1983 Othello Multivision Titles – Q*bert, Guzzler, and Space Mountain

 

Qbert

  Q*bert lords over the other creatures.

 

Q-bert (Japan) (Othello Multivision)001

This level deserves some smoky jazz background music.

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: Tsukuda Original

DEVELOPER: Tsukuda Original (Multivision/SG-1000); Gottlieb (arcade)

GENRE: Arcade

RELEASE DATE: 1983

 

The popular foul-mouthed alien with pep in his step makes his way to the SG-1000 via the Othello Multivision. If you’ve played any other version of Q*bert, you know what to expect here: Q*bert hops from cube to cube on an isometric pyramid, changing each cube’s colors and avoiding creatures like the coiled snake and those little green jerks that change the cubes back to their original colors. Once each cube on the pyramid has changed colors, you move on to the next stage.

The isometric landscape was easy to navigate with a joystick in the arcade, but the problem with many of Q*bert’s home ports has been the botched controls (Q*bert wasn’t made for a D-pad). Not so with the SG-1000 port. Q*bert moves fluidly and quickly across the pyramid, so much so that the levels are often over before you realize it. I couldn’t imagine playing this with the Multivision’s wee joystick, but aside from that little snag (how many of us are going to purchase a Multivision or SG-1000 anyway?), Q*bert excels.

B

 

Guzzler (multivision)

    

The fire looks inconvenienced that he’s to be put out.

 

Guzzler (Japan) (Othello Multivision)001

Curious little scamps, aren’t they?

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: Tsukuda Original

DEVELOPER: Tsukuda Original (Multivision/SG-1000); Tehkan (arcade)

GENRE: Arcade

RELEASE DATE: 1983

 

In Guzzler, you play a water creature who has to douse fires around mazes to progress. When each level starts, you’ll see three different bonfires, some puddles, and the water creature swollen with liquid. Approach the bonfire, press ‘1,’ and water will spill out of the creature, putting out the fire completely. You can use your water attack three times before you’re depleted and have to refill yourself, either by walking through puddles or by just walking around the stage. Eventually, fire enemies will emerge from the bonfires and chase you. You can douse them too, but more will come until you put out all the fires.

Guzzler is a neat take on Pac-Man, but like so many SG-1000 arcade ports, there’s very little content to keep you satisfied in the long-term: three levels, and the game repeats with faster enemies. Repetition isn’t a problem for addictive titles like Sega Galaga or Pacar, but Guzzler‘s douse-and-run gameplay peters out faster than a poorly built fire.

C

 

Space Mountain

Stop this Mountain, I wanna get off!

Space Mountain (Japan) (Othello Multivision)000

“You’re gonna have to do a lot better than that, kid!”

 

PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating

PUBLISHER: Tsukuda Original

DEVELOPER: Tsukuda Original

GENRE: Shooter

RELEASE DATE: 1983

 

Space Mountain is, without a doubt, the worst game I’ve played on the SG-1000. Imagine a shooter where you have little control over your space ship and enemy ships are quickly approaching. All you’re armed with is a slow double shot and a cursor that’s lodged firmly in the middle of the screen. If the oncoming enemy ships don’t line up perfectly with your cursor, you won’t destroy them and you better get out of their way. If the enemy ships even so much as fly near you, they’ll destroy your ship. You won’t be able to tell how they shot you, either, because it doesn’t look like the ships are firing at you when they fly by; only after you explode do you see a trail of red pixels/shots emerge from their vicinity.

Supposedly, once you destroy enough spacecrafts, you enter an enemy base, but good luck getting to that point. The graphics are barely above Atari 2600 quality, the ship designs blatantly rip off “Star Wars,” the controls are busted, and the gameplay is beyond rudimentary, even for the SG-1000. Oh, that Space Mountain was based on the dark and painful Disneyland ride! Screw this unimaginative, poorly designed piece of horse crap.

F

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11 thoughts on “1983 Othello Multivision Titles – Q*bert, Guzzler, and Space Mountain

  1. So you’ve got good, mediocre and shockingly terrible? That’s a pretty big spectrum considering they’re all from the same developer. Q*bert seems interesting however. I liked the premise but not the product on the NES, so I’ll have to give this version a go.

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      • There’s nothing online, so all one can do is speculate. My own personal theory is that they made the first two games and then decided that two wasn’t enough and so threw a third together without much effort a week before release. That’s probably completely wrong, but we’ll never know. All we can ever know about ‘Space Mountain’ is that it’s a terrible, terrible game.

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  2. I was hoping Guzzler would be a game involving alcoholic beverages… and it is, to a certain extent… They appear in the middle of the stage randomly, yet I’ve only seen a glass of red wine appear. Not as fun as Tapper though…

    Apparently, Wil Wheaton wrote a piece on this game, didn’t realize he was such a multi-talented geek…

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  3. Pingback: 1984 Othello Multivision Games | Sega Does

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