Allard. The channel produces one minute long videos about the history of video games and computing. These short videos are called “Gametoids” which is a play on the word Factoids. A new episode will be uploaded every Tuesday and as of today, April 5th, 2017, there are two videos. Check them out then subscribe to the channel so you’ll be alerted when a new video arrives.

The first is about the person who brought the first video game into space and of course the game!

The second is about beer, arcades and kids.

Game Stars

Invisible Monsters - Arcade Heroes

Check Out Invisible Monsters – The Lost Wizard Of Wor Arcade Prototype!

Invisible Monsters. That name shouldn’t ring any bells for fans of the Golden Age of Arcade games. Until just a few weeks ago in fact no one had heard of such an arcade title. Of course word spreads fast in classic gaming circles. Especially when it’s a rather groundbreaking find like with Invisible Monsters. An unknown 1980 prototype for Bally/Midway’s Wizard of Wor which was released in 1981!

[Via] Retro Gameplay

I must give all credit to the exceptional Arcade Heroes site. They are the ones that gave me the heads up on Invisible Monsters. In addition to supplying the image of the prototype at the top of the page.

I don’t think I can properly put into words how exciting this discovery truly is. There are of course a few differences between the prototype and Wizard of Wor. For one thing you have the designs used for the game’s marquee.

Invisible Monsters still sort of has the same art style but instead of the dastardly Wizard. The prototype appears to have focused on the digital avatar of the Player, known as a Worrior.
Invisible Monsters

In addition to the marquee, the maze itself is different in the prototype. It is larger in fact than the one presented in Wizard of Wor. The Worriors are slightly altered in Invisible Monsters as well. With the radar taking up more space at the bottom of the screen than in the 1981 release.

Now having mentioned a few of the minor differences I must point out some of the major ones. For one thing, in the Invisible Monsters prototype, there is no Wizard of Wor of course. Nor are there any variation of enemies beyond what would be called the Thorwor. The most obvious difference however between the prototype and the 1981 arcade classic is the absence of synthesized speech.

Invisible Monsters is certainly a rare find. One that sadly the majority of us arcade gaming fans will simply not be able to experience for ourselves. I am very thankful then the Mad Conservative has uploaded a nearly 20 minute long video showcasing the prototype!