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All Good Things

Allgoodthings

Developer John Dondzila
Publishers Classic Game Creations
Freeware
Packrat Video Games, LLC
Release dates 1996
2015 (re-release)
Genre Compilation
Mode Single player only
Media Cartridge
ROM file

All Good Things was the fourth release from Classic Game Creations. It is a compilation cartridge, comprised of clones of four earlier games and a bonus hidden fifth game.

After the Vectrex bootup screen and the All Good Things title screen appears, pressing button four on the controller will cycle through the games, then pressing one will start said game.

More Invaders!Edit

This is the follow-up to Classic Game Creations's homebrew of Vector Vaders and is based on the arcade game Space Invaders Part 2. Invaders travel from side to side dropping bombs, and once they reach the edge of the screen, the entire formation drops down a notch. The player must shoot as many invaders as possible while avoiding their fire.

A bonus flying saucer will appear during a level that is worth many more points than the invaders (50, 100, 150 or 300 vs. 10, 20, or 30 points for each invader) and shoot at the player, and there is a possibility of one of two secret bonuses that can be awarded at the end of a level. The player can also hide behind one of four bunkers for protection, which will eventually disappear after being shot too many times by the player and/or enemy fire.

The invaders are much more numerous this time than on the original Vector Vaders, having each level comprised of at least 48 invaders, rather than 25. Also, rather than having three unique graphical types of invaders as with Vector Vaders, this time around the invaders are all shaped like the letter 'v'.

Starting with the second level, some invaders will split into two when shot.

Either running out of bases (by being hit by enemy fire) or being overrun by invaders (i. e. the invaders reach the bottom of the screen) will end the game. An extra base is awarded at 5000 points.

ControlsEdit

  • Move left and right: buttons one and two
  • Fire: button four

RockaroidsEdit

Originally a limited edition release, Rockaroids is a clone of the arcade game Asteroids. The player controls a ship that destroys rockaroids. Shooting a large rockaroid (10 points each) splits it into two medium-sized ones (20 points), which then split into two small ones (50 points), which can then be destroyed. Enemy saucers appear and shoot at the player; the large saucers are worth 200 points, while the small ones are 1000.

The player starts out with three ships and the game will end when they are lost by either rockaroid collisions, being shot by saucers, or being destroyed upon re-entry from hyperspace (which is used to move the player to a random spot on the screen in case of emergency). Extra ships are awarded with every 10,000 points scored.

ControlsEdit

  • Rotate ship left and right: buttons one and two
  • Fire: button three
  • Thrusters: button four
  • Hyperspace: down on joystick or D-pad

Spike's Water BalloonsEdit

This is a clone of Kaboom!, a game that was ported to many home and computer consoles during the early 1980s by Activision. Instead of using buckets to catch bombs dropped by the "Mad Bomber" at the top of the screen like on the original, this time around the player uses Spike, the unofficial Vectrex mascot, to pop balloons with the top of his head that are dropped from his enemy Spud. Spike's head is a bit smaller than the original buckets, which, if the player misses a balloon, it will count against them, and once three balloons hit the ground the game is over. However, the player can kick a missed balloon back up towards Spud, somewhat reminiscent of the arcade game Kick Man.

ControlsEdit

  • Move Spike left and right: joystick or D-pad
  • Control Spike's speed: buttons one, two or three
  • Kick balloons: button four

Vectris (aka Vectrex Blocks)Edit

Vectris is a clone of Tetris, where puzzle pieces float down from the top of the screen. It is the player's duty to arrange the differently-shaped pieces to form solid lines; once one to four horizontal lines are complete, those lines will disappear. Not being able to form complete lines will cause pieces to stack up higher and higher, and once the stack reaches the top of the screen the game is over.

ControlsEdit

  • Move pieces: joystick or D-pad
  • Drop piece: down on joystick or D-pad
  • Rotate pieces (except for the square piece, which does not change shape): buttons three and four
  • Pause: button two

23 MatchesEdit

This is a hidden bonus game, which is a clone of a game originally found on the TRS-80 computer. The player starts with 23 matches and must take away a certain amount per round until no matches are left. If the computer has to take away the last match the player loses the game. (Note: see the List of Vectrex game easter eggs page in regards to unlocking this game.)

ControlsEdit

Choose between taking one, two or three matches by pressing the corresponding keys on the controller

TriviaEdit

  • At the time of its release, All Good Things was the very first 16K cartridge for the Vectrex.[1]
  • Rockaroids was originally a limited edition cartridge, then it was included on All Good Things. An unlimited edition was also available from Classic Game Creations, along with the sped-up version of Rockaroids Remix was also released.
  • In between each level during More Invaders! is a brief cinematic ode to Space Invaders Part 2 where an invader on top of a saucer will fly offscreen saying "S. O. S."
  • Spike's Water Balloons was also included in the Vectopia cartridge as Spike's Water Balloons Analog, which was geared to work with the original Vectrex controller's analog mode, along with being released as its own cartridge.
  • All Good Things was available from Classic Game Creations until the end of 2013, as creator John Dondzila did not have the time to produce cartridges any more, along with working his day job. The cartridge was re-released in March, 2015 from Packrat Video Games, LLC, however.

Links/reviewEdit

vectrex.nl reviewEdit

Well, here it is, original Vectrex homebrewer John Dondzila’s third unlimited release. Dondzila’s products really grew in leaps and bounds, as his first homebrew outing of Vector Vaders ran a bit slow until several invaders were killed. Then his next cartridge, Patriots, was heralded by some as the best Vectrex game yet at the time (plus it had a secret bonus game as well, to boot). Then All Good Things was not only the first 16K Vectrex cartridge ever, but it also has a whopping four regular AND one bonus game as well!

And speaking of which, lets dive into those games now, shall we?

ROCKAROIDS here in this Asteroids clone you must either you shoot rocks (which cause them to split into two more--twice!), dodge them or die. Flying saucers also appear to shoot at you, and they change directions pretty quickly, making them hard to hit at times. At first the game seems a bit hard, but after a few games you’ll realize how easy it is, which will result in some very long games. They can keep going and going...

MORE INVADERS! a bit slow-paced for a while, but I like this one a lot better. Of course, there’s a lot of invaders that travel across the screen, come closer, drop a bunch of bombs (sometimes to the point of my wanting to yell STOP SHOOTING! at the screen, but hey, this game can’t be *too* easy now, can it?), there’s the bonus U. F. O. to shoot, etc., yadda, etc. However, there’s a few new wrinkles here, one of which is the saucer shoots back. There’s also hidden bonuses that you can obtain from level to level (which helps, since it’s a long way to hitting 5,000 before you’ll earn an extra laser base), the invaders start splitting into smaller ones from the second level on, and a little stick figure will go flying out of your laser base when it gets hit! Cute.

SPIKE’S WATER BALLOONS the Vectrex mascot Spike is back in this Kaboom! clone. Dunno why his enemy Spud has gone soft and has resorted to throwing treacherous water balloons at our hero (oh no), but you must pop them with those spikes on your head nonetheless. Even though there’s the new move added of being able to kick a balloon back up if you miss it (a la the old arcade game Kickman), most of the time if you miss a balloon it’s too late anyway. Spike’s head is pretty small, making it difficult to pop the balloons in the first place, and along with a long pause in between screens...well, lets just say you’re pretty much better off playing the original game instead. Next...

VECTRIS a Tetris clone, obviously. Blocky objects fall from the top of the screen, you must make them fit together and not stack up to the top; causing a row (or more) to completely line up will cause that row to disappear. One thing I can’t understand is why I like this game, since, with most Tetris-like games, I only like the arcade original, complete with endings of levels along with a bonus awarded; just having one long game that just gets faster annoys me, yet I still like this one, for some reason. Another thing I can’t understand is the harsh reviews from Digital Press and the Video Game Critic, complaining of the flicker. Uh, if you just throw a colorful overlay on top of it (like Scramble), this eliminates the problem, guys...no need to quit after playing only one or two games (which both reviews said they did), this is still very addicting (somehow!)!

23 MATCHES (hidden bonus game) not much here, just the only TRS-80 clone game that I know of to hit the Vectrex. You start with 23 matches and you must figure out what combination of matches to take away during a turn to win against the computer. Good luck.

The graphics range from not much to write about (the aliens in More Invaders! are just the letter V! Gasp!) to cool, and I didn’t find the sounds to be really terribly exciting either (Vectris). There are also some bugs in the games as well that are annoying (one makes the invaders drop down a few levels at one time, most of the time the 200-400 bonus points in Vectris won’t work), and if you’re new to homebrews, this should be one of the first ones to order from Dondzila. The reason? Because two of the games on here (Invaders and Rockaroids) run a lot faster on the later release of Vecmania (although the gameplay of Invaders on this cartridge and the one on Vecmania are slightly different anyway, but I’m just pointing it out); getting Vecmania first and then this later (like I did) is kind of like going from a monster truck down to a Ford Escort: both will get you where you need to go, but you’re going to have an adjustment period between the two.

Still another usual mandatory purchase from Dondzila though.

Score 7/10

Review written by Darryl

ReferencesEdit

  1. Classic Game Creations web site


This article was featured from June - July, 2013.


This article uses material from the All Good Things Gaming Wikia article and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.