Retro Game Guy

It's the 1980's again!


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Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2018…

Last weekend I was able to attend the Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE) in Portland Oregon.  For those of you who are not aware of this show, it has grown to be one of the largest shows in the country.  As they normally do, they had a large Retrocade area set up where you could play any number of arcade games or games on home consoles.  This year, the Retrocade area opened on Friday at noon and was extremely popular.

The largest area of the show is reserved for exhibitors.  These varied from vendors selling all kinds of retro game items to vendors selling new games for retro systems to vendors with announcements for new retro game systems.

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Exhibitor Area at PRGE 2018

I had a change to support AtariAge with show preparations and I worked the booth for a few hours on Saturday.

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AtariAge Booth at PRGE 2018 (with Al, Fred, & Matt in the background)

One of best things at the PRGE is the panels and speakers that they are able to attract.  I was able to attend a session with Atari and Activision developers.

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Dan and Gary Kitchen, David Crane, and John Champeau discuss the development of Mappy

A couple of new retro game systems were announced.  CollectorVision announced a Kickstarter Campaign for their new FPGA based ColecoVision compatible system.

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CollectorVision Phoenix

Also, Intellivision Entertainment announced plans to release a new console that will have ‘Re-imagined’ Intellivision games built in.

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Intellivision Amico due 10-10-20

One of the best things about PRGE for me is the release of new games for retro systems.  AtariAge had several new 2600, 5200, 7800 and Jaguar games released at PRGE this year.

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New Atari games from AtariAge

AtariAge had a number of Atari systems set up to demonstrate existing, new, and work in progress games.

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7800 Demo Games

The absolute highlight of PRGE for me was the chance to meet and talk with legacy programmers like David Crane and Dan and Gary Kitchen as wells as folks that make new Atari games possible like Al Yaruso of AtariAge and Fred Quimby who designed the Melody board.  It was also a blast to talk with John Champeau and his brother Paul about the development of Mappy and Champ Games upcoming game Wizard of War Arcade for the Atari 2600.

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John and Paul Champeau with Champ Games upcoming Wizard of War Arcade

If you ever get the chance to be in Portland in late October, make sure that you carve out some time to attend the PRGE!

@Atarigameguy

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Happy Holidays!

I want to wish everyone in Retrogame Land a very Happy Holiday Season!  The second half of 2014 was incredibly busy for me and there was just not enough time to keep up with this blog.  I have some down time between the holidays and hope to get a few posts done.

There has actually been a lot going on in Retrogame Land in the past few weeks.  Over at AtariAge, several new 2600 and 7800 games were released.  For the Atari 2600, Omnicrom, Pinata, and Flappy were released in November and just a couple of weeks ago Threes,  the 2014 Holiday cart ‘The Byte before Christmas’, and Stay Frosty 2 were released.  I have gotten my hands on Stay Frosty 2 and will have more to say about it in an upcoming blog.  For the Atari 7800, Astro Blaster and K. C. Munchkin have been released. These are currently sold out, but should be available again in January.

Several new 2600 games are also in development including Draconion by Darrel Spice and an amazing new version of Pac-Man by DINTAR816.  For the 7800, Bob DeCrescenzo is developing a scrolling zombie themed game called Rezolve and Schmutzpuppe is developing a version of Flappy Bird.

AtGames has released the Atari Flashback 5, the Colecovision Flashback, and the Intellivison Flashback.  The Atari Flashback 5 now comes with 92 built in games while the Colecovison and Intellivision Flashbacks each have 60 built in games.  They are available from many retailers including Dollar General, Toys R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Sams Club/Walmart.  I have been able to get my hands on both the Colecovison and Intellivision Flashbacks and will have reviews of these units posted in the next few days.

Again, Happy Holidays and I will have some more posts in the next few days!

@Atarigameguy


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Multi-carts…

When I started this adventure a few months ago, I had never heard of a multi-cart.  A multi-cart is circuit board, usually mounted inside a standard cartridge shell, that allows you to load multiple games on either flash memory or some type of memory card.  As it turns out, some very creative and talented individuals have developed multi-carts for almost all retro game systems.  For example, multi-carts have been made for the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Colecovison, Vetrex, Intellivison, and others.

Multi-carts have become a critical part of the retro gaming community as they allow developers to quickly load and test their games on real hardware.  They also make it possible for others to test game release candidates and report bugs back to the developers.  They are also great for the gamer as a whole library full of games can be put on a single cart, saving wear and tear on cartridge ports.

The Atari 7800 multi-cart was made by Chad Schell and was called the Cuttle Cart 2.  It is estimated that Chad built and sold about 200 of these and they are highly sought after.  The Cuttle Cart used a MMC to load and store the games.  The Cuttle Cart 2 is no longer in production, but you can learn more about it at Chad’s website.

Atari 5200 and Colecovision fans are in better luck as Steve Tucker makes and sells multi-carts for these systems.  Recently, I purchased Steve’s ‘Atarimax Ultimate SD Multi-Cart’ for my 5200 SuperSystem.  This Multi-Cart is an amazing product that allows you to put all of your 5200 games on a single cart.  Steve has also ported over more than thirty 8-bit games including classics like Atlantis, Demon Attack, and Donkey Kong.  Additionally there are a number of hacks, homebrews, and prototypes available for the 5200.  To see all of Steve’s cool products, check out his Atarimax website.

2600 fans are also in luck as a great multi-cart is readily available.  Developed by a team of great guys from the AtariAge forum, the Harmony cart is available for both SD and micro-SD memory cards.  The Harmony cart also works with the 7800 and allows you to play almost all of your 2600 games on either your 2600 or 7800.  Since purchasing my Harmony cart, I have been able to test and provide feedback on the development of a couple of new 2600 games as well as play a number of homebrews and hacks.

The same team that developed the Harmony cart are also working on the H2.  The H2 cart will be compatible with 7800 games.  This will allow those of us who do not have Cuttle Carts to help with development of new games for the 7800.  The development of the H2 has been slow, but it should, hopefully, become available in 2013.

Hooray for Harmony!