In November of 1982, Mom bought me a handheld video game for an early Christmas present. The game I received was "Scramble" by Tomy. It's a VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) game. It's based on the "Scramble" arcade game that was made by Stern/Konami.

I still remember the night before I received the game. My family and I were visiting my grandparents in Sneedville and I was a very happy boy because I knew that I would receive the game the very next day. I was only eleven years old at the time.

On Scramble, you fly a jet. You must shoot flying and stationary missiles. You must also shoot UFOs and you must shoot fuel tanks to obtain more fuel. If the jet collides with anything or runs out of fuel, it is destroyed. The game gives about four jets per game. 

On level one, you fly through a city and must shoot flying missiles and fuel tanks. On level two, you must dodge meteorites and shoot stationary missiles and fuel tanks. On level three, you must shoot UFOs, stationary missiles amd fuel tanks. On level four, you must fly through what appear to be buildings and shoot stationary missiles and fuel tanks. On level five, you must shoot the "Enemy Space Base". On the fifth level, you burn more fuel than on other levels and you are given four fuel tanks to shoot.

Back in the early eighties, Howard's Department Store had a "Scramble" arcade game. One day while I was at Howard's, I noticed that the Scramble game's marquee had been shattered. I wondered what happened. A day or two later, I heard a boy at school talking. He said that when he played Scramble at Howard's, he got so mad that he shook the game and shattered the marquee. When he shattered it, he said that he got the hell out of the store.

At the time, I wondered why he got mad enough to shake the Scramble machine and years later, I learned why. In 1999, Konami released ten of their arcade games on a disc for the Sony PS1. Scramble was one of those games. When I played Scramble on the PS1, it was very hard and it frustrated me so much that I felt like ripping my hair out. I quickly learned why that boy shattered that marquee. I hate the arcade "Scramble". If that offends people who love the game, I apologize. But I must be honest. I hate the "Scramble" arcade game.

Even though I hate the "Scramble" arcade game, I love "Scramble" by Tomy. It's easier than its arcade counterpart and I enjoyed playing it. I have wonderful memories of receiving it and playing it when I was a child.


More by :  Randy Johnson

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