Baseball & Brain Quiz for the Arcadia-2001

img_2484It wouldn’t be an early 80s video game console without baseball and brain teaser games available for purchase. The Arcadia-2001’s offerings in these genres are imaginatively (sarcasm alert) titled “Baseball” and “Brain Quiz”.

Baseball games from the 2nd and 3rd console generations have not aged well and Baseball for the Arcadia-2001 is no exception. Baseball is a 2 player only game so grab a friend (or foe) to take part in the misery. You’re greeted with a white field, implying that you’re playing baseball either on pure white sand beaches of Tahiti or somewhere in Antarctica. Either way, it looks bad. The gameplay is standard baseball except you rely on your controller keypad far too much. Basically every aspect of the game is managed through the keypad, with the exception of throwing a pitch, in which you need both the keypad and the disc. You don’t even bat by pressing one of the side buttons, but instead a button on the controller. Not to mention the player that is batting has to hit a button to signal to the pitcher that he’s “ready”. Why you couldn’t just say “I’m ready” to your human opponent sitting right next to you, I’m not sure. There’s also an odd looking cut away screen when you hit the ball out of the infield. I guess it’s supposed to look like the you’re approaching the outfield wall, but it really does a poor job of representing that. Baseball on the Arcadia-2001 isn’t something I’ll be returning to anytime soon.

Brain Quiz offers three games in one, Mindbreaker, Maxit, & Hangman. Both Mindbreaker and Maxit offer the option to play against the computer but for some reason Hangman does not, which is odd because I just played hangman for the Fairchild Channel F (i.e. the first ever ROM based video game console from 1976) and even that version had a 1 player option. Oh well, Hangman is Hangman and there’s not much to say about that. In Mindbreaker, you must guess the correct 5 digit combination in less than 19 turns in order to win. The game gives you hints by telling you how many numbers you have in the correct position and how many total numbers you have correctly guessed. In Maxit, you move along a number filled grid and select a number from that row, then the computer selects a number from that column, so on and so forth. The grid is filled with black and red numbers that represent positive and negative scores so strategy becomes a key aspect of the game and thinking several moves ahead to outsmart the computer. Maxit offers 3 different challenge levels as well as 2 player option. The game ends when either player can no longer make a move and the player with the highest score when this occurs is the winner. I like Brain Quiz but maybe that’s because these brain games are timeless and don’t rely on gimmicks, amazing graphics & sound, none of which the Arcadia-2001 excels at.

Currently in my collection:

Baseball – game, manual, box, 2 overlays F

Brain Quiz – game, manual, box B-

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