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Xevious (2600) Prototype

Posted by Rob Maerz on September 1, 2015 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The articles I read recently discussing the Xevious 2600 prototype state that the prototype cartridge was acquired by an organization called the Digital Museum but no additional information on how they acquired it.

Nevertheless, somebody sent me the ROM called "Fix_v0.03" which you can download here. Go ahead and play it in an emulator like Stella or copy it to your Harmony cart and play it on a 2600...

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Pac-Man 8K (Atari 2600)

Posted by Rob Maerz on August 14, 2015 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

According to the developer, work on Pac-Man 8K for the Atari 2600 began in 2007. It's a project that was left abandoned until work resumed in 2013.

I played the latest release of Pac-Man 8K called version 5 on actual hardware and it looks and sounds great. In my opinion, this game has the potential to become the greatest home brew ever released for the Atari 2600. I would love to see a turbo option added to the final release.

You can follow the project on A...

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Review: Scramble (Vectrex)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

If you were too busy pumping quarters in Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Galaga back in 1981, then you probably missed this great shooter released by Konami that same year.


Cited as the influence for the Gradius series, this horizontal shooter puts you at the controls of a cool looking space ship dodging missiles, destroying bases and bombing fuel tanks through various terrains. There are five terrains to get through before you meet the objective of bombing the enemy base on t...

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Review: Life Force (NES)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I remember my local bowling alley getting this arcade cabinet in their game room. I played it several times back in the day and to this day I find it to be a bizarre horizontal space shooter.


Konami ported their 1986 arcade release to the NES in 1988. The game can be played by one or two players simultaneously with one piloting the Vic Viper and the other the Road British Space Destroyer. Like many games in this genre, you can power-up your weaponry throughout the game.

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Review: Gulkave (ColecoVision)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Gulkave is a 1986 Sega horizontal space shooter ported from the SG-1000 by Eduardo Mello and released by Team Pixelboy. This game is another example of  “what could have been” had Coleco not snubbed the ColecoVision in favor of the disastrous ADAM.


In a nutshell, you pilot a spaceship called the Zaiigar that shoots anything that moves. Your adversary is the Gulbas Empire who throw everything but the kitchen sink to see you destroyed. Your goal is to destroy...

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Review: Yars' Revenge (2600)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

A programmer at Atari was asked to develop a port of Star Castle for the Atari 2600. He said it couldn’t be done “but, here’s Yars’ Revenge.”


You are Yar (Ray spelled backwards – as in Ray Kassar), a fly that must destroy the Qotile (the equivalent of the cannon in Star Castle) that lies behind an energy shield on the right side of the screen. You must chip away at the cells in the energy shield by shooting them or nibbling away at them. ...

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Review: Star Fortress (ColecoVision)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the home brew version of Star Castle ported to the ColecoVision by John Dondzila.


You command the familiar looking Asteroids type ship while you blast away the rings to destroy the cannon in the center.


You can use the two buttons on your controller to fire and thrust and your joystick to rotate left and right. You can also push up on the joystick to thrust which I have found is much easier. I dabbled playing this game using the Roller Controller ...

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Review: Star Castle (Vectrex)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

My favorite arcade game used to be Galaga. Then, it was Sinistar until I came to terms with the fact that the game cheats. Now, I can profess my love for Cinematronics’ 1980 vector classic, Star Castle. And what better system to port this brutally difficult arcade game than the Vectrex?


The Vectrex translation features two difficulty levels with game 1 being the most difficult and the default level of play. The cartridge was also bundled with an attractive overlay wit...

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Review: Space Fury (ColecoVision)

Posted by Rob Maerz on February 1, 2014 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

That Connecticut Leather Company was famous for releasing less than popular titles for the ColecoVision library and Space Fury could possibly qualify as one of them.


There are four skill levels to choose from in this translation of the Sega classic. Skill level 1 is the easiest, skill level 3 is considered the arcade equivalent and skill level 4 is the most difficult. Skill level 3 is what this review will be based on.


But first, I want you to free yourse...

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Review: Star Wars Return of the Jedi Death Star Battle (2600)

Posted by Rob Maerz on January 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a game that I had sitting in a storage tub for quite some time before it ever met the cartridge slot. A few times I would give it a go, didn’t “get it” and put it right back in the tub.

One day I decided to read the manual.

You pilot a Millennium Falcon and the objective is to destroy the energy core of the Death Star. To meet that objective, you must first destroy a number of Tie Interceptors on the first screen to create openings...

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