On this day in 1978 Texas Instruments patented the first "micro on a chip" - or so I'm told from several "on this day in history websites". So I thought it would be a nice time to do a quick post on the ONLY Texas Instruments TI-99/4A game that I remember ever playing on the real computer back in the day - Munchman.
Obviously, Pac-Man was incredibly popular in the early '80s so virtually every system had its own clone of the game and Munchman was the TI-99/4A's version. I never owned a TI-99/4A but I remember they always had one on display at the local Sears store, and whenever my parents would go to Sears I would typically park it over in the computer/games department and play until they got finished looking at whatever the hell adults look at in Sears (I still don't know). The game that I usually hit there was Munchman.
I remember being impressed with the graphics - they were simplistic but sharp and colorful and on a white background which was unique - it kind of reminded me of the colored pen and ink designs I used to make on the Spirograph when I was younger.
|Munchman on the TI-99/4A|
The "ghosts" in Munchman were called Hoonos and the "power pills" were Texas-shaped T.I logos. There were also a few minor differences in gameplay aside from the cosmetic differences - every 20 mazes the maze becomes invisible with no trailing chains and you must eat all the T.I. logos to progress. I admit that I never got to level 20 in the store but read this online prior to this post. So I guess it gives me something to work toward. Also, the Hoonos become faster, more agressive and smarter with each successive level so the game becomes more and more challenging as you progress.
I was recently reminded of Munchman from Gnome's excellent review of the TI-99/4A game TI Invaders (a cool Space Invaders clone). He mentioned the Win994A emulator which I found to work quite well so I officially added it to the list of emulators on the home gaming cab. And Munchman still stood up quite well for a 1982 Pac-Man variant. So if you care to give Munchman or any of the other old TI-99/4A games a try but don't happen to own the system why not install Win994A and download a few old TI-99/4A games from gameternity.com and give them a go. If you discover any other TI-99/4A gems be sure to let me know!
[Update: I originally linked to oldcomputers.com for the game ROMs but I forgot I had problems running theirs so I switched it to the gameternity.com directory which ran fine. My Apologies!]