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The Video 

lesMagazine / 

""*S 1 s 

S S mm The Video 

m m Games Magazine 

at 1 : 1 . / 

Vol. 1, No. 4 




bugged by video games at all—Dona Bailey, c 



Michael Z. Hobson 

LAVERNE AND c.p beer bottle.. beg boytriende-lf. all 

Lmtnl,c Mnu here in a video game that we hope we q 

SHIRLEY w.„ never ae. 9 


Joe Claro 


Assistant Editor 

Baseball, our national pastime, as a video 

blip tips i i u :r^. e s ^ ,s 14 

Dan Koeppel 

We get behind the wheel of TURBO, a new 

BLIP TIPS II ?m fl ln o 9 ( ?h a e m rM h d*' * ,, “ dV h ” b * COm9 16 


Nora Maclin 

Barry Shapiro 

LOOKING TO They started out fixing ahoet. Now they 

Till- riminr produce one ot the most exciting home nn 

THE FUTURE game consoles. The story ol Coleco. C U 


FIND THE FAKE 32SSsS fS? " BSr, "22 


Danny Crespi 

PLAYER’S Bee. up your Atari with,he 



Gary Brodsky 

Michael Carlin 

PROTECT OUR wl " ,h « ,ideo S<»"® cr,z ® dr| v. you crazy ? 

' Generations before have often railed 9fl 

CHILDREN against the late., rages among kids. Z8 


BLIP QUIZ unJ h u n u| e l'°; Hui'p-'iju U | ,h j*l- |0y .u' Ck gg 



o, that news flash 
doesn’t mean you’ll 
someday have to go to 
The Nostalgia Shoppe 
to buy cartridges. It just 

games will soon merge with a friendly 
competitor — a family relative, really. 
All we’re predicting is that video 
games, in a very short time, will 
become part of the computer industry. 

Odyssey, Mattel, and Atari are 
already in the computer business. 
And in a few months we should see an 
adapter that converts ColecoVision In¬ 
to a computer. 

So the handwriting is on the wall. If 
you expect to keep up with the latest 
1 video games, you’re probably going 
sooner or 

That would be like buying a $20,000 
sports car to get back and forth to the 
grocery store. 

No, if you’re tempted to buy a com¬ 
puter, you’ll want to do more with It 
play games. “But,” we hear you 

say, ‘ 

in’t k 

home computer!” 

Well, just be thankful that you have 
BLIP. If you think a computer is some¬ 
thing that's useful only for bookkeep¬ 
ers, banks, and billing clerks, read on. 

May, 1983 3 

iMam ■ 


speller. After you've fin¬ 
ished typing — but before you have the 
material printed — you tell the computer 

Chris Terhune is a movie 
lP-3^1 fanatic. He knows the 
jE-JT names of the producer. 

Z&SSt 1 ~ dk director, stars, camera 
■aiMM' /B operator, music ar¬ 
ranger, and screenwriter 
of hundreds of movies. He has stored all 
this information on a disk. 

Now he can give you the answers to 

the whole piece and correct any words 
you misspelled. 

There are educational 
games made for com- 
puters that will teach you 
LrjLgBLmore about math, 
JESZSS&science. and many other 
subjects than you ever 

some pretty astounding questions about 
movies, and he can do it in seconds. 
Mention Robert Redford, and he’ll give 
you a list of every movie the star ap¬ 
peared in. A few seconds more, and he 
can give you a list of every science fic¬ 
tion movie released in 1979. 

thought you could know. One of the 
best we've ever seen is ROCKY’S 
BOOTS, a game simple enough for a 
five-year-old to understand, but hard 
enough to keep college students busy 
for hours. 

If you really want to get silly, ask him 
for the titles of all the movies released in 
1976 that were directed by someone 

In ROCKY'S BOOTS, you're given 
several machine parts that are powered 
by electricity. You have to invent a way 
of putting the parts together so that you 

G. He can get that for you in a few 
seconds too. 

have a machine that will kick an annoying 
alligator off the screen. 

• •• 

l computer "carry on a 
, A conversation" with any 

keyboard. The computer will ask some 
questions, and the person will type in 
the answers. Then the computer will use 

_ Then, of course, there 

are games. Not games to 
play, because you 
already know about 

about games you can in¬ 
vent. You have to know a lot about pro¬ 
gramming to write video games. But if 
you're willing to work at it, you’re just as 

the answers to make the rest of the con¬ 
versation seem personal, as though it’s 
actually talking only to the person sitting 

capable of writing games as anyone 
else. And why be satisfied with only 
playing them, if you can actually invent 
them yourself? 




and the 



The Atari headquarters in 
Sunnyvale, California, now con¬ 
sist of 14 buildings. Late in 
1980, a visitor to these buildings 
noticed that the employees 
didn’t seem to think of 
themselves as workers. The 
word work was used very loose¬ 
ly at Atari in those days. 
“This isn’t a company,” the 
visitor said to himself. “It’s a 
candy factory.” 
That was the way it seemed to 
Dona Bailey, too. She was 25, 
and she had just joined Atari as 
a programmer. She was hired to 
work on the development of 

Dona liked the candy-factory at¬ 
mosphere. Within a year, she 
had designed CENTIPEDE, one 
of the biggest video game hits 
of ail. As a result, Dona Bailey 
became the first female star in a 
field that had been as male as 
the New York Yankees. 

ona grew up in Little Rock, 
and she earned a degree in 
psychology from the Uni¬ 
versity of Arkansas. She 
got a job working with sta¬ 
tistics for the Bell Systems 
in Little Rock, but she found 
that work boring. 

She had taken some courses in computer 
science in college. This helped her to get a 
job as a programmer with a division of 
General Motors in California. She worked on 
the computer that controls the engine in the 
Cadillac Seville. 

She didn't find that any more exciting than 
her previous job. To escape the boredom, 
she began spending lunch hours at an ar¬ 
cade down the road from the plant. She 
became hooked on SUPER BREAKOUT and 

Like everyone else. Dona knew about 
Atari. She realised that they were a couple of 
hundred miles north of where she was living. 

One day, it dawned on her. “They make 
these games," she thought. "What they do 
every day is what I do every day. But I get 
Cadillac engines, and they get these 

So she quit her job and headed for the part 
of California that housed dozens of com¬ 
puter and video games companies. "The 
place was a programmer's heaven," Dona 
recalls. 'Almost everybody there had 
something to do with computers.” 

She got four job offers and decided to take 
the one from Atari. She loved the place. She 
was free to do just about whatever she 
wanted to do. 

“Those first weeks," she says, “I walked 
around and got used to the labs and offices. 
I talked to the other programmers who 
worked there. We had long conversations 
about video games and what makes a game 

“I read old printouts, just to get an idea of 
how a game is put together. And I spent a lot 

every game that Atari had ever made. And 
they were all on free play. It was great!" 

Just about everybody knows CENTI¬ 
PEDE, Dona Bailey's contribution to Atari's 
long string of hit games. A centipede, made 
up of many segments, appears at the top of 

the screen. It moves down slowly through a 
field of mushrooms, row by row. You shoot 
from the bottom of the field, trying to destroy 
centipede segments before they collide with 
your gun. You're also threatened by spiders, 
fleas, and scorpions. You have to destroy 
them before they get to you. 

CENTIPEDE isn’t a difficult game to learn. 
Even beginners often clear the first board. 
And many players can keep CENTIPEDE go¬ 
ing longer on one quarter than any other 

Where did the basic idea for CENTIPEDE 
come from? Dona told BUP that it wasn't 

"At Atari,'' she explained, "they had a big 
project-idea book. It gave the status of all 
the games In development. In the book, 
there was a one-sentence description of a 
game called CENTIPEDE. It read: "A multi- 
segmented creature comes onto the screen 
and breaks into pieces when shot by the 
player.' " 

The description interested Dona. She 
began working in her lab with her computer, 
hoping to turn the idea into a game. 

It was a long, hard struggle. Dona began 
spending ten or more hours a day moving im¬ 
ages around on her computer screen. 
Months went by, and she kept at it. 

"The game took over my life,” she says. 
"It became an obsession. I started dreaming 

once in a while, even though I've been In¬ 
volved in designing two other games since.” 

Dona credits many other people with con¬ 
tributing to the development of CENTIPEDE. 
She says she got a lot of help from Ed Logg, 
for example. Ed had dreamed up most of 
ASTEROIDS, and he was the CENTIPEDE 
project director. 

Some people gave helpful advice without 
even realizing it. Dona told us about one 
such incident from the early stages of the 
game’s development. 

"I was working on the path that the cen¬ 
tipede takes. I would mark the screen with a 
small block wherever a centipede section 

As Dona explained it, a programmer some¬ 
times needs a visual reminder of where colli¬ 
sions occur on the screen. Otherwise, 
things can get hopelessly confused. 



"WeU, this one day," she says, "I had the 

blocks. Someone came up behind me, 
watched for a while, and said. Hey. look at 
the maze game you’ve got there!' " 

Dona was about to correct him, when she 
realized he was right. She had created a 

"We decided to leave it as a maze game," 
she went on. "But we changed the shape of 
the little blocks to mushrooms. Every time a 
centipede section got shot, a mushroom 
would be left in its place. And the 
mushrooms would eventually torn a maze 
for the player to get through. ” 

One reason that CENTIPEDE is so popular 
Is that the controls are simple. Besides 
pressing the Fire button, all you have to do is 
spin a trak ball to move the gun. 

"At first,” says Dona, "we talked about 
controlling the gun with buttons. But I 
panicked at the thought of buttons. I’ve 
never been able to use them comfortably. I 
keep thinking about what my fingers are 

So they switched from buttons to a joy¬ 
stick. Dona tried that and found she didn't 

"I remembered seeing some trak balls ly¬ 
ing around the labs," she says. "At the time, 
MISSILE COMMAND was about the only 
game that used a trak ball. But I thought it 
would be great for CENTIPEDE. So I kept 
pushing until they gave us one." 

Dona thinks the simple controls are only 


May, 1983 




Written by 

John R. Tebbel 

Martha Thomases 
Art by 
Michael Carlin 

May, 1983 

iz,3o ~ 

UMlitUUiHU . 

L42 S3ClT^ 


Laverne and Shirley put in a 
full day’s work capping bot¬ 
tles at the Schatz Brewery. Shirley’: 

day as the bottles pass in 

Press the Action button to 
release the cap. When 
Laverne misses a bottle, 

uap a total of 100 bottles 
between two players, : 

you e; 

($20). Then it' 












The work day may be over, 
but your troubles certainly 
aren't. Laverne and Shirley's 
social life is even more trying 

In Screen Two, Laverne is 
on the phone, while Shirley 
washes the dishes. The 
doorbell rings, and the race 

Is it an eligible bachelor? 
(Win points.) The landlady? 

(Lose one day's pay.) Lenny 
and Squiggy? (Turn off the 
game and start over.) 

If Laverne doesn’t get off 
the phone, Shirley might beat 
her to the door and snag a 
bachelor! But if Shirley 
leaves a mess of dishes in 
the sink, the bachelor might 

The game ends when one 
player falls asleep on the 
couch while watching TV. 


^Th^n^e^^me 'dt^wherl 6 Wa ^ 


itsaw a 



8. Thefpod is woi 

9. The*hammer fls 



Baseball calls for a lot more than 
physical skill. It's a game of strategy and 
carefully considered movements. Some¬ 
times the confrontation between a batter 
(or a baserunner) and pitcher can look 
like a chess game. 

In translating baseball into a video 

game features without turning it into a 
board game. With this in mind, we took a 
look at three popular baseball cartridges 
for home video systems. 


Made by Mattel for the Atari 2600, 
this is a two-player game that comes as 
close to real baseball as anything we 
tried. The graphics are clear, spotting 
the baseball is never a problem, and the 
game responds well to the hand con- 

features of the M Network cartridge: 

# You have a complete arsenal of 
major-league pitches to choose from. 

9 Base stealing is a real challenge, a 
good representation of the "chess 
game” that can go on between a runner 
and pitcher. 

• Bunting offers a true test of skill 
for the player at bat. You not only get to 
execute sacrifice bunts; you can also lay 
one down on the third base line and try 
beating it out for a single. 

On a sharply-hit ground ball, a 
double play is a real possibility. It may 
even be possible to pull off a triple play, 
though we weren’t able to do it. 

For our money, M Network offers the 
best baseball video game on the market. 
It's the only game we tried that has the 
added bonus of a real duel between 
pitcher and batter. 



This is also a two-player game. Like 
most Intellivision cartridges, it offers ex¬ 
ceptionally sharp graphics. The Intelli¬ 
vision disk controller, however, isn't as 
easy to master for baseball as the joy¬ 
stick. Some of the game's features: 

• Although you have a limited selec¬ 
tion of pitches, you can use a mix to fool 
the batter into swinging at bad pitches. 

The game seems to be biased in 
favor of the team at bat. For example, it’s 
easy for a batter to beat out infield 
grounders. Since the bias works in favor 
of both players, however, the only result 
is higher scores than you'd expect in a 
baseball game. 

• Base stealing and bunting are both 
possible, but in neither case do you 
have the kind of precise control you 

VI Network cartridge. 

V ou're at the wheel of a speeding 
race car as it hurtles along a city 
freeway. Tall buildings loom up 
on your left and right. The deep 
roar of the powerful engine fills 

You press the accelerator to the floor 
and flash past slower cars. Faster cars 
approach you from behind and you have 
to veer out of their way. 

Suddenly, the terrain changes. Now 
you're swooping down a steep slope. 
Cars race toward you in the left lane. An 
oncoming car trying to pass swings into 
your lane. Only by spinning the steering 
wheel do you escape certain death. 

Another change of terrain, and you’re 
barreling along an open highway. You 
relax, but only for a second, because 
the roadway has become suddenly nar¬ 
rower. You cross a long bridge, and you 
must still cope with oncoming cars. 

Then, in rapid succession, you have to 
maneuver your car around long curves 
and through back tunnels. You also have 
to deal with rain-slick highways and 
dangerous ice patches. 

As you already know, this is TURBO, 
the most popular of the arcade driving 
games. TURBO will teach you things 
about cars you’ll never learn in a driver- 
education course. 

The game comes in two different 

models — the regular stand-up type, and 
a cockpit version. The cockpit is a 
closed-in area that contains your con¬ 
trols, a seat, and the screen. You get a 
greater sense of realism (and more 
privacy) in the cockpit version. But it 
usually costs two quarters, instead of 

" how the game 


The object of TURBO is to pass at 
least 30 cars during the opening se¬ 
quence of the game. You have a limited 
amount of time to do this. When you 
wreck a car, a new one replaces it 

If you do manage to get past 30 cars, 
you enter a period of extended play. You 
then get more playing time for each car 
you pass. 

When your car crashes during extend¬ 
ed play, it explodes. But you can earn as 
many as four additional cars during ex¬ 
tended play to use as spares. 

The controls for TURBO are a steering 
wheel, an accelerator which you control 
with your right foot, and a two-position 
gearshift. Push the gearshift forward and 
you’re in low. Pull it back and you're in 
high gear. 

There isn't any brake. To draw to a 

16 BLIP 


The TURBO scroll introduces one prob¬ 
lem after another in quick succession. 
There's a different strategy for coping with 


right edge of the higf 
wheel to the left to avoi 
Then get back fast tc 

avoid crashing. For i 

along in the right lane, you n encounter 
slower cars ahead of you. But you won't be 
able to pass them because of oncoming 




Last month, BLIP closed with a challenge. We 
gave you descriptions of four current video 
games, all of which sounded a little farfetched. 
Your challenge was to figure out which one of 
the games we had made up. 
At least one reader called to say that it was ob¬ 
vious we'd made them all up. He refused to 
believe that any of them were real. He was 
wrong, though. 
Head on, and find out just how real three of 
those games are. 

V / 

22 BLIP 

I tPlaver’s Choice 


One of the newer innovations for the 
Atari 2600 is the Supercharger from 
Starpath. This little unit, which sells for 
$69.95, is a little larger than an Atari 
cartridge, and it packs a mighty wallop. It 
more than doubles the memory of your 
VCS, allowing for a lot more action and 
better graphics 

Games for the Supercharger sell for 
about $15 each, but they come in 
cassette form. That means you also 
need a tape player to feed the program 
into the Supercharger before you can 
get started. 


DRAGONSTOMPER is Starpath's 
latest creation, and it's probably the best 
"Swords and Sorcery"' game yet pro¬ 
duced for a home video game system. 
The cassette is divided into three 
separate parts. You have to survive one 
part before you can go on to the next. 

The first portion takes place in an en¬ 
chanted countryside. You have to do 
away with a number of evil creatures that 
inhabit the valley before they get to you. 
You're severely outnumbered, but there 

are some objects in the area that can in¬ 
crease your power. 

From time to time, you come upon 
magic items — rings, crosses, staffs, 
charms, and potions. Unfortunately, 
they're usually found in the possession 
of some loathsome nasty. They're yours 
for the taking, provided you kill the nasty 

Three of the five magic items are 
helpful. One will heal your warrior if he's 
wounded; a second will eliminate the 
deadly traps that surround the castles; 
and a third increases your Dragonstomp- 
er's chances of striking an opponent. 

The other two magic items are harm¬ 
ful. One takes away your strength, and 
one decreases your chances of hitting 
an opponent. 

If you get through the first landscape 
(with or without the help of magic), 
you're free to try reaching the op¬ 
pressed village (the second part of the 
game). Before you can cross over the 
bridge leading to the village, though, you 
have to locate an identification paper or 
enough gold to bribe the guard on the 

The village is more like a breather than 
a challenge for your Dragonstomper. It’s 
the part of the game where you get 
ready to enter the evil dragon's lair. Dur¬ 
ing your stay in the village, you must 
equip yourself with whatever you think 
you'll need to battle the dragon. 

26 BLIP 

fPI a 

You travel through the village, s! 
ping in shops to buy medicine, 
weapons, and anything else you might 
need — and can afford. When you're 
finished shopping, you try to convince 
some storekeepers to accompany you 
on the final leg of your journey. This, 
too, will cost you money. 

The third and final sequence takes 
place inside the dragon's lair. This part 
of the game calls for all the strength and 
intelligence the Dragonstomper has. 

The lair is laced with traps that slowly 
eat away at your strength. For each one 
of your attacks, the dragon attacks you 
twice. And the dragon has to be hit 
several times before it will fall. 

There are two ways to win at 
DRAGONSTOMPER. One is to kill the 
dragon. The other is to capture the en¬ 
chanted gem inside the dragon's lair and 
make off with it. The gem is located 
behind the dragon, and you can get at it 
only by risking attacks from the rear. 

DRAGONSTOMPER is a tough game 
to master. Many players think the hard¬ 
est part of the game is getting through 
the enchanted countryside. You have no 
weapons at the beginning, and you're 
very vulnerable. 

A good strategy in part one is to chal¬ 
lenge a warrior to a fistfight right at the 
beginning. If you win, you get to take his 
axe, and that will help you get through 
the rest of the landscape. 

others you'll want to think about. Here 
are a few we enjoyed: 

SPACE: This is a weird variation on 
GALAXIAN, the popular arcade game. 
Your home planet is being overrun by 
mutant warriors. The more mutants you 
destroy, the meaner the survivors 
become. You're armed with penetrating 
missiles and with guided missiles that 
eliminate several mutants at a time. 

FIREBALL: You face an unlimited num¬ 
ber of walls, and you’re armed with fire¬ 
balls for destroying them, brick by brick. 
You have to juggle the fireball (to keep 
from burning yourself), then hurl it back 
at the wall of blocks. 

SUICIDE MISSION: You shrink down to 
the size of a microbe to do battle with a 
deadly virus that threatens to destroy a 
human body. You navigate through the 
bloodstream, trying to reach the heart in 
time to save the patient. 

FRANTIC: The description is simple, but 
the game isn't The challenge is to juggle 
several burning batons. The more you 
can keep in the air, the higher your point 

—Mike Meyers 


May, 1983 

Movies, 1909 
Comic Books, 1954 

TV, 1950 

Rock Music, 1957 





las anyone told you lately that video games 
will turn your brain to oatmeal and make you 
forget your last name? 
Relax. Your parents heard the same things said 
about what they were interested in at your age. So 
did your grandparents, and maybe even your great- 

public places. We 

dancing. The 


W e know how good your eye- 
hand coordination is. Now 
let's see how sharp your mind is. 

This is a reasoning puzzle that calls 
for some slow and careful thinking. It 
might keep you busy for a long time. 

Paula, Sam, and Joe are at the video games 
display in a department store. One of them is play¬ 
ing FROGGER, one is playing K.C.'S KRAZY 
CHASE, and one is playing DEFENDER. One of the 
players has blue eyes, a second has brown eyes, 
and the third has green eyes. 

We'll give you clues about the three players. Us¬ 
ing only those clues, figure out who is playing 
which game, and what color eyes each player has. 
Here are the clues: 

1 . Paula never plays maze games. 

2 . The DEFENDER player has green eyes. 

3 . Joe does not have brown eyes. 

4 . The KRAZY CHASE player has blue eyes. 

5 . Joe is not playing DEFENDER. 

6 . The FROGGER player has brown eyes. 

7 . Sam plays only war games. 

Now, we'll give you one hint about how to tackle this problem. First, 
try to figure out what Joe is playing and what color his eyes are. Then 
do the same for Sam. After that, you’ll have only one game and color 
left, and they belong to Paula. 


30 BLIP 





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