The Game: Purporting to be based on the ancient Chinese game of Go, Dynasty! is actually more of a variation of Othello. The same strategies apply, and can be played with two players, one against the computer, or – for those who are feeling a little bit lazy – the computer vs. itself. (Magnavox, 1979)
Memories: One of the things I always remember about the Odyssey2 game Dyntasty! – and I’ll admit, this is the weirdest possible thing to remember – is its player symbols. For a human player, you’ll see the stock O2 stick man, while the computer is represented by a unique symbol, uP – not really a u, but the Greek letter Mu, used to represent “micro” – hence, microprocessor. Pretty obscure terminology for a video game, but then again, this is a fairly obscure (though easy-to-find) game on a relatively obscure console.
The only players who will really dig this one are dyed-in-the-wool strategy board game fans. I like a game of Monopoly or checkers now and again, but I never really dug the idea of playing Othello – by any name – on a TV screen. For those who do dig that idea, though, Dynasty! isn’t bad.
Ironically enough, the real game of Go is the source of the term “atari,” equivalent to “check” in chess.