OK, so 70’s and 80’s nostalgia still seems to be with us, be it in the music, the oddball clothes, or conflict in Libya but there are few parts of that era that we never expected to see again, and that is in the popular electronics games of the era.
No, not video games. Electronic games! These were hand-held, often LED based games with simple electronics. They pre-dated almost all home video games except possibly early home Pong systems. In their day, they were somewhat bulky and expensive for what they did compared to more modern hand-held game systems.
But now they are back in a smaller, and less expensive form! They have been melded to carabiners so they can hang from backpacks or belt loops. The games may be smaller, but the gameplay is the classic stuff you remember!
First up is carabiner SIMON
SIMON was introduced in 1978 (at the infamous Studio 54 of all places) but was mostly considered and icon of the 80’s. The original model was a large disc almost a foot across. Wheras the new retro carabiner version has a play area just 2″ across! This actually makes the game a little easier (not less difficult!, Just easier to operate) as you don’t have to move your hands to pound huge buttons. The play is the same as the classic: SIMON beeps a button and it lights up. You press that button. SIMON beeps the same button then another, you follow. Then three buttons, etc. Each round a new button is added to the sequence and you challenge your memory to try and recall the pattern. It gets harder and harder as the game goes along! SIMON carabiner version retails for just $9.99!
Also in the Carabiner game line is BOP-IT. Bop-It doesn’t have quite the retro factor that SIMON does as it was released in 1996! But nothing moves as fast as electronics development!
Wheras with SIMON you are following a pattern, with BOP-IT you are following commands. You are told to bop it (hit the unit) twist it(twist the yellow knob), pull it (pull the blue knob) or shout it (yell anything at the BOP-IT unit). If you do the right command and do it fast you score higher! The original BOP-IT did not have the ‘SHOUT-IT’ – that is a new addition.
BOP-IT went through many incarnations, and this new design lends itself to the carabiner design quite well.
So have some classic games that fit in your pocket! Its amazing how much fun something so old can be!