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Road trip gaming in the 2nd generation


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So, tomorrow I’m going on a week long fishing trip with my grandparents. Now, on vacation I’ll have my modded DSi with almost every game I could possibly want loaded on it and my GBA. Plus, my phone as well. But that got me thinking: this is a bit spoiled, isn’t it? I mean, having endless entertainment at my fingertips seems a bit crazy, doesn’t it?

I thought about what people did in the old days for road trip entertainment. Sure, you had the Game Boy and Game Gear and the like, but what about before then? What about in the second generation during the Atari era?

Well, back then your only option was a dedicated handheld unless you had the microvision. As you know, I really dig these old handheld games. I though I would ask you guys here today to look back on your childhoods and try to remember what video games you played (if any) to pass the time away during those long, boring drives. Was it Coleco Quarterback? Maybe a Game and Watch? Perhaps even a Coleco Tabletop? All three? I’d really like to hear about what you guys did back then.

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It's a good question.  The LED handhelds back then were a no-go in the car because the clicking buttons and shrill sounds drove the driver crazy.  They never included a volume or mute, so that made them unusable at school or in the car. 

I do recall taking Mattel Basketball and Football on our car trips, but to be played in the hotel (usually outside on the balcony).

In my case, the answer to your question is going to be boring and disappointing to you I'm sure.  I took books.  And comic books.  And I read a lot.  The other thing to do was take a walkman with headphones. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Justin said:

I had Milton Bradley's handheld Simon game for road trips in the car. It was years before I would upgrade to an Atari Lynx and TurboExpress

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No volume switch!  Didn't your parents yell at you to "stop making that racket!"?  I remember Willie told a story once about cutting the speaker wires on his football game so he could play it at school. 

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1 hour ago, RickR said:

The LED handhelds back then were a no-go in the car because the clicking buttons and shrill sounds drove the driver crazy.  They never included a volume or mute, so that made them unusable at school or in the car. 

I know it is the exception and not the rule, but my Entex LED soccer game does include a headphone jack. I believe AstroThunder also has a mute option.

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Road trips during the 80s was a lot of reading as Rick mentioned and playing games like I Spy... and just goofing around and talking. I had some battery powered portable games but don't recall taking them.

Yes, we live in a golden age where content/games are plentiful and you can play games of all generations with relative ease. But there is such a thing as too much. Just like people browse Netflix looking for something to watch and end up not watching anything, I think the same thing happens with games for some of us (namely me) who have a lot of games available to play. Community high score challenges are really beneficial in that regard where someone has made the choice for you.

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We only went a few road trips that I can recall back in the early to mid 80s. I never owned any of the hand held LED or tabletop Coleco units so I only had the Atari at home for playing my games on. 

What we did was the usual car games that have been around forever. Like trying to see who can get the highest in the alphabet just using license plates from different states. We also had some card games designed to be played in the car. One game we played a LOT of was the game Mille Bourne. It is a French card based racing game. Simple rules and it didn't require a ton of space to play it. I also had my Garfield books that I took with me and read quite a lot as well. I don't remember ever really having coloring books as I didn't do much of that outside of school. I also slept a lot on such trips.

 

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