Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Merlin, you're magical!

We eased into computers, our generation did. We started slow, with Simon and Atari 2600 and Pong and The Little Professor calculator and MERLIN.

Merlin was red and looked kind of like an early cell phone, not that we knew that back then. By modern standards, you couldn't do much with it -- you could play six simple games, against friends or the computer. (One, Echo, was a lot like Simon, actually.)
Merlin was the best-selling game of 1980. I never had one, but I know at least one of my friends or cousins did. It was pretty cool, and seeing kids walking around holding it and playing it (you really couldn't WALK with Simon) was like a precursor of today's kids and their handheld games and smart phones of all kinds. Today it looks enormous and simplistic, but back then it was a treasure indeed.
Did you have Merlin? Did a friend? What early computer substitutes were your favorites?

4 comments:

Mrs Pinchloaf said...

We did have a Merlin! I can almost hear the dulcet tones of the Echo game now...

briank said...

The year that Merlin and Simon both came out, I got Merlin for Christmas and my brother got Simon. There was a puzzle game on it that I likes a lot, and I also liked the music making app. Merlin definitely held my interest longer than Simon held anyone else's.

P.S. Your "MERLIN" link goes to an MSN article about Disneyland.

cayenne said...

I had a Merlin! I completely forgot about it! I loved Echo & Magic Square. I wonder if it's still buried in my parents' basement...

Mike said...

Actually, yes, I do remember this. I found my old one at my mom's house and took a picture of it the other day.

http://twitpic.com/2d6iov