I don’t go to thrift stores all that often anymore. I’ve bought too many things over the years that I should write about, but haven’t gotten the time to. It also doesn’t help that thrift store hunting is an adventure in and of itself, so I think I can’t just hit one. But I did just hit one, and it was good to me.
I’ve mentioned Deseret Industries down in Portland before. It’s where I found a bunch of old demo discs from the 90s and 2000s for real cheap. I’ve found PC games I’d never expect to find, even stuff like a cardboard long box copy of NFL Gameday fairly recently. For some reason, this store tends to give me the best luck in finding stuff I wouldn’t expect to find otherwise, whereas I could go to the same Goodwill and be lucky to find a single thing I want, let alone several.
But enough about that, what’d I get?
- Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold (PC)
- Chronomaster (PC)
- Concentration (PC)
Okay, so Mad Dog II is the sequel to Mad Dog McCree, the fairly popular laserdisc-based light gun game. It’s probably American Laser Games’ most iconic game, next to maybe Crime Patrol or Who Shot Johnny Rock. The sequel is however mostly forgotten, however it didn’t stop American Laser Games from porting it to every system known to man after its arcade run had finished.
I honestly bought that more as a lark. These games are fairly simple, easy to memorize, and beatable within 10-30 minutes. It’s just a novelty, through and through.
Chronomaster was the biggest surprise of the three. I honestly thought it was an FMV game, since it touted notable talent such as a pre-Hellboy Ron Perlman, actress Lolita Davidovich, and Brent Spiner, best known as the Yugoslavian guy from Night Court Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
However, after talking with a few friends who know a lot more about PC game obscura than I, it seems to be a simple point and click adventure game with the voice talent of the aforementioned actors. Admittedly I was a bit disappointed when I found this out.
Bonus, this game was published by Capstone, makers of such fine products as… Corridor 7: Alien Invasion and Terminator 2: Chess Wars. So I already know that if I ever play this (provided I can find a way to install it on a modern machine) to keep my expectations very, very low.
I even got the manual with this one. A shame the box was tossed away, it would be funny to own a complete-in-box copy of a PC adventure game nobody’s heard of.
Concentration was one of the more cool surprises for me, being the game show nut that I am.
I’ll give a quick refresher about Concentration: Concentration is a game show that aired from 1958 to 1973, with revivals from 1973-78, and again from 1987-1991, that time under the name Classic Concentration. A combination of the board game Memory mixed with rebus puzzles, players would select numbers to match a prize on the board, which those matches would reveal pieces of a rebus puzzle. The goal was to solve the rebus to win the prizes. While there were various rule adjustments and changes over the years, the core gameplay hadn’t changed much since ‘58.
When the most recent incarnation, Classic Concentration, hit the airwaves in ‘87, naturally there were video games made for it. Two editions on various home computers by Sharedata, and a later NES release by Gametek.
I remember seeing this mentioned somewhere around in the game show communities I frequent when it was new, and I was legitimately surprised to see this even be a thing. I guess Universal (who own the rights to the show) thought it would be a good idea to tackle the fairly burgeoning “casual games” market at the time.
It’s also the more recent of the three games I bought, so I probably won’t need to do much to get this to work compared to the other two.
Funny, I had been thinking of writing about some other game show games that would come out a few years later, but finding PC copies of said games are a bit tough. This is a good enough substitute.
Usually I tend to group these together with purchases I found elsewhere, but these three here had enough interesting stuff on their own that these could easily be potential blog fodder on their own. And trust me, this time I’ll actually try to write about them. There’s no benefit in me hoarding these and not doing something with them, after all.