Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cover to Cover: Adventure International Spring 1981 Catalog (pp. 17-18)

As we continue our nostalgic trip through the Spring 1981 Adventure International catalog, we encounter a number of long-forgotten products, but many of them have well-known descendants active in today's market.

Page 17 features more interpretations of classic early gaming concepts -- most of these ideas appeared on multiple platforms under multiple titles, and many continue to surface in today's casual and portable gaming market:

Stan Ockers' Angle Worms / Crolon Diversion features the early competitive line-building game best known today from the movie TRON's light cycle sequence, as well as a space target game of some kind that the catalog copy can't be bothered to describe.  Richard Taylor's Concentration is a version of the popular image-matching game -- somehow none of the computer game publishers were ever sued by the game show's producers, even though most of them appeared under the name Concentration; there may just have been too many to sue, as this is actually the second such game in the Scott Adams catalog, if we count the one packaged with Kid-Venture #2.  Scott Carpenter's The Great Race adapts the traditional card game Mille Bornes, John Warshawer's Poker Tournament is a player-vs.-CPU game of poker, and Musical Yat-C by Ricky H. Cates and Walter Fuller adds music and a trademark-skirting name change to the popular game of Yahtzee.  Jeff Jessee's Mountain Shoot puts two opposing cannons on a randomly-generated landscape, using another early competitive game concept that eventually evolved into the long-running Worms series.

Page 18 presents one of the few non-entertainment products in the Adventure International lineup, the database system Maxi Manager:

The system's capabilities aren't bad at all considering the hardware and diskette space available at the time -- while today's databases handily deal with millions of records of arbitrary size, this system was probably powerful enough to serve its customers well back in the day.  The feature comparison table is interesting -- all of the products listed are long gone, but either Maxi Manager was significantly ahead of the pack or the competition was carefully cherry-picked.  And I imagine the makers of AIDS III were rather relieved to be out of business in the mid-1980s.

Tomorrow, our historical trip continues...

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