The Game: You are the intrepid, barbershop-quartet-suited J.J. (hey, it’s better than being O.J.!), out to save a damsel in distress from a pursuing monster. How does a guy in a little striped suit do this? By building a mobile, tennis-ball-launching contraption to dispatch said dastardly monster, naturally. The catch? The eight pieces of your mechanical creation are hidden somewhere among ten little houses in a maze – and those houses that don’t contain parts of your machine contain a bomb that must be dumped into the bomb pit immediately (else they’ll explode and kill J.J.). Critters also roam the maze to annoy you, including one pesky monster who will prematurely jump on the “start” button, rattling your still-unfinished machine to bits. If you don’t build your Rube Goldberg gizmo in time, the monster catches the damsel and you lose a life. (Bally/Midway, 1982)
Memories: Fun little game, this Blue Print. Perhaps somewhat like the rodent protagonist of Mappy, J.J. seemed to be primed for some kind of merchandising that never happened. But despite the marketing department jumping the gun once more, I always had a lot of fun with Blue Print – even if I did waste a few dollars’ worth of quarters before finally assembling the machine and doing away with the hunchbacked monster.
CBS/Fox Video Games created some dandy home versions of Blue Print for the Atari 2600, and I think the game was ported to some early home computers as well (I’m thinking specifically of the Commodore 64 here).