I became interested in the Astrocade microcomputer because of its design and technology. I love all things about 8-bit microcomputers. The Astrocade represents the best of the early generation of microcomputers. It has color graphics and sound. It is expandable with its unique keyboard station. The game controllers are unusual. The Astrocade is programmable using Z-Basic. There are plenty of emulators for this machine. This is my journal on the Bally Astrcade microcomputer. Much of my information derives from marketing material available across the Internet.
Astrocade Game Center
The retail price for the Astrocade was advertising as USD$249.99 in 1982. For this price you could go to Montgomery Ward and mail order the Astrocade game center. The package came with 3 built-in games, two hand controls, state of the art graphics and memory. The BASIC cartridge was supplied that upgraded the system into a microcomputer. Many Videocade game cartridges are still for sale in good condition.
- Z80 processing power
- 3 processors
- 32kB RAM + 32kB expansion
- 256 colors
- 160x100 broadcast resolution
- 16kB ROM cartridges
Bally Astrocade Articles
Bally Professional Arcade - 1981 Advertisement
This article is a re-imagining of a 1981 advertisement for the Bally Professional Arcade Plus microcomputer. This advert goes into detail about what the Astrocade is, the technical features and what you can expect to be bundles with your microcomputer. The page introduces Bally Basic as the programming cartridge and computer learning lab. The tag line is that the complete Bally microcomputer system gives you more fun, more power and an expansive libe of videocade games.
Astrocade 1981 Game Catalog
This article is a re-imagining of a videocade advertisement for new game cartridge. This advertisement appeals to me because of the game screenshots. These screenshots are actual photos of the game in action. This page gives you a feel for the type of videocade cartridges available. There are nine new cartridges advertised. Not every cartridge was an action game. There is a screenshot of a music maker application. It is easy to see the appeal of the Astrcade microcomputer.
Bally Arcade Machine Product Description
This article gives a complete overview of the Bally arcade computer. The Bally arcade computer system consists of the arcade video game console, BASIC programming cartridge and ZGrass-32 computer keyboard. The audio-dubbing capability of the system is particularly interesting. You can pump music from your cassette deck to your television. A similar method was employed by the early CD-ROM implementations. The article also lists the common accessories that were available for the Astrocade microcomputer.
Bally Astrocade Munchie the Pac-Man clone
This article is the most controversial of the Astrocade pack. I found an advertisement claiming to be for the Muncher videocade cartridge. The magazine advertisement is a high resolution image. I compare this magazine screenshot to video of the Muncher gameplay. Could there be some artistic license going on here? Either way, it is interesting to dive into how the Pacman clone looks on the Astrocade.