SID The Spellbinder!

SID The Spellbinder!The Game: What happens when the Dreaded Dratapillar Of Venus makes a guest appearance? It means that a spelling bee is imminent! A friendly voice warns you to look out for a “monster attack,” and after dispatching all of the segments of the worm-like invader, you’re asked to correctly spell three words using the Odyssey2 keyboard. Once you’ve correctly spelled those three words, another monster attack occurs, with the Dratapillar moving faster in each successive level; the game continues until it descends far enough down the screen to reach your cannon. (North American Philips, 1982)

See the videoMemories: Programmed by Sam Overton, SID The Spellbinder! was one of the first two – and, as it so happened, only two – educational launch titles made available specifically for the then-new Voice Of Odyssey speech synthesizer. Continue reading

Glib

GlibThe Game: Think of it as Scrabble without the board. A random selection of letters flashes past (or marches past, depending on your chosen game variation), leaving it up to you to press the fire button and stop them in your tracks. At that moment, you have a limited amount of time to fashion a word from as many of the letters on screen as See the videopossible; scoring depends on the standard Scrabble value of each letter. You can either pass on doing anything with the selection of letters you end up with (resulting in no points), or you can enter your word, which gives you (or another player) a chance to approve or disqualify the word depending on whether or not it’s a real word according to the dictionary. (Selchow & Righter, 1983)

Memories: One of the rarest cartridges in the Atari 2600’s library, Glib is one of those oddities from the tail end of the era when anyone and everyone was turning out Atari games – even outfits like Purina which arguably had no business trying to break into the home video game arena. But surely Selchow & Righter, the folks who had invented Scrabble, had a better game-design pedigree than a dog food company…right? Continue reading

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