Portable mini-technology is something we take for granted in the 21st century. It started in the late 20th century with the portable gaming boom of the Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Game Gear, and to a lesser extent, the Atari Lynx and the NEC Turbo Express, and extending to the advent of portable mp3 players (e.g., iPod) and finally smart cell phones. We are a spoiled society when it comes to technology.
While most people would cite the Gameboy as the portable gaming system that broke through to the mainstream (they’re correct), Milton Bradley’s Microvision remains the overlooked system to get the ball rolling.
I wrote about the Microvision and my collection a few years ago and hadn’t thought much about it since. However, it was time to dust the system off and see what I still needed to complete my set of U.S. released Microvision games.
The answer to that question was three. Those three games were Alien Raiders, Bowling, and Cosmic Hunter. That’s it, just these three titles to complete my Microvision collection. This sounded very achievable, considering none of the games are so rare or hard to find that they reach “break the bank” levels of collectability. The only problem? The Microvision wasn’t exactly an enormous success, so finding these games would prove to be more difficult than I thought.
That’s not to say I didn’t have any success over the past month or so. I did add nice copies of Alien Raiders and Bowling to my collection, both complete in boxes with manuals. The only title I haven’t been able to find either for the right price or in the sort of condition I want for my collection would be Cosmic Hunter. Once I add this, I will have all 11 of the officially released U.S. Microvision titles and my second complete collection, after the RCA Studio II.
However, I do have a couple of minor flaws with my existing collection. First, while I am thankful that my Microvision continues to work all these years later, it is missing the battery cover. Having to place a piece of electrical tape over the battery to ensure that it doesn’t fall out in the middle of gaming is a sloppy way to deal with the root cause. Ideally, at some point, I will likely purchase another Microvision system that still has its battery cover intact. Second, all of my games are complete in box with one exception, Baseball. I don’t have the box for this game, nor do I have an original game manual. My manual is only a photocopy, so buying a replacement Baseball, complete in box, is definitely on my wish-list. After that, I will feel like I truly have a full set of Microvision games.
Side note, the Microvision makes an appearance in one of my favorite horror franchises, Friday the 13th. A couple of characters in the series second entry, released in 1981, can be seen playing the Microvision. Check it out!