Earlier today I was playing Pinball Hall of Fame on the Sony PSP. While I was impressed with the game's graphics and physics, it got me thinking back to a simpler era of handheld gaming. Let's go back to the late 1970s when all you needed to make a compelling handheld game was a series of red blips on the screen. Of course, I'm referring to Mattel's Football, Basketball and Baseball games.
I got football as a Christmas present while my brother got basketball. I added baseball a little while after that. I'm guessing that virtually every boy between the ages of 8-12 in the late 70s owned at least one of these three games. I can promise you that the hours I put into football alone far eclipses all of the time I've ever put into the PSP.
A few years ago Mattel re-released these games. My wife bought me the football game as a Christmas gift, making it the only non-clothing gift I've ever received for Christmas twice.