August 9, 2015

Acquisition Log: Centennial Edition

I’m not usually a big collector of the Limited Special Collector’s Ultimate Edition, but this item caught my eye: “Lionel Trains Presents: Trans-Con! Centennial Edition.” It helps that neither MobyGames nor much of the internet at large seem to know much about it (which always makes me want to snatch it up for preservation purposes).

Trans-Con Centennial Edition; Jets game; Tuneland; Qwirks
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Other items in this batch:

  • Jets, copyright 1994 by Medio Multimedia; impossibly generic in its naming (while the company name is construed by search engines as an obvious typo), so it’s hard to find any other data on the internet about the title. It features the MPC2 and “CD Laser Station” badges.
  • Tuneland starring Howie Mandel, by 7th Level, Inc., a company I have encountered a few times on this blog; this features the Packard Bell logo, so perhaps it was a pack-in.
  • Qwirks— this is already in the database, but my curiosity was piqued because it was designed by famed Tetris developer Alexey Pajitnov (plus, some cover scans are missing from the database).

So, about this Trans-Con special edition package– the game is apparently an educational title, probably primarily marketed towards classrooms. Here’s an old review from an educational software review site. Here are all of the items I procured in the used version of the limited edition package:

Lionel Trains Presents: Trans-Con! Centennial Edition
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The game, a handsome map, and an awkward tin. It’s entirely possible not all of the items included in the original package made it to the thrift shop where I procured this.

Some other recently procured items:

Rambler; Operation Krabby Patty; Casper; Type to Learn 3; Big Science Comics
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May 11, 2015

Acquisition Log: 2015-05-11

My Acquisition Log entries have slowed considerably. A lot of my usual acquisition sources seemed to dry up in the last year or so, including my favorite local thrift shop. However, I visited said thrift shop recently and found a treasure trove of games, a bounty the likes of which I had not encountered in quite some time.

In all my years of collecting games, this trip was unusual in that it was the first time I did so with an internet-connected mobile device by my side. It may surprise you to learn that I’m not much of a gadget freak and so I haven’t placed much value on smartphones yet. But I acquired a hand-me-down iPhone a few months ago. So this was the first time I was actually able to check potential purchases to see if they were already in the MobyGames database. This is a good thing or I might have walked about with 2-3 times as many games. The following games largely represent items which have little to no representation in the database as of yet.

Next TODO item is to make sure that my master games spreadsheet is easily accessible via my iPhone so that I don’t end up with any more copies of Barbie Sparkling Ice Show. Oops.

SeaWorld Tycoon; Wild Varmint Bounty Hunter; Cyberswine; Gravitar
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This lot includes:

  • SeaWorld Adventure Parks Tycoon, from Activition Value Publishing
  • Wild Varmint Bounty Hunter, published by ValueWorks; hunt for prairie dogs, squirrels, coyotes, and rabbits (didn’t realize that a coyote is classified as a ‘varmint’)
  • Cyberswine by Brilliant Digital Entertainment– this is already in the database, but these Multipath Movies fascinate me on a technical level; one such title — Gravity Angels Part 1: Alien Discovery — was one of the first games I covered on this blog
  • Gravitar– companies mentioned on the jewel case include Topics Entertainment, Digital Eclipse, and none other than Atari; it seems that there is an old Atari game named Gravitar and I’m curious to see if this is a straight port or an upgraded remake of the original

Math Blaster; Mystery of the Tiki; Best Math Program Ever; Galactic Brain Benders
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Here’s a grouping of educational (possibly) titles:

  • Math Blaster: Cross Terrain Adventure
  • Hawaii High: The Mystery of the Tiki– the colon-ated title makes it sound as though this is one of many games; published by Sanctuary Woods (I still have a soft spot for their Radio Active title)
  • Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Best Math Program Ever, published by Simon and Schuster Interactive– a lofty title if I’ve ever read one
  • Thinkin’ Things: Galactic Brain Benders, by Edmark

Jungle Rangers; Drop! Deluxe Suite
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A few more, in bigger packaging:

  • Jungle Rangers: Into the Canopy, by iFocus
  • Drop! Deluxe Suite, from eGames; this boasts of coming as a 2-CD set, though it doesn’t look like it would be a very complex or graphically intensive game, requiring lots of assets. Then again, it’s eGames and you can usually count on them to package various bits of software that are, umm… at best, tangentially related to the game in question. Some games in the series are already on record, but not this collection or remix or whatever: Drop! and Drop! 2

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April 2, 2014

Acquisition Log: 2014-04-02

MobyGames saw some rough times last year when, after years of stagnation, its new corporate master launched a much-maligned design overhaul. Then, at the very end of the year, a new benefactor swept in, took control, returned the design to its former glory, and has been carefully evolving the design and working to grow the community.

Through it all, I have continued to collect games, mostly due to force of habit, I suppose. But now I feel a bit more eager to get back to collecting and entering data (even if it’s just for cover art at this point).

Here are my latest acquisitions that are not yet represented in the database. Here’s a random grab bag:

Robot Club, Otter's Adventure, Galactic Bowling, Secrets of the Dark
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  • The Robot Club by Southpeak Interactive
  • The Otter’s Adventure (Softkey release), developed by Digital Impact in 1995
  • Galactic Bowling: The Ultimate Extreme Sport; PerpetualFX/Cosmi
  • Secrets of the Dark 2 Game Pack: Temple of Night & Eclipse Mountain, published by Big Fish

Here’s a smattering of educational games:

Pong Pong, Brain Quest, Word Krispies, Grammar Rock, Spell Adventure
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  • Pong Pong’s Learning Adventure: Animals, published by Hong Kong Datasun Group– this seems to be half in Chinese; I’m not looking forward to figuring out the original release region for this title
  • How Do You Spell Adventure? by Sanctuary Woods, whom I recognize thanks to their Radio Active title
  • Brain Quest: 2nd Grade, published by IBM in 1999; several entries in the Brain Quest series are already in the database, but not 2nd grade
  • Mighty Math 2-pack: Number Heroes and Calculating Crew, published by Edmark
  • Word Krispies (looks like this is already in the database), published by Liquid Dragon Studios and published by Encore
  • School House Rock: Grammar Rock (Smart Saver release)– “Kids email program included free!”

Here’s a stash of biblical-themed games, most of which were published by Left Behind Games:

Jesus Wants All Of Me, Charlie Church Mouse, King Solomon's Trivia Challenge, Left Behind 3
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  • Jesus Wants All of Me
  • Charlie Church Mouse: Preschool
  • King Solomon’s Trivia Challenge: Volume I: Quizmaster Edition
  • Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist

The next group is commercial licensees:

Apprentice, Scooby-Doo, Powerpuff Girls
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  • The Apprentice, based on the Donald Trump reality show; published by Legacy Interactive, whom I recognize thanks to their Law & Order adaptations, which makes me wonder if this is also Java-based
  • Scooby-Doo! Ancient Adventures– this is a VTech V.Flash console game. I have one of these V.Flash systems, still new in the box. One day, I’ll need to open it and play the 3 V.Flash games that I have acquired and perhaps lobby for the system’s inclusion into MobyGames, since they’re adding a lot more systems these days.
  • The Powerpuff Girls Learning Challenge #1: Mojo Jojo’s Clone Zone, from The Learning Company; I guess I should appreciate that some of these game titles are so ridiculously long as it makes it easier to determine that the game is not in the database.

Some software items that come in big, classic boxes:

Redshift 3, 20 Wargame Classics
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The first is Redshift 3. I’m not sure if this technically qualifies as a game. It might just be an educational space exploration software title. I wonder if it holds up to web-based space education tools.

The second box is Twenty Wargame Classics from Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI).

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July 2, 2013

Acquisition Log: RPG All-Stars

Today’s trip to my favorite thrift shop yielded a crop of well-known and beloved (I’m told) computer role playing games. Ordinarily, I don’t collect more common material unless it’s cheap enough and no one else seems to want it. But it seems like every time I collect something “common”, I discover something unique about my copy that reveals that it’s different than anything currently in the database, or at least that I still have plenty of scanning to do.

Neverwinter Nights Gold; Icewind Dale; 2 Might and Magic titles

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The curious thing in this batch is Icewind Dale: Notice that it has an “RP” ESRB badge, indicating that a final rating is still pending. It this is a release, then why does it have no final rating? If could be a review copy, but I suspect such a copy would have REVIEW COPY: NOT FOR RESALE plastered all over the media and manual. Also odd is the print in the manual. For example:

Icewind Dale Manual excerpt

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It’s extremely difficult to read and almost looks like a bad photocopy job. Perhaps someone with a proper T-rated copy of Icewind Dale can inform me whether this is what the final manual looked like.

Next batch:

Septerra Core; Settlers II; Civilization III

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  • Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator— companies mentioned include Interplay, TopWare Interactive, Valkyrie Studios, and Monolith
  • The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici by Blue Byte; if MobyGames’ scans are anything to go by, the series is big in Europe; this will be this title’s first scan on record for a U.S. release
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization III: Bonus CD by Infogrames– this is a bit puzzling as I can’t figure out which version of Civ3 this CD (or its jewel case backing) goes with

Ever try to photograph a holographic picture?

Space Colony; MayaQuest; Bob the Builder

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  • Space Colony by Firefly with a pretty/frustrating holographic box
  • MayaQuest: The Mystery Trail by MECC (the Trail people)– I learned I already have a copy of this; however, this copy is v1.0 while my other copy is v1.12; let’s hear it for completeness!
  • Bob the Builder: Can We Fix it? by THQ– I’m a little surprised that the credits in the manual don’t list any programmers; plenty of testers, producers, VPs and marketers; but no one slinging code

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May 6, 2013

Acquisition Log: Dreamcast Lives!

I got a package from China today. That can only mean one thing– I have a new toy related to the Sega Dreamcast video game console (it has only been three total Chinese shipments since 2001, but still, all DC-related). Did you hear that a new Sega Dreamcast game just got released? An independent developer released a full new game in the year 2013 called Sturmwind:

Sturmwind for Sega Dreamcast

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I totally intend to play it sometime, hopefully soon.

A recent trip to my favorite thrift store uncovered a still-wrapped copy of a game called Internet Puzzle Adventure Treasure Hunt:

Internet Puzzle Adventure Treasure Hunt

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I’m not sure if I arranged those 5 title words in the right order. It comes from the year 2003 and was published by a company named Lagoon Multimedia. I don’t believe they exist anymore. The URL on the box copy is Yeah, that doesn’t exist anymore, either. However, the Internet Archive has some records of it and it looks like the site did persist until early 2009.

The back of the box copy has 3 steps: 1) Open the box and solve the puzzle inside; 2) find the hidden password; and 3) begin the internet puzzle adventure. Here’s what’s inside:

Internet Puzzle Adventure inside

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No CD-ROM. Just puzzle tiles and a manual. I guess that lack of system requirements on the box should have been a tip-off. However, “internet” seems to be an implicit requirement.

Other items, one of which is not yet represented in the database:

Mia's Science Adventure; Bumper Wars

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March 1, 2013

Acquisition Log: 2013-03-01

It has been a slow few months for collecting old games that no one cares about. However, I have managed to accumulate a few choice items that still enjoy no representation in the MobyGames database:

Barbie: Swan Lake; Dear America; Infinity City; Rock Tour Tycoon

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  • Barbie: Swan Lake: The Enchanted Forest — Yep, I will never run out of Barbie games to enter
  • Dear America: Friend to Friend — Not sure if this is technically a game or not but my curiosity was piqued by the cover copy boasting “featuring FriendLink Technology: Non-Online Chat”. Not sure if “non-online” is a synonym for offline.
  • Infinity City: The Gigglebone Gang by Headbone Interactive; other titles chronicling the Gigglebone Gang include AlphaBonk Farm and Pantsylvania– nearly every name in this series seems strangely suspect.
  • Rock Tour Tycoon — Embellishing my collection of odd “Tycoon” titles. “Dream it! Manage it! Rock it!” Also, “MP3 included.” Not sure what that means.

I have acquired 2 titles in some “Elroy” series from different sources:

Elroy: Goes Bugzerk & Hits the Pavement

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There’s a dedicated wiki for this series. The wiki gives me the impression that Elroy Goes Bugzerk and Elroy Hits the Pavement are the only 2 games in the series.

Other items, including 2 titles that originally came from fast food restaurants:

Nutcracker; Martha Speaks; Pokemon: Gotta Make Em All; Etherium Rescue; Fun Bundle II

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  • Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker: The Music Game
  • Martha Speaks: Martha’s in the Middle — I don’t know which of those segments is the title and which is the subtitle. The disc is marked as 5 of 5 and was distributed by Chick-Fil-A restaurants.
  • Pokemon: Gotta MAKE ’em All! (Red) This appears to be a creativity tool rather than a game. A little searching reveals that there is also a blue version of the disc.
  • Disney’s Treasure Planet: Etherium Rescue — distributed by McDonalds and appears to only be a demo
  • Fun Bundle II for Mac — 4 games:

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