Pondering About Max's / game / commercial

From: Michael Current (aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/02/91-03:33:48 PM Z

From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Subject: Pondering About Max's / game / commercial
Date: Mon Dec  2 15:33:48 1991

Reprinted from Current Notes, Vol. 11, No. 8, October 1991
Pondering About Max's
Review by Ed Hall
     In the October and December 1990 issues of _ANTIC_ magazine there 
appeared a couple of ads for a new game.  These ads tugged at my 
subconscious for some reason, and it took me awhile to figure out why.
     They weren't huge (1/3 of a page), and by today's standards they 
weren't flashy (no color).  Nevertheless, they were simply the best ads 
for an 8-bit product in nearly two years of _ANTIC_.  They were also 
nearly the only 8-bit ads, but they had a nice blend of humour and 
creativity.  I got out my wallet and took a chance.
     _Pondering About Max's_ turned out to be a double-sided disk with 
two programs on each side.  On side one we have a climbing/jumping 
contest in two installments--_The Dream_ and _P.A.M._--both with many 
screens to navigate through.  On side two is _Barroom Brawl_, a punch-up 
which you can enjoy in a number of different bars; and _Finis_, a 
concluding routine which explains why you're going through all this 
jumping and punching.
     The play in all three games is challenging but not especially 
innovative.  However, the graphics are very good.  On side one the 
screens are pretty to look at and embellished with many humorous 
touches.  Assembling them must have required not only skillful 
programming but also considerable artistic talent.  You can get a peak 
at these screens by waiting until the demo routines kick in.  
Altogether, 12 are shown; there might be more.
     Side two offers you the chance to be a Burt Reynolds clone.  Tangle 
with "bearded stuntmen" in a number of bars.  Throw bottles, break 
chairs, smash TV sets.  Whoopee!
     Finally, in the most original part of _Pondering About Max's_, 
you'll choose a song on the jukebox and look for a dance partner.  Or 
maybe it's the gorgeous Barb Vidal waiting to congratulate the winner of 
these contests.  Barb Vidal?  Yes, _Pondering About Max's_ does have a 
story line of sorts, and _Finis_, a short routine which employs an 
amusing cinematic technique, is an attempt to wrap things up.
     The disk is packaged like a tiny record album and the liner notes 
set the game's premise.  The writing style is reminiscent of _National 
Lampoon_, dishing out lots of inflated hyperbole and self-mockery.  The 
disk itself is enclosed in a custom jacket the likes of which I've never 
seen before.  Finally, in my copy at least, there was a folder sheet of 
hints signed by the game's designer, Mark Peters.
     _Pondering About Max's_ doesn't come from a big company.  It's the 
sort of quirky, offbeat product that could only come from a small 
operation, one that could take the time to allow its artistic vision to 
include not just the programs themselves, but also the packaging and the 
     The game costs $22.95.  Like the ad says, you could rent 10 Fellini 
flicks for the same price.  Or you could send a check or money order for 
_Pondering About Max's_ to: Change In Heat, 12 Bella Vista Pl., Iowa 
City, IA 52245
 Michael Current, Cleveland Free-Net 8-bit Atari SIGOp   -->>  go atari8  <<--
   The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is the Central Atari Information Network
      Internet: currentm@carleton.edu / UUCP: ...!umn-cs!ccnfld!currentm
      BITNET: currentm%carleton.edu@interbit / Cleveland Free-Net: aa700

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