Archive | November 19, 2009

Name of the Game

Paragon Park's Bermuda Triangle

Paragon Park's Bermuda Triangle

Back in the mid-80s – and specifically, IIRC, the summers of ’84 and ’85 – I worked at a now-defunct amusement park in Hull, Massachusetts, called Paragon Park (which proudly advertised itself as featuring “the world’s oldest all-wooden rollercoaster,” like that was a good thing). And in the park’s arcade area, hidden amongst the pinball machines, was the most amazing video game I’d ever seen.

I don’t remember what the game was called, but it featured a race among flying cars zooming along a highway that twisted and curved through outer space (so one had to dodge random asteroids and so on). This game not only had far more sophisticated and realistic digital imagery than anything I’d seen before – it also had far more sophisticated and realistic digital imagery than anything I would see for years after that, while relatively unfancy-looking games like Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and Snake continued to dominate the market.

Eventually, of course the look of my mystery game became standard throughout the industry, and its quality has long since been surpassed. Still, for a long time that game was, in my experience at least, a solitary advanced scout for the wave of the future, without contemporary parallel or, apparently, contemporary fame. So my question is: do any of my readers have any idea what this game could have been?

Not having a picture of the game, I offer a picture of my favourite ride (both to ride and to operate) at Paragon Park – the Bermuda Triangle.

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