August 11, 2007

15 Strange Early Electronic Handheld Games

Naughty Squirrel With its cheerful rainbow graphics, Naughty Squirrel is apparently from the gender-bending series of handheld games. Guide the cheerful squirrel through the dark, dark forest, without losing his nut sack. Avoid Disney copyright infringement lawyers.
Redline Look closely and see if you can tell what's wrong with this game. Did you find the problem? That's right... there's NO SCREEN. Please don't tell me that all those controls only affect the small row of LED's at the top of the game. Because that would be the saddest thing of all.
Pucki Monsters From the odd game shape to the bizarre packaging.… this game can only be described as 'avant garde.' Or maybe 'blatant Pac-Man ripoff.'
Hysteric Mama Help the hysterical mother find her way through nine levels of big city traffic to her bottle of tranquilizers. She's gone insane from all the beeping and blooping of those damned cheap electronic games her kids keep playing over and over and over.
Blip This was a popular game when I was growing up, at least in my neighborhood. The game was actually purely mechanical, there was a red light that physically moved back and forth under a dark screen, and your job was to guess which one of three spaces it would land, and by holding down the correct button you would bounce the ball back to your opponent. If I recall correctly it was accompanied by loud grinding noises.
Dataman Yes, it's a game. I had one.
Im Geisterschloss Im Geisterschloss. It's fun to say it, it's fun to play it.
Touch Me One of the more unfortunately named handheld games. This was featured on a very special epsiode of 'The Facts of Life." Actually, apparently this is the originator of the whole 'Simon' series of games, no joke! (And check out this psychadellic flyer for the game.)
Lil' Genius Obviously the cheaper version of the popular Little Professor calculator-based handheld game. Also available in creepy Evil Clown version:
Pythaligoras This is probably the most soul-crushing of the handheld games. The only enjoyment to be found here is the funny name and even that wears off rather quickly.
Swat Swat the Mosquito Because *nothing* says entertainment like swatting swatting mosquitos! Perfect for those long Minnesota winters.
Woodman Fall out of trees. Yell for help. Kill bears with an axe. These are some of the thrilling things you'll do in the game of Woodman.
Gameburger It's a game! It's a burger! It's lame Simon™ rip-off.
Invisible Alien Neutralizer (IAN) This seems like less of a game than a handy tool. After all, how else are you supposed to get rid of the invisible aliens that lurk amongst us, manipulating our thoughts and corrupting our precious bodily fluids? Febreeze maybe.
Joyful Game! Ah, this game distills the essence of handheld gaming into its purest form, joyfullness. Deep down, it's all we really want in a game.
I hope you enjoyed this look at some crazy old games. Many of these images are from Please visit them for all your handheld needs.

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Blogger Suzanne said...

I could really use one of those Invisible Alien Neutralizers.

It would certainly make cashiering a lot easier and more pleasant...

8/11/2007 8:46 PM  
Blogger Kmuzu said...

I owned Red Line it was actually pretty fun .. but no LCD screen just little lights. There was also a mechanical pong game that that a light on the end of a moving stick and there was an electronic version of D&D that had great minatures.

8/12/2007 2:10 AM  
Blogger David said...

Redline isn't really a game, rather a reaction time improver. Its meant for drag racers to practice, and get better reaction times.

8/12/2007 3:37 AM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

Suzanne, hopefully you'll get one o them shiny new jobs and you won't have to worry about invisible aliens anymore.

8/12/2007 9:04 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Thanks for the good thought!

But, invisible aliens are EVERYWHERE, dontcha know...

8/12/2007 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pythaligoras" ( in japan) was called COMP IV in the USA and LOGIC 5 in the UK

8/12/2007 3:40 PM  
Blogger Sereena X said...

Thanks so much for putting Jim Morrison's voice in my head, John.

8/12/2007 5:46 PM  
Blogger RichardBrackin said...

I had the Redline game. The lights were the christams tree. Further down you had to keep the RPM's from 'Redlining' and losing the race.

The main point of the game was to control the acceleration and gear shifting, timing it such that you had a low reaction time. Different settings like top fuel, etc. provided for different levels of game play.

I always played at top fuel with 4 second quarter miles.

I've probably still got the game and will work to put a youtube video.

8/12/2007 7:23 PM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

Any time Sereena. Took me a second to figure out what you were talking about. Touch me, right?

8/12/2007 8:07 PM  
Blogger Sereena X said...

Okay, if you insist. Where?

8/12/2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

new jersey?

8/12/2007 10:30 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Wow! I actually had that mosquito game. Strangely, I remember my brother and I enjoying it. I guess that was the best entertainment to be found in the early 80's.

8/13/2007 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I actually remember some of these! Too bad I was too poor to afford any of them. I remember the Dataman but for the life of me I can't remember what it did besides function as a calculator.
Do you remember all of the other calculators that were aimed at kids? There was one that looked like an owl and the infamous "Little Professor".


8/14/2007 12:29 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

I hear L Ron Hubbard has the patent for the Invisble Alien Neutralizer

8/14/2007 2:37 AM  
Blogger Travis Prebble said...

Darn right Dataman was a game. Shooting missiles at correct multiplication answers and, uh... I'm sure it did something else.

I actually still have one, with the manual, and it works.

8/14/2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually still own Blip and Dataman. They still work and my kids play with them. My son sometimes prefers dataman over his gameboy.

8/14/2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger Yarnosh said...

You really shouldn't underestimate what a child might be entertained by. Some of these games might sound really inane on the surface, but I bet most of them entertained at least a few children pretty effectively. I recall being entertained by some pretty strange things as a child. For example, I spent hours upon hours typing BASIC programs from a book into my computer. Not because I had to, mind. I mean, I had floppy drives and all that. I just wanted to, for some reason. The book was there, the computer was on, I was bored. What can I say?

8/14/2007 12:33 PM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

I agree yarnosh. It was really written tongue-in-cheek, growing up my friends and I spent countless hours playing with some of these crazy games. Except for the Invisible Alien Zapper, what's up with that??

8/14/2007 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite of all is the Dataman.
I still own one, it had a bunch of math games and I used to walk everywhere with it. Thanks for taking me back in time.

8/15/2007 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merlin, you forgot Merlin!!

8/15/2007 4:30 PM  
Anonymous loops said...

Great stuff. I had a BLIP, and a Merlin as well. I loved the Merlin dearly.

8/16/2007 3:06 AM  
Anonymous Slippy said...

Wow, memory lane! I had Blip (but I seem to remember mine was blue) and the Atari Touch-me, although everyone at school called it "Pocket Simon", lol...

My Nan had the MB Pythaligoras game. The best description I could give it was to call it electronic mastermind (after the code-finder game, not the quiz show)

I'd forgotten all about those games. Now I remember how much I loved them. I'm so glad I came across this blog!!! :-)

8/16/2007 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, the Dataman was pretty cool in its day - especially if you were a math geek!!

8/16/2007 7:00 PM  
Blogger thebaffledking said...

I had a space invaders rip off that was ust flashing LEDs under a plastic screen with a transfer on it.. cool, though.. I wanted a littler professor, but I ended up with Dataman instead. It was a good gadget, though. It came with a companion book, as I remember. Just like an early brain train game for the DS.

8/22/2007 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about fabulous fred?

8/28/2007 9:55 PM  
Blogger pamela said...

I had a dataman! I think I loved it momentarily....

9/13/2007 8:51 PM  
Anonymous knob said...

I could never memorize my multiplication tables until my dad brought home a DataMan from a business trip. I spent _hours_ on that thing - I remember that cool blue-glowing display with the little "rotating" circle timer which was a percurer to the rotating hourglass of the Mac/Windows

10/16/2008 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have a Red Line. Got it new back in the day. I still love playing it. And i'm 39...and female. Heh, we all have our little idiosyncricities!

11/18/2008 9:00 PM  

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