I dunno, that whole grab-six-in-a-row thing gives me mixed emotions. On one hand, they absolutely nailed the sound of grabbing the cherries; it's nearly arcade-perfect! However...only six...oh, man...that really bothers my music-obsessed OCD! Leaves me feeling totally off that the scale only goes up to "la" (or A, if you prefer to refer to the actual note)...ughhgh...
Personally, I have a hard time playing Mr. Do! on the 2600, after playing the arcade version many times and the excellent Atari 8-bit version. I never even heard of the game until some time in the '90s. I remember we had a family outing...either in Delavan, Wisconsin, where my grandparents finished out the clock, or in Bigfoot, Illinois, not far from Delavan. While we were waiting to be seated, my mother of all people...my video game hating mother...noticed a Mr. Do! cocktail table (or was it a stand-up?? Hmm....) and said, "Let's play that!" heh. I'd never seen the game nor heard of it, but my first thought was that it was a Dig Dug ripoff. So I figured, well, it probably plays like Dig Dug. So I played it like Dig Dug...and I was pretty much right on the money. I disagree with Chris++'s assertion that the only way the two games are similar is the digging tunnels. You still have the pump, but in the form of a power ball. You still dig tunnels, and you're slowed down when actually digging. You still drop things on your enemies, and you have bonus items appear in the middle of the screen. It's definitely a Dig Dug ripoff -- more than enough time passed between the releases of the two games for that to have happened. Plus, Universal is known to crib games and "adapt" them: Ladybug --> Pac-Man and possibly even Lock'n'Chase (can't pin down their release dates though), Cosmic Alien --> Galaxian, and in 1979 Universal had a game called Alien Invader...gee, what would that be a ripoff of?
Now...as for "point pressing"...here's my understanding of what it is: point pressing is basically just being a complete slut for scoring points, period, and acting on that slutdom just for the sole purpose of increasing your score. A great example on the 2600 would be exploiting that Q*Bert bug that allows you to jump off the top of the pyramid when Coily chases you. I think you actually get 500 points for that, as the game thinks you lured Coily off via a flying disc. Doing that repeatedly is point pressing. In any version of Centipede, a good example of point pressing is to blast away pieces of centipede on one side at the bottom of the screen in such a way that you leave an arrangement of mushrooms that literally trap the centipede -- and any new pieces of centipede from the side feed -- leaving your elf perfectly safe on the other side of the screen, allowing you to just wait for the spider and shoot it away.
Point pressing is often frowned upon -- or not even allowed -- in competitive play because the rules typically state that you are to make a conscious effort to advance the level. One notable exception to the "no point pressing" rule is the arcade version of Donkey Kong. A well known point pressing trick in said game is on the rivets sceeen to go on the very top level where Donkey Kong is, and position Mario so that he is relatively close to Donkey Kong, and then repeatedly jump and move the joystick while in midair, giving you 100 points per succesful jump. The reason this particular point pressing technique is usually allowed is because you have a timer, and you can only do that trick so many times before the timer runs out, so you're forced to advance the level or lose a life.
By the dubs, there are two common terms for this. I think "point pressing" is the term commonly used by people who got into gaming in the '90s or earlier, and "leaching" is the term usually used by people who got into gaming after the '90s. Again, this is as I see it, so I could be wrong.
Oh, yeah...and regarding the Lite-Brite thingy...yeah, the dots are staggered, so it's not exactly pixel-mapped, BUT...the cover of the Pac-Man Fever album has a close-up of a portion of the Pac-Man screen. Due to the nature of CRT monitors, the closeup makes Pac-Man look almost like a Lite-Brite design, and in fact when I first noticed that back when the album was out, I'd pondered the plausibility of actually doing a Lite Brite thingy to match it.
I've mentioned it a few times in my audio submissions (most recently in this episode), so here is a picture of that Atari 2600 "homebrew" board that we used to use to play the Activision and Imagic games Atlantis, Enduro, Keystone Kapers, Pitfall, and River Raid, each consisting of a pair of 2K EPROMs. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture, but it was taken about two decades ago (with an analog video camera, IIRC), and is the only picture I have of the thing. How it would work, when it worked, is you plop the the EPROMs in the correct socket, pull down the lever in the top-left corner of each socket to lock it in place, and plug it into the Atari just like any other cartridge. I don't remember what that toggle switch on the top did.
As I said, I still have the ROMs (though one of the Atlantis chips seems to be missing), but no longer have this board. As far as I can remember, those ROMs contained the final commercially-released versions of the games, not unfinished prototypes.
i love these things... got a bunch of them on my shelf that i've built myself... looking at the picture i'd say that the eproms it uses are the 27xx type, rather than 25xx type.. the 25xx chips are pin compatible with the mask roms in retail carts, but the presence of the hex inverter (the black chip) on the PCB tells me that one of the data lines on each chip needs flipping and therefore they're 27xx's... tell me though, does each 4k game come on a pair of 2k chips? or did you used to use two different 4k games on the board at the same time and flip between them using the switch? if it's the latter and you want to make use of the eproms you still own then the easiest way is to grab some of these lil boards from 8BitClassics and either solder a socket on them or solder the chips directly... (those boards are also handy for repairing retail carts that have stopped working over the years due to sloppy manufacturing (i'm looking at you activision))
Last Edit: Dec 18, 2016 8:10:03 GMT -5 by iddod: spell correction
... tell me though, does each 4k game come on a pair of 2k chips? or did you used to use two different 4k games on the board at the same time and flip between them using the switch? if it's the latter and you want to make use of the eproms you still own then the easiest way is to grab some of these lil boards from 8BitClassics and either solder a socket on them or solder the chips directly ...
They are indeed 27xx EPROMs; each game is 4K and came on a pair of NEC D2716D chips, 2K each. I'd love to bring these to a functional state again even though I own legit copies of the games, but I've never found a board that can (easily) fit two 2K EPROMs. I disassembled many Atari games in my youth looking for one (poor Strawberry Shortcake never recovered, but that's a story for another podcast episode).