This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
(Continued from page 11)
into a title page followed by the menu with accompa-
nying music. Programs are organized in 8 categories:
Original games, Prototypes, Hacked original Games,
3D Games, Light pen games, Homebrew games,
Homebrew demos, and Miscellaneous. Pushing the
joystick left or right makes the menu cycle through
the categories. Pushing the joystick in the up or
down directions enables selection of the game. Hitting
any of the controller buttons begins execution of the
The list of programs provided on the 72 Game Multi-
cart is quite extensive. All of the official games by
GCE and Milton Bradley are presented apart from
Animaction. Animaction has always been a strange
one. This program allows a user to create and ani-
mate graphics with a light pen. However, it is techni-
cally a bit more difficult (and expensive) to provide on
a multi-cart because the original cartridge used extra
memory not present in the other game cartridges for
saving and recalling artwork. Andy Coleman chose
not to include Animaction because of its one off hard-
ware requirements, its limited appeal, and in order to
keep the costs of the 72 Game Multicart down.
Pretty much all the other programs that have been
released into the public domain are present on the
multi-cart, too. There are the prototypes including
Polar Rescue, Tour De France, Clean Sweep, Mr Bos-
ton version, and Pitcher‘ s duel. Then there are vari- Hang-Man is one of the new games included on the multicart
ous homebrew games and demos from the likes of
famous Vectrex authors John Dondzilla, Chris Sala-
mon, Manu Parssinen, and Jeff Woolsey. Owners of switching been left active, then this would have
Vectrex peripherals are also catered for with seven caused some original games (e.g. Polar Rescue and
games which cannot be played unless the appropriate Clean Sweep), to crash because they read memory
hardware is available, e.g. the Light pen, 3d Imager, locations outside the boundary of the original game
or the Spinner controller. In addition, the original code. This also means that when pressing the Vectrex
Vectrex test program is included, which is a useful reset, the Vectrex does not boot to the multi-cart
offering to any Vectrex user, enabling them to verify selection menu but rather the current game is re-
and improve the operation of their Vectrex. started. This operation is similar to previous menu based multi-carts offerings, in that it is only after
To make the 72 Game Multicart offering stand out switching off and then back on the Vectrex that the
even more from the other multi-carts, Andy Coleman multi-cart program selection menu appears.
has included two games which have never been avail-
able on multi-cart before. This includes a full version The one small disadvantage of the 72 Game Multicart,
of his successful game City Bomber previously only which is also a negative for all menu based multi-
available as a separate cartridge-based game, and a carts which offer no download functionality, is that
brand new game called Hangman which he wrote as a you are stuck with the games that have been sup-
bonus for the multi-cart. Hangman is a simple game, plied. Should more games become available, you
but nevertheless still fun to try out. It is not as easy a cannot simply download them onto the multi-cart.
game as it looks. Not only do you have to guess the However, having said that, this negative is not really
letters for single words, but there are combinations of a limiting factor of the 72 Game Multicart because of
words forming phrases and titles of famous arcade the quantity of programs offered and the fact that
games. there is such a diverse choice of games and demos available. In addition, most new games by recent
The 72 Game Multicart is able to store so many pro- homebrewers have been full offerings which are re-
grams because it uses a 512K memory capacity flash leased on individual cartridges only and, therefore,
chip. Additionally, some previous multi-carts were never make it to the public domain anyway and offer
not efficient in their memory usage and stored pro- no possibility to be added to a multi-cart.
grams in set bank sizes, e.g. a 4K program was
stored in an 8K bank. For the 72 game Multicart, The 72 Game Multicart is ideal for Vectrex users who
bank switching logic performed at low level by the on- want to easily be able to select and play their favorite
screen menu and invisible to the user allows 4K, 8K, games. The variety of programs provided will most
and 16K programs to be used without wasting valu- certainly ensure that the 72 Game Multicart will be
able space. one of those cartridges that will always be perma-nently inserted in the Vectrex.
In order to support all of the original games without
any ―patching‖ of the ROM images, Andy Coleman‘s
multi-cart disables the bank switching logic once a
program has been selected so that a game behaves
exactly as the original would have. Had the bank - P. Ian Nicholson
12 | Video Game Trader Magazine | June 2008 |
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