Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We're Going On An Adventure!

Today I am taking part in the Level Up!  Blogfest hosted by Jamie from Mithril Wisdom and Allison over at Geek Banter. (click on the link for a list of all involved)

Participants are asked to share a favorite game. It can be a video game, card game, board game, party game, drinking game, whatever. It sounds simple, but it's been difficult to decide upon one game.

So here goes nothing...

I like video games. I'm terrible at them, but I've always liked to play them. Growing up, my siblings and I had an Atari 2600. Some of our favorite games were Pitfall, Stampede, Outlaw, and Combat. We also had a completely lame awesome game called "Plaque Attack" where you were a tube of toothpaste and had to destroy the junk food that was out to rot your teeth. Think "Space Invaders" but with donuts and candy canes (by the way, that candy cane level was super hard). Our neighbors had a high coveted smurf game. I don't remember much about the object of that game, except for avoiding Gargamel and Azrael, but I do remember being absolutely green with envy that we didn't have that game for ourselves.

A screen shot from Adventure
But my true Atari game love was a game called Adventure. It involved swords and dragons, so naturally, it was my favorite. Your character was a square. A little yellow square. Your sword was a golden arrow, and you used your sword to protect your little square self as you navigated your way through various random rooms and castles looking for the Golden Chalice (which, by the way, was always hidden in the black castle. Just a little tip from me to you). Once you found the Golden Chalice (again, in the black castle), and used a magnet to retrieve it from the wall in which it was hidden, you then had to bring the chalice back to the golden castle where you started the game. And while you were doing all this, you had to be on the look out for dragons (red, yellow and green. They had names, but I can't remember what they are) that would eat you if you didn't kill them first. On the upper levels, there was also this stupid bat who would swoop in at random times and steal whatever item happened to be lying around. He'd steal a key you desperately needed or a bridge (yes, I said a bridge) and put it somewhere else. Sometimes, he stole the bodies of the slain dragons and leave them in inconvenient places that would cause you to have to reset the game and start again because all you had was an arrow sword and poking an already dead dragon with it accomplished nothing.

That bat was a real bastard.

But the game was awesome, and I miss it. If it were possible to get it for my Wii, I totally would.

A while back, you could buy a retro system thing. It looked like an Atari 2600 controller and just plugged into your TV and came with a handful of the Atari classic games. Adventure was one of them, so one afternoon, my sister, B, and I took it upon ourselves to introduce a new generation of kids (who had grown up on the Playstation) to the magic of Adventure. Here's how that went:

Me: See that key on the left? Go get it.
Kid: Where am I?
Me: See that yellow square?
Kid: Yeah. What's that?
Me: That's you.
Kid: I'm a square?

Needless to say, she wasn't impressed.
 
For the literary minded, this game also receives several shout outs in the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It delighted me to no end. Of course, the whole book is one big 80's reference, but this one delighted me the most.

That's going to do it for me today. Thanks to Jamie and Allison for creating a very cool blogfest. Can't wait to see what everyone else had come up with.

Cheers!

55 comments:

  1. I loved "Adventure" as well as "Pitfall". It's funny looking back on the Atari and thinking how crappy it looks (by today's standards), but back then it was the best thing going.

    Great post.

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    1. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. Now I love Atari games even more because the new ones are way too complicated for me.

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  2. It looks really familiar; I think I might have played it. The simplicity of the game was great because the rest of it was down to your imagination.

    Ready Player One is very high on my TBR pile, I can't wait to try and get all his references!

    Excellent entry, thanks for taking part in the blogfest!

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

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    1. Ready Player One is essential reading for any 80's child gamer types.

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  3. Why did no one tell me about Adventure? I had Space Invaders and Target Fun and Tank Plus. Lots of guns, but no swords or dragons.

    Also, hate to tell you, but that Golden Chalice ain't all that golden if you retrieve it with a magnet. : p

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    1. Maybe it was a magic magnet. =)

      I never played Target Fun or Tank Plus. Combat had a lot of tanks in it though.

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  4. My youth was filled with games on the original NES. My sister and I made a mean Bubble Bobble team. I remember a few games from the Atari, but I can't think of any of their names.

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    1. My siblings and I got an NES for Christmas one year. There was much excitement. We never had Bubble Bobble, but we played hours upon hours of Super Mario Brothers.

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  5. I don't know any of those games but I do remember the hours of fun I had on similar games on ancient consoles lol!

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    1. My significant other had an Atari too, but we didn't have any of the same games, and had never heard of the games the other played. It always makes me laugh that even there there were that many titles available.

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  6. We have the retro Atari thing. I don't remember liking Adventure very much. It was just a lot of the same thing over and over.

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    1. Which is probably why I could play it. =)

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  7. Fantastic blast from the past. I remember my dad and I were addicted to those adventure games where you typed in instructions - Get sword. Go north. I got a strange thrill when I saw an episode of Big Bang Theory and Sheldon was playing one :-)

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    1. Yes, I loved those games! There was one I used to play at school all the time. I can't remember what it was called but I spent every spare moment I could trying to figure out that game. I'm guessing I never did reach the end.

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  8. I remember that game! Played it all the time. Did you find the secret room? Yeah, it wasn't that impressive.

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    1. I honestly don't remember if I ever found the secret room. So I'm guessing that means I didn't.

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  9. I LOVED that game, too! I had forgotten all about it until I saw that picture. Pitfall was great, too, and I liked one called Breakout/Super Breakout - you used the paddle controller and slid a bar across the screen and bounced a ball up into a wall of bricks over and over while the bar got smaller and smaller...

    And I just about spit coffee out my nose when I read the conversation with your niece. Kids today don't know what they're missing. :)

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    1. Breakout was a great game too. We loved that one. Did you ever play circus atari? Same concept as Breakout but with acrobats on a see saw trying to break balloons.

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    2. Loved Circus Atari, too! Oh, now I want to play them all!

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    3. Me too. I've been resisting the urge to go shop for a classic system on eBay all afternoon.

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  10. I'll stick with UNO and WAR!

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Oh, Uno. I do love a good game of Uno. I used to play it all the time with my students back when I was teaching. We were all very cutthroat about it, so no one likes to play with me now.

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  11. I'd be up with anything that includes dragons, too. :) I an not surprised that the kids were less than impressed! It must seem crazy boring to them compared to what they have now!

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    1. I wasn't surprised either. And it is a boring game when compared to what they have now. I mean, the Atari joystick had one button on it and for a lot of games, you didn't even need that button.

      Ah, good times.

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  12. I've been curious about Adventure since I read about it in my favorite Sci Fi novel ever - Ready Player one!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  13. Can't say I'm familiar with that, but it sounds like you had some fun.

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  14. We had the Atari, but I never played Adventure. I think I stuck with Space Invaders. My brother was more the gamer.

    One thing I see all the time now (while subbing) is kids on the computer playing the old Super Mario Bros. It's online someplace. I bet Adventure is too.

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    1. I downloaded the old Super Mario Bros. games on my Wii. I've spent many an afternoon trying to reclaim the glory of winning those games. Haven't managed it yet though.

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  15. I never played any atari games, but I do miss old games like space invaders that I used to play on the computer. Sometimes simple can be more fun.

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    1. I agree with that completely. And not just because I really suck at the complicated ones.

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  16. I was an Atari 2600 child too. My husband used his Christmas money to buy that Atari retro console, and he's been playing Adventure at least three times a week ever since! Personally, I prefer Pitfall or Breakout. Or Sky Dive, where your stick figure goes squish if you don't open the parachute in time!

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    1. I have never heard of Sky Dive, but it kind of sounds like the most awesome game ever.

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  17. Everyone talks about the Atari, but I don't remember it at all. I do miss the old Commodore 64 games. Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. I don't think I ever played any Commodore 64 games. If I did, I did not play them enough to have any of them make an impact on me.

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  18. Too funny! Adventure was my favorite Atari game :)

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    1. Yes! I'm so glad I'm not alone on this one!

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  19. Well I've never heard of the game, but it sounds like younger me would've enjoyed it.

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  20. The Atari 2600 was my first game console, but I never played Adventure. I loved Pitfall and River Raid. It's so awesome you mentioned ready Player One, too. It's such a great book!

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    1. I never played River Raid. I think I used to have it for my PlayStation. There was a classic Atari collections game of which it was a part.

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  21. You're the second person to mention "Ready Player One". I think I'm going to have to make a bigger point of reading that this year. :3

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  22. the origins of video games, true adventure time!!
    i loved moving the bridge to make the secret passage, i loved flying around the board trapped in a dead dragon, carried by the damn bat!!

    my parents dont throw anything away so they still have our old, fully functional atari, and my fave, adventure!! woot!

    see, kids. stay in school and improve the graphics of video games and make millions!!

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    1. Why would you ever want to improve the graphics of video games? What more do we need than a little yellow square? =)

      And yes, I remember the bat toting me around in a dragon's stomach too. Good times...

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  23. I'm not sure why I never played Adventure when I was a kid. I played so many of those other games but never even tried Adventure, to my recollection. It is a shame because I would have loved it.

    Ah, Pitfall! Just seeing your mention of it brings back a bunch of good memories.

    Wasn't Ready Player One fantastic? I so loved that book. I listened to the audio version which was a treat.

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  24. I would spend hours and hours playing Centipede on my Atari 2600. Oh...the memories that brings back!! :)

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  25. I love video games and am horrible at them too - I can totally relate ^_^ And fantastic choice - Adventure was an awesome game!

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  26. I LOVED that game too! All those old Atari games were what I grew up on. Give me a joystick and a bright red button to push, an I'm set for the day!

    Thanks for the flashback!

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  27. My favorite Atari game was Circus Atari. You had to spring your guy up to the balloons flying by overhead and pop them. You also had to make sure you caught your man on the springboard or he'd go splat. Literally it would make a crash sound the guys arms and legs would flail in a death throe. I lived for that death flail. LOL I'm sick like that.

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