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CrashedAlex

Argos "Book of Dreams"

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It's really interesting looking back at that catalogue, because there's often talk of the "video game crash of 1984", but I don't remember it at all. I only just got a Spectrum in 1984 and I remember it being a great time for computer games.

 

But looking at the catalogue, the sheer amount of US based computers and consoles that absolutely disappeared over the next 12-24 months maybe shows that the UK was affected by the video games crash. Well, those poor bastards that Santa gave an Aquarius or a Texas Instruments TI99....

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I like ComputerActive. It's not aimed at most people here but they do what they do very well. I'ts on Readly so I usually flip through it and learn the occasional thing.

 

This is not strictly on topic.

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Oh yeah the point.

 

The videogames crash was really a "Console Crash" yes, which Nintendo eventually dragged them out of.

 

America didn't really have the "not a PC" home computer scene we did, which completely masked the effect here.  Console were a niche pursuit until the NES/SMS era so it just wasn't as much of a thing.

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If anything I reckon 83/84 was computer buying boom time in the UK. The number of kids at school who got machines in those 2 years was huge from what I remember. We got our Dragon 32 for Xmas '82 and by 84 I knew at least 4 families with Dragaon. Poor sods, I owe the Dragon for getting me into computing but it really was limited spec. wise to others. 

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Yep there was always that one person you know who had the Dragon 32. It had "The King" IIRC a decent Donkey Kong game but it also had those weird potentiometer joysticks.

I remember going to a friends birthday party who had the machine. He organised a kickabout outside. Nah, I was in his bedroom loading up all his games. Was I missing out? Not sure.

Always did like the logo though..

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@Darren I feel your pain my friend. I really do.

 

That said I listened to the Retro Hour podcast with Shaun "Kikstart" Southern the other week and lots of C16 discussion there.

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I made a post in the OT thread, comparing some of the games consoles' prices in the early '90s:

 

 

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6 hours ago, Dudley said:

Console were a niche pursuit until the NES/SMS era so it just wasn't as much of a thing.

 

The 2600 was massive, UK included.

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Too right!

 

Superman, Pitfall, Pac Man, Pole Position, Barnstorming..

 

There was a girl at my School whose Dad worked away. I think he worked on big building sites but can't be sure. They had a VCS and three or four carts. One day her Dad saw a shop opposite where he was working burn to the ground. It was a games shop. The Owner was trying to salvage anything that was intact. All of his surviving VCS carts were in a pile on the pavement. No boxes. Her Dad scooped the lot for £100. So she suddenly had almost EVERY GAME released in the UK.

 

At our School, the last day of the year was 'bring toys and games for the day' and one year all the computers got set up in the main Hall. She bought in her Atari and a suitcase jammed full of carts. To a 12 year old me, that suitcase was that suitcase in "Pulp Fiction" - full of astounding treasure. And it was.

 

I don't think I played my C64 that day. I was on her table, and tried to load every cart she had!

 

What a great day that was!

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I only had one friend who had a Dragon 32. I remember two games we played on it, that I've never been able to track down since.

One was a game where you had to climb up a kind of grid-like structure - all I remember about it was if you got near the top you could commit suicide by throwing yourself off the edge. 

The other was a caveman/ dinosaur themed game where, again, you moved through a grid ... Collecting pterodactyl eggs, I think. There's a game that came out on other later platforms (Amiga I think) that fits that description - it wasn't that one. 

Those are pretty much the only games I played in my childhood that I haven't been able to track down since. Any suggestions appreciated ... Every few years I have another attempt at identifying them by trawling fansites and asking a few questions on fan forums. 

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On 30/11/2019 at 17:05, Darren said:

I had a Dragon 32.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then a Commodore 16.

 

:(

 

At least the dragon32 had games...

 

saying that, microdeal did release a lot of games on both systems

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18 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

The other was a caveman/ dinosaur themed game where, again, you moved through a grid ... Collecting pterodactyl eggs, I think.

It could have been Pterodactyl

https://www.gamesdatabase.org/game/dragon-32-64/pterodactyl

 

Never played it myself, but as I read your post I though there was a D32 game called that. It was probably advertised in computer magazines of the time.

 

3 hours ago, CrashedAlex said:

"Cuthbert In The Jungle" kept me entertained on the Dragon.

Yeah I had that, and Cuthbert in the Mines which was easily one of the hardest games I ever played. My favourite D32 game was probably Chuckie Egg, a truely wonderful version.

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On 30/11/2019 at 21:11, Camel said:

 

The 2600 was massive, UK included.

You’re totally correct, the VCS/2600 was HUGE in the U.K. and USA! Consoles were very popular WAY before the NES/SMS.

 

The Intellivision and Colecovision (the latter had some amazing arcade conversions for the early 80s) were also popular and the Vectrex was an amazing bit of kit.

 

The Atari 5200, which never saw light of day in the U.K. due to the crash, also has some excellent arcade conversions, it’s not that hard to pick up converted US machines these days.

 

All are excellent systems in their own right.

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There’s way more Dragon owners here than I expected. I think about 50% of the sales are reflected in this thread. 
Still got two of them in the loft!

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1 hour ago, Vespa Alex said:

There’s way more Dragon owners here than I expected. I think about 50% of the sales are reflected in this thread. 
Still got two of them in the loft!


how much?

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6 hours ago, elyuw said:

It could have been Pterodactyl

https://www.gamesdatabase.org/game/dragon-32-64/pterodactyl

 

Never played it myself, but as I read your post I though there was a D32 game called that. It was probably advertised in computer magazines of the time.

 

Yeah I had that, and Cuthbert in the Mines which was easily one of the hardest games I ever played. My favourite D32 game was probably Chuckie Egg, a truely wonderful version.

Not that one, but thanks for the suggestion!

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9 hours ago, SeanR said:


how much?


I doubt I’d ever sell them. One is our first family computer and the other is my grandad’s which is mint. 
There’s too many good memories in there. 

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On 01/12/2019 at 22:55, SeanR said:

 

At least the dragon32 had games...

Don't be slagging the C16, it had some great games. It was our only gaming system for years, mostly due to the much advertised fact that it came as a bundle with everything you needed to get started, which wasn't a given for micros back then. 

 

I know it was my formative gaming years, but I have very fond memories of playing on the C16. 

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14 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

I know it was my formative gaming years, but I have very fond memories of playing on the C16. 

To be fair all this arguing back in the day about which 8-Bit Micro was the best was sort of pointless, the best one was the machine your parents bought that you had access to. So for me that was a Dragon 32 and like you I remember it fondly.

 

People nowadays who are still engaged in those "discussions" and will defend the honour of the <insert childhood machine name> until the cows come home. I see it all the time of Atari Age forums where there are threads about Atari 800 vs CBM 64. Logically both have their good and bad elements, but in this enlightened era you can and should enjoy both.

 

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56 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Don't be slagging the C16, it had some great games. It was our only gaming system for years, mostly due to the much advertised fact that it came as a bundle with everything you needed to get started, which wasn't a given for micros back then. 

 

I know it was my formative gaming years, but I have very fond memories of playing on the C16. 


yes, yes it did. I know because... I had a C16.

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As I've turned this into C16 thread, I will say that I had hardly any games for mine, but the best thing about it for me was the built in assembler/disassembler. Yes, there was a brief period in the mid-80s when I could program to a rudimentary level in 6502 machine code. Then I discovered girls and forgot all about that sort of thing.

 

Suddenly I stopped looking at the computer pages, and instead found myself perusing the shower and sunbed pages in the Argos book. And we're back on topic!

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