Welcome to VCS-IFIED. Where I take a look at a classic arcade game and imagine what it would be like on the Atari 2600- because it was never released back in the day. The first game I want to focus on is a little known arcade game from a jukebox manufacturer- who like many in the industry in the early 1980s- was looking to get on the video game bandwagon- and that game is EYES.
The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation is an American developer and manufacturer of juke boxes and related machinery. It was founded in 1927 by Coin-Op pioneer David Cullen Rockola to manufacture slot machines, scales, and pinball machines. The firm later produced parking meters, furniture, arcade video games, and firearms, but became best known for its jukeboxes.
Like Williams and Gotlieb in the early 80s, they saw the 26 billion dollar revenue, and wanted in. They only manufactured 12 games. One of their games went on to quite a resurgence in the last decade due to a good friend of the Archives-Tim McVey and the story of his quest to regain his high score on NIBBLER in Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler.
If you haven’t seen it… WHATS WRONG WITH YOU? Watch it ASAP!
But- this post isn’t about Nibbler.
Eyes is a maze shooter arcade game created by Miami-based developer Digitrex Techstar and published by Rockola in 1982.
The player controls an eyeball in a maze. As in Pac-Man the goal is to collect all of the shapes to advance to next level, but in Eyes the player shoots the shapes rather than eating them. Computer-controlled eyes chase and shoot at the player. Shooting a computer eye gives points and removes it from the level, but it will reappear a short time later. Being shot by a computer eye is fatal.
As the game progresses, more computer eyes are added to levels and they take less time to shoot at the player. They also move faster. There are eight different mazes.
A great maze chase with some unique twists that I think would have done well on the VCS.
so- let’s VCS-IFIY this game!
When you look at some of the maze arcade ports done in the last 40 years, I think Eyes should be easy enough. Ms. Pac-Man, Jr Pac-Man, and the amazing Ladybug homebrew (which in itself is a tour de force of programming by Champ Games) can be done- this game can.
The defining object in the game Eyes are… the eyes.
I think you could go two ways with them.
one is the standard VCS “eye” used in Pac-Man, and more prominently in Haunted House and would look more like an Atari game-
Or- use the eye from a pretty obscure VCS game I liked
a lot- Beany Bopper-
With a color change- this eye could be more close to the arcade-
Of course the mazes would have to be truncated for the change from vertical to horizontal-
so, the amount of shapes to shoot would have to be moved around or lessened. One feature the could put in as a variation- moving shapes. Maybe they get faster as fewer are on screen. That would be cool!
So- what do you think? Would you like to see Eyes on the VCS (pun intended)?
Personally- would love it. It’s a fun, challenging game, that I think would make the conversion to the VCS nicely.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!