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Founded in 1982, Amiga Corporation is best known for the Amiga Computer that it developed for Commodore Business Machines. Before creating the groundbreaking graphics powerhouse, however, Amiga was an innovator in the field of both Atari 2600 hardware and software.

Like many companies during the pre-crash era, Amiga's management personnel came from Atari. Jay Miner, who was Vice President of product development, was the designer of the game logic chips for the Atari 2600, and brought the kind of engineering experience Amiga needed to establish itself as a viable contender in the videogame and computer market.

For the 2600, Amiga Corp. only released two games, one controller and one peripheral. The Joyboard was an innovative power body controller that transferred control of a video game to your entire body. For those of you who are familiar with the ill-fated Roll 'N Rocker controller for the NES, you get the idea of what the Joyboard was like. Two games were created specifically for use with the Joyboard -- Mogul Maniac, a skiing game, and Off Your Rocker. (A prototype surfing game, Surf's Up, exists in prototype form). The PowerStik joystick controller was an ergonomic and tiny controller that enabled the gamer to control the action with just one hand, and was actually quite a comfortable and effective controller.

More interesting than its released products, however, were a few of their unreleased products that never saw the light of day. The Power Module was to be a plug-in memory expansion module for the Atari 2600 which differed from conventional cartridge video games in that it used read/write memory (RAM) which can be changed, instead of ROM, which cannot be. Once the Power Module is purchased -- at basically the same price as one ROM cartridge -- the software was the only thing which needed to be changed, and this was to be done by loading games from inexpensive Power Play game cassettes. The only equipment required to load the program were the Power Module and any standard audio cassette player. The Power Module was to retail for $44.95, and was to come with two Power-Play cassettes, 3-D Ghost Attack (with 3-D glasses included), and Depth Charge. Other Power-Play games were to be purchased seperately for $9.99 and was to include S.A.C. Alert, Strafe, 3-D Havoc and Scavenger Hunt with more titles that were expected to follow.

Just as the Power Module was to be delivered to stores, Amiga scrapped the device and instead decided to take a different approach. No longer a memory expander that attached to a cassette recorder, the Power was now going to be marketed as a super cartridge: one that has three, three, three games in one. The reason for this change of tack was cost. Since game cartridges were coming down so radically in price, there was no point in putting games out on cassette in order to make them less expensive -- at least that was Amiga's opinion. The multiplay video game cartridges, called the Power-Play Arcade series, was developed using a proprietary switching chip that allowed the production of a 2600 cartridge with up to 32K of ROM. The ROM could then be used in any combination of 4K segments. These cartridges were to contain anywhere from three to seven completely video games in one cartridge, bettering the efforts of the Xonox and Playaround double-ender cartridges which were already on the market. Power Play Arcade #1 was to contain all 3-D games: 3-D Ghost Attack, 3-D Havoc and 3-D Genesis, with 3-D glasses included with the cartridge. Power Play Arcade #2 was to contain a series of family fun games: Scavenger Hunt, Eggomania, Gopher, Galleon's Gold and Word Zapper. Cartridge #3 was to contain a library of the older Imagic titles through a licensing agreement with Imagic. Negotiations were proceeding with other VCS publishers, and Amiga was all set to release the Power Play cartridges when they sensed the impending collapse of the videogame market and wisely chose to concentrate its efforts instead on the computer market.

Sometime during the mid-1980s, Amiga was purchased by Commodore after developing the Amiga computer and the rest is history.


3-D Ghost Attack (not released)
   Included with the Power Module
3-D Havoc
   # 2110 for the Power Module (not released)
Depth Charge
   Included with the Power Module (not released)
Mogul Maniac
   # 3105 for The Power Module (not relased)
   # 3120 cartridge
Off Your Rocker
   # 3115 for The Power Module (not released)
   # 3130 cartridge
S.A.C. Alert
   # 2105 for the Power Module (not released)
Scavenger Hunt
   # 2110 for the Power Module (not released)
   # 2115 for the Power Module (not released)
Surf's Up
   # 3110 for The Power Module (not released)
   # 3125 cartridge (not released, prototype exists)

Power Play Arcade #1  (#1110) (not released)
  3-D Genesis
  3-D Ghost Attack
  3-D Havoc
  (Heavy-Duty 3-D Glasses Included)

Power Play Arcade #2  (#1115) (not released)
  Galleon's Gold (Name this Game)
  Scavenger Hunt
  Word Zapper

Power Play Arcade #3  (number unknown, not released)
  Cosmic Ark
  Demon Attack
  Star Voyager
Joyboard controller
   # 3105 for The Power Module (not released)
   # 3120 for the Atari 2600
Power Module (not released)        (#1100)
PowerStik controller

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