""*S 1 s
S S mm The Video
m m Games Magazine
at 1 : 1 . /
Vol. 1, No. 4
WHERE THE ,
JOYSTICK LEADS ,he| ™ 2
bugged by video games at all—Dona Bailey, c
TOY FACTORY signer ol CENTIPEDE. 6
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
BLIP LETTERS 13
Baseball, our national pastime, as a video
blip tips i i u :r^. e s ^ ,s 14
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
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
PLAYER’S Bee. up your Atari with,he St.rp.th
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
That would be like buying a $20,000
sports car to get back and forth to the
No, if you’re tempted to buy a com¬
puter, you’ll want to do more with It
play games. “But,” we hear you
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Some people gave helpful advice without
even realizing it. Dona told us about one
such incident from the early stages of the
"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
PUT CAPS ON BOTTLES!
FALL ASLEEP ON
John R. Tebbel
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, :
($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 ^
Martin Harvey INTELLIVISION I
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.
M NETWORK BASEBALL
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
• 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
• 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-
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
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
There isn't any brake. To draw to a
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
Head on, and find out just how real three of
those games are.
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
COMMUNIST MUTANTS FROM
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
Comic Books, 1954
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
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.
ANSWER IN NEXT MONTH’S ISSUE OF BLIP.
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