Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cover to Cover: Adventure International Spring 1981 Catalog (pp. 13-14)

It's time once again to resume our regular (though frequently interrupted of late) page-through of a vintage computer game catalog.  From way back in Spring of 1981, it's Scott Adams' Adventure International catalog, pages 13 and 14!

Page 13 continues the de rigeur lineup of arcade games, mostly for the TRS-80 despite the machine's limited audiovisual capabilities:

As was common at the time, most of these are unlicensed versions of popular coin-op arcade games.  Showdown is (ahem) "similar to the gun fighting arcade game", that is, the Taito/Midway Gun Fight and Boot Hill games; Space Colony is "in the space invaders theme."  Note that the Color Computer version, crammed into 4K, was written by Charles Forsythe, who did a lot of impressive work for The Programmers' Guild.  I've written at some length about the mummy-themed maze game clone Tunnels of Fahad earlier.  Silver Flash Pinball was presumably semi-original, and was developed by a company called Southern Cross Systems -- it appears they're still around, though they morphed into a digital imaging company circa 1984.  And Tank Command appears to be an early version of the player vs. player combat contests that remain popular today.

Page 14 features a paid advertisement for an early series of computer shows -- again, in these wild and wooly early days of the hobby and industry, nobody felt it was necessary to solicit George Lucas' permission for the imagery:

I'm not at all familiar with these events, and a quick Google search doesn't turn up any interesting history; the National Computer Shows promotional organization was still advertising in InfoWorld magazine circa 1982, but as far as I can see the company seems to have faded into history not long after that.

Tomorrow, more pages!

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