SIMON: Nolan Bushnell on how Atari’s 'Touch Me' became the Game of 'Simon'
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Posted 23 January 2016 - 03:22 PM
He probably felt a little guilty about the whole "Pong" thing.
Yeah they kind of went tit-for-tat there. It's also plausible that Simon was "designed around" whatever patents may have existed on Touch Me, and can be seen in the differences between the two games.
Think of when Ron Smith was contracted by Activision to "design around" Atari's patents for the 2600 game cartridge. It's possible the thing with Simon was similar.
Posted 25 January 2016 - 04:42 PM
Credit where credit is due but Simon was just an overall better product. It was larger, more durable feeling, and definitely had a cooler design that always made me think of a spaceship or UFO.
The Touch Me is just a terrible name and it was definitely more calculator-like. Not saying it was entirely bad, I own one and it serves it's original purpose but Simon is refined and takes the cake. I do remember Radio Shack having a Pocket Repeat which was even more friendly feeling with a catchy name than the Touch Me. It's hard telling how many other countless clones probably existed because of Simon.
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Posted 26 January 2016 - 01:40 PM
I too had heard to this was a get back for Nolan stealing Pong from Ralph, so Ralph turned Touch Me into Simon.
I agree that Simon had a better look and design in the same way that some 2600 games, which were rip offs of other games improved on what they ripped off as well.
And yeah, the Touch Me name would never fly today...
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