very sweet souvenir, a sudden reminiscence that happen to recall, my first computer game. Some day in the mid-80s, I’d got a gift, a Soviet built, hand-held device. I still remember the sound, the addictive feelings came with it! The game featured a wolf, a rabbit, likely to be seen in the Nu, pogodi! cartoon series (pronounced by us – little child as nupacachi). The game’s goal is trying to catch falling eggs, if an egg missed, it breaks and a chick is born. If 4 chicks are born, you lose! I played hundreds of games on this pad, then batteries ran out but can’t find anywhere replacement back then 😢.
Several years later, in the late-80s, these types of games became obsolete, then seen the Nintendo’s Famicom console widespread. Now I know it was a clone of Egg (a variant of Mickey Mouse), played on console manufactured by Nintendo. Although capable of building super computers, the Soviet Union was, at the time, in shortage of consumer goods, they choose to reverse engineer various Western products.
It’s very interesting to learn about separate branches of electronics and computer science in the USSR. They had distinctive type of computers, architectures, operating systems, programming languages… Some are even found nowadays quite bizarre like the trinary computers (as apposed to binary systems we’re extensively using). It should be noticed that the Russian had very successful specific-purpose models that offer superior power in narrow fields (such as ballistic computing). Areas in their separated genealogical branches of science and technology remain mysterious until today, some are covered in the book Computing in Russia, a highly-recommended reading!
Update, May, 13rd, 2009
It was kind of a very first and famous game, yet only ones at the time know about it, in the early and mid 80s. After searching a while, I found various simulators for playing the Game & Watch series, on Linux, on Windows and even on Mac. On the left is Flash version of the game, the Soviet variant named Nu, pogodi!, you can guess from Cyrillic letters above the screen. Enjoy!