Homebrew Spotlight- Mappy For The Atari 2600!

Hey Arcaders!

Welcome to the 2nd issue of Homebrew Spotlight!

And I thought- what better place to start is with the game that’s shown in the title card- Mappy! I could go on FOREVER about this game (a future Coin Up episode is happening!) as this game is in my top five of all time. But, for now, let’s talk about the AMAZING homebrew that released last year for the Atari 2600. And this system will come up a lot in this series- the is probably more home brews made for this system than any other. And for good reason- with sites like the amazing Atariage keeping the Atari flame glowing, more people are drawn to the system everyday- whether for childhood nostalgia, or for the first time enjoying the retro goodness. Also- because of guys like John W. Champeau, Nathan Strum, Mike Haas and Ross Keenum. Champeau’s name will come up so many times in this series. He’s the founder of Champ Games, one of the largest homebrew publishers on the site. His work goes back decades- I remember playing his version of Donkey Kong for the PC- Champ Kong back in the early 2000’s. And his love of classic arcade games knows no bounds. If there is a classic arcade game you love- he has more than likely created a home brew of it (EXCEPT Make Trax- PLEASE DO MAKE TRAX!) But, we’re here to talk about Mappy!

As with any homebrew, we gotta start with it’s inspiration- the arcade game. and what an original and fun game it is! Mappy hit arcades in the U.S. in 1983, where it found it’s audience quickly, but wasn’t as big of a hit as it should have been here- possibly due to the arcade industry seeing it’s first stumble, due to the game crash occurring at the same time. Many games released that year would suffer greatly because of this. Also hurting distribution was Bally (having severed ties with Midway that year- due to it’s buyout and absorption by Sega) wanting MORE Pac-Man titles- gave this a modest release. But- what stood out was the amazing cabinet- and it’s awesome marquee!

And the game play- Typical Namco magic! You’re a police mouse named Mappy. He has followed the Nyamco gang to the hideout after a huge heist- they got computers, safes, TVs, even the Mona Lisa! The house is anything but fun- there are trampolines to bounce to any floor in the place! And watch out- Boss Goro and his pose’ of Meowkys are ready to pounce you flat! With great level design, amazing music and a fun bonus round, this game is classic gaming at it’s finest!

Ok- now that we have got you into thew game, how does the Atari 2600 port fair? Awesome is the word I would use! Champeau and his team have done it again! In fact- this is my favorite arcade conversion for the 2600 so far!- just look at this!

The thing I like most about Champ Games, is their attention to detail. Everything is faithfully reproduced- the demo screen, authentic game sounds, all the items, characters and their movements, even the high scores are there! This homebrew is a Atari cartridge tour de force- on a system primarily designed to play PONG!

If you have ever bought anything from Atariage- you know that they are sticklers when it comes to authenticity. All box art, Instruction manuals, even the cartridge labels have to meet very strict standards. and the Mappy cartridge doesn’t disappoint- check this out!

So- if you have been looking for a great classic arcade game to put in your Atari VCS collection- Or wanting to start one from scratch, and are looking for a great game to begin with- you can’t go wrong with MAPPY!

Just go to the Atariage website HERE to get your own copy!

What do you think of Mappy? How about the Homebrew? Were you like me, and wished the was a version for your Atari back in ’83? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks Arcaders, and keep playin’ like It’s 1981!

Homebrew Spotlight#1- Dragon’s Lair For The TI-99/4A!

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Hey Arcaders!

Raygunn here with a new series I know your gonna get a kick out of- HOMEBREW SPOTLIGHT!

I know what most of you are asking- Raygunn- whats a homebrew? That’s easy to explain. Homebrew is a term frequently applied to video games or other software produced by consumers to target proprietary hardware platforms (usually with hardware restrictions) that are not typically user-programmable or that use proprietary storage methods Wikipedia. Homebrewing has been popular for almost two decades now due to the resurgence in the classic game consoles of the first through third generations especially.

So, now that we got that out of the way, why don’t we take a look at our first home brew to spotlight- Dragon’s Lair for the TI-99/4A! First- let’s go over the machine specs!

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
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Type Home computer
Release date June 1981
Introductory price US$525 (equivalent to $1,447 in 2018)
Discontinued March 1984
Media
  • ROM cartridge
  • cassette
  • floppy disk
Operating system TI BASIC
CPU TMS9900 @ 3 MHz
Memory 16 KB RAM
256 bytes scratchpad RAM
Graphics TMS9918A
Predecessor TI-99/4

-Wikipedia.

Now- to create a home port (that’s the term used to describe a game created for the console during its original life cycle) of Dragon’s Lair back in 1983 would have been impossible. The were no means to create the video files in a way that would have worked without a laserdisc player.

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Even the amazing Coleco Adam port had to be altered because of the hardware limitations.

But… Fast forward about 35 YEARS- and behold- this little jem appears on the YouTubes and I have to share- thus the nexus of a new article series!

Now- THIS GAME truly defines a homebrew! An actual, playable version of an arcade classic on a system that it wasn’t truly meant to be played on! But, given the time we live in- with advancements in software and hardware technology, and the talented people who want to bring their favorite (and ours!) childhood arcade games home- or even… IMPROVE THEM! Yes, we will even see that in this series!

So- keep an eye out for more Homebrew Spotlight articles- where I’ll even try these amazing games- and give em’ a review- to see if they are worth a purchase for your classic console!

Hang on- this is going to be a fun ride! And if you know of any homebrew games you would like to review- leave me a comment below!

Thanks gang!

and-
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Raygunn

Introduction to Tabletop Games

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Dungeons and Dragons

Hello and salutations gamers! My name is furphinatrix and I’m here to introduce you to a different type of gaming that maybe you have heard of but aren’t familiar with. These types of games don’t require a TV, monitor, gaming console, PC, or controllers, although some of the games have an electronic version also. You can use paper and pencil or a cell phone or tablet to keep track of your stats, depending on the game. I’m talking about tabletop games! (And I don’t mean Monopoly, Clue, or The Game of Life.) Tabletop games come in many shapes, sizes, genres, and difficulty. There are games for beginner, intermediate, and expert gamers, as well as games for children and adults.

My name is furphinatrix (or Shanna to the real world) and I have been playing video games and board games since I was a child. Some of the oldest memories I have of playing games are Candyland with my family, Pitfall on the Atari, and Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis. I have only been playing tabletop games for a couple of years, so it’s a relatively new adventure. I have some experience in RPG (role playing game) games like Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons. Here are a few popular tabletop games:

• Dungeons and Dragons
• Pathfinder
• Ticket to Ride
• Zombie Dice
• Star Wars X-Wing
• Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge
• Settlers of Catan
• Warhammer

I’m usually the designated cleric healer of our group. Clerics are capable of physical combat and use divine magic to heal creatures and can use magic to attack.

I wanted to keep this article short as an introduction to tabletop games and myself. Be on the lookout for my next article hopefully next month!

Check out Retrory- a memory card matching game!

Hey Arcaders!

I was just over at the ATARIAGE website when I saw this post and just wanted to share it! I think this a great Idea if you love video game based board games (like I do) or just anything retro (like I do.)

AtariAge user apemaster from Yoda’s Video Arcade has announced a new game called Retrory. Retrory is a memory card matching game, where you find pairs of matching cards by turning them over. This is a physical game, as opposed to a video game, featuring 80 cards (40 “pairs”) and a 12-page full-color instruction booklet, packed in a 2600-style box. The cards themselves are 6cm x 6cm (2.4″) square and are about 2mm thick. Each card is double-sided and full-color printed, with a canvas-structure finish.

The card pairs in this game are not identical images, but instead two different images from the same game. The goal of the game is to find matching pairs, but in order to find them you have to know the games. You can increase the game’s difficulty by having to name the game when finding a match. The game features images from officially released 2600 games, and the instruction booklet shows all the pairs and their corresponding game names. The price per game is $40 Euros (around $45 USD), including worldwide airmail shipping. To learn how to order your copy of Retrory, please visit the Atari 2600 Forum over at ATARIAGE. Al and everyone over there are great, and the site is quite a read if you are into everything ATARI!

Special mini Review for the holiday- Stay Frosty 2 for the Atari 2600!

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Hey Arcaders!

Raygunn here, and I just wanna say from all of us here at the Archives- HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thought I jump in before all the festivities start the Gunn household, and do a mini review of sorts.

Al and all of our friends over at ATARIAGE do a fantastic job preserving everything Atari! So, it’s no surprize when they release a new homebrew title that completely knocks all of us off our feet! And these talented programmers and artists work on this for very little money (if at all) just for the passion of keeping one of the greatest names in video game history alive!

Then you get an amazing video game experience like STAY FROSTY 2- STAY FROSTIER! Just looking at this programming tour de force you keep thinking – This is not on the 2600!!!

All character animations are so fluid, you would swear you were playing this on a Colecovision! Music is top notch too!

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StayFrosty2

FROM THE ATARIAGE WEBSITE:

Extinguish the pesky fireballs, either by throwing snowballs or simply running over them! The larger the fireball, the more snow it takes to put it out. But remember, our hero is only made of snow! He’ll melt a little bit whenever he touches something hot, with each snowball thrown or just as time passes. You have to replenish him with the ice blocks scattered around.

Ice blocks also melt as time passes, so you’ll need to be quick. To make matters worse, everything melts faster as the day progresses. If your snowman melts past his neck or falls through the floor he loses a life. If he loses all of his lives the game ends. After your game ends, you can choose to continue playing from the last level reached up to two times. Your score and lives will be reset.

There are 32 different layouts in Stay Frosty 2 which repeat for 128 total levels. Each time you complete a set of 32 levels, the weather gets a little hotter and everything melts a little faster. After every 32nd level, you’ll rescue one of Santa’s helpers. After level 128, you’ll rescue Santa himself and win the game!

Just look at this game in action!

It reminds me of an arcade game I used to play- Guzzler!

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So, if you want to get a unique, fun and timeless gift for the 2600 owner, head over to the ATARIAGE website and get a copy- I am!!!!!

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Tales From The Game Grid #11

Tales 11 finished

The images of Kirby are owned by Nintendo and Q*Bert are is owned by Atari, please support the official release. The Tales From the Game Grid logo and all Tales From The Game Grid related images are copyright Joshua Jordan.

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Follow us on Twitter: @taleftgamegrid

Don’t forget to also like our Facebook page: facebook.com/talesfromthegamegrid

You can also send us comments and even Fan Art (that we will put on all the sites) via email: talesfromthegamegrid@gmail.com

Check out the Electric Circus SideShow review with a special Game Grid Guest

Please we want to make this comic something special for you so don’t forget to comment below and give us any feedback!

Space Invaders Accessories by Level Up Crafts Review

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I want to say right up front the color scheme that I reviewed isn’t available in the Level Up Crafts store yet! This makes it even cooler for me to test out a new color; which by the way I love!  The color scheme I’m reviewing is a red and white set.  I was going to review a necklace and an adjustable ring; however when I opened the package to my surprise every package comes with a thank you gift which was an awesome hair pin!

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The red in all three items is amazingly intense with a bit of a glitter to it. It’s not a weird red either, you know how you buy some red items and it’s not really red? That isn’t the case with these products you want red that is what you get. Also the white is a pure white not a dingy white.

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If you think these items might be super heavy you are very wrong. I actually own earrings that weigh more! That doesn’t make them cheap, they are all high quality. Plus it’s great to be able to wear video game inspired accessories with my t-shirts! I mean I rock a pretty mean gameboy shirt I need the perfect thing to wear with it!

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These are also items that people are going to notice when you where them! I had several people tell me my jewelry was so cool, of course I always tell them where they can get their own.  Of course video game styles aren’t the only style you can purchase there is also comic book characters, zombie hands, and much more to choice from.