In this day and age of everything on your smartphone it is a pleasant surprise to relive some of the great tech times of the past on the real thing (or at least a good replica!). From the resurgence of vinyl records and turntables to Nokia re-releasing their classic 3310 phone, people just like a fun old throwback product to bring a smile to their face. And kids today get to realize just how antiquated (but cool) our tech really was in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
As part of that resurgence, video games including the flashback game systems such as the Intellivision, Colecovision and Sega have shown that the interest in the old systems is still strong. Along with those TV video game systems, handheld games are also hot again. I was gifted a classic Football game system and couldn’t have been happier to get it, I just wondered if it would still be as cool as I remember it as a kid.
The King of Handhelds
This game was the king of the sports handhelds when it came out in the late 70s, even while battling with puzzle games like Simon and Merlin for kids attention. Mattel and Coleco were the two dominant players in the hand-held game market and it was great fun watching them each one-up the other with new capabilities and features. My friends and I wore them out waiting for the bus and in the lunchroom.
Here is an example TV ad for this game back in the day that had kids clamoring for this high-tech sports game of the year.
Couch Potato or Travelling Football Fun
This replica is just as fun as I remember from my childhood. The same annoying beeps and noises (you can turn them off when your family complains too much) and the same techniques for the bigs runs still work. And it is a great thing to play whether just sitting on the couch at home, or tucked into the back seat pocket in your car for those trips to the store or to the beach.
If you aren’t familiar with this game, you control the the amazing running back “Tony Dorsett” (yes I am a Dallas Cowboys fan, though you can yell out your own classic favorite player name, but you can’t go wrong with Tony Dorsett!). The moment you start to move your player the clock starts ticking and the 5-man defense begins their shark-like attack as they slowly start to surround and tackle you. Your best bet is to try to lure a defensive player to open a pocket, at which point you should strike by moving quickly through the pocket and down the field.
The field, while 10 segments long, really only represents a moving window of the field, so as you move past the last segment your player (Tony!) appears again at the first segment on the opposite side. If you are clever you can move backward (yes!) and forward to get the defense to open a pocket each time you move down the field. More difficult than it sounds!
When the defense makes a tackle, the whistle blows and if you made it 10 yards or more you get a 1st down, otherwise you have a few more downs to get there. Once you reach the end zone you are greeted with a glorious 70s style touchdown.
If you fail to get a first down and are on the 4th down, you can choose to run for the first or punt the ball away. (But what’s the fun in that!)
This game is all sorts of simple fun that your kids should have to master the next time they want to get their allowance money early to buy an XBox or Playstation game.
Just for the Millennials
If you are too young to appreciate this classic plastic wonder and just want to enjoy this game on your smart phone, then yes, that is possible too. But I say shame on you… you cheater. 🙂