Monday, March 19, 2018

HAPPY BIRD! for the Odyssey2


2600 Connection is proud to offer HAPPY BIRD! , an Odyssey2 / Videopac game by programmer / designer Rafael Cardoso. 
A limited run of 100 serial-numbered cartridges of HAPPY BIRD! will be produced that are compatible with both the Odyssey2 and Videopac systems.  

Odyssey2 version

Videopac G7400 version

color manual and game cartridge 


PAYPAL payment is accepted and preferred.

If you live in the USA:
Price: $25 (and $6 shipping)
click Buy Now to purchase


If you live anywhere else in the world:
Price: $25 (and $13 shipping)
click Buy Now to purchase

HAPPY BIRD! is shipped via U.S. Mail.
Check or money order is also accepted.
Please send an email for more details.

E-mail your questions, comments, concerns etc.

HAPPY BIRD! OWNERS LIST - updated Wednesday, April 18, 2018

 1. William Cassidy - SHIPPED
 2. Rafael - SHIPPED
 3. Timdu - SHIPPED
 4. Rene_G7400 - SHIPPED
 5. Taku Takeuchi - SHIPPED
 6. Al Backiel - SHIPPED
 8. Ptol  - SHIPPED
 9.  Thomas Becker - SHIPPED
 10. Mark Bodiella - SHIPPED

 11. Uranus Greek - SHIPPED
 12. VideopacBelgium - SHIPPED
 13. Tom31- SHIPPED
 14. Dietmar Strickert - SHIPPED
 15. Jeffrey Rothkopf - SHIPPED
 16. Alex Lehmann - SHIPPED
 17. Shaun Stephenson - SHIPPED
 18. Ozyr - SHIPPED
 19. Gerald Diermaier - SHIPPED
20. David Harshbarger - SHIPPED
 21. Ian Baronofsky - SHIPPED
 22. Jeremy Stockman - SHIPPED
 23. Immergruen - SHIPPED
 24. Chris Read - SHIPPED
 25. Luke Sandel - SHIPPED
 26. Tenorman - SHIPPED
 27. James Randall - SHIPPED
 28. Alex Sweers - SHIPPED
 29. Jack Kerrigan - SHIPPED
 30. John Hancock - SHIPPED
 31. Brian Clements - SHIPPED
 32. James Vincenti - SHIPPED
 33. Mark Tryon - SHIPPED
 34. Justin Collins - SHIPPED
 35. Scott Drake - SHIPPED
 36. Jeffrey O'Connell - SHIPPED
 37. Toby St-aubin - SHIPPED
 38. Michael Noergaard - SHIPPED
 39. Karl Illetschko - SHIPPED
 40. Brian Sutter - SHIPPED
 41. Sten Linssen - SHIPPED
 42. Russ Perry Jr. - SHIPPED
 43. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 44. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 45. Doug Palmer- SHIPPED
 46. Todd Kadish - SHIPPED
 47. Kris Eifler - SHIPPED
 48. Mario Faiad - SHIPPED
 49. Jon Hershberger - SHIPPED
 50. Martijn Wenting - SHIPPED
 51. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 52. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 53. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 54. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 55. Billy Kostovski - SHIPPED
 56. Christophe Pultz - SHIPPED
 57. Neal Laurie  - SHIPPED
 58. Kevin Strade  - SHIPPED
 59. Tim Shanks - SHIPPED
 60. Jim Johnson - SHIPPED
 61. Nataniel Torres - SHIPPED
 62. Kurt Klemm - SHIPPED
 63. David Frost - SHIPPED
 64. Mark Bussler - SHIPPED
 65. Thomas Lamerana - SHIPPED
 66. Stephen Mercer  - SHIPPED
 67. Michael Dougherty - SHIPPED
 68. Frank Amato - SHIPPED
 69. Jacques Villeneuve 
 70. Emilio Rossoni  - SHIPPED
 71. Forrest Nettles - SHIPPED
 85. Scott Vanderpool - SHIPPED
 88. Dietmar Strickert - SHIPPED
 99. Joshua Brandt - SHIPPED
 100. Manopac - SHIPPED


Happy Bird! Odyssey 2 Review

By John Hancock

(Reprinted with permission from Nathan Dunsmore of Video Game Trader magazine)

Every now and then, a game comes out that changes a perspective of what a hit encompasses. The way we play games has evolved greatly over the past 40 years. In the early days, games were limited to simple mechanics and graphic sprites. Usually, games consisted of moving a single character on a screen, avoiding something. The graphics and memory limitations of early machines and computers made programming for these extremely difficult. Making a decent game for these required creativity, know-how, and determination to work around the limitations. As time continued, the graphics and game play became more complicated. Computers and consoles were more advanced, were able to produce deeper game play, and also required larger teams to produce and create games. While the new and modern games offered a more robust and diverse gaming experience, there became a growing demand for simplistic games that could be played in bite sized time periods.

Along the way, something happened in the evolution of gaming. The rise to mobile cell phones as a way to play videogames opened up a wide and diverse audience for new types of game experiences. As the history of videogames became more robust and diverse, some programmers decided to look back and reflect upon previous successful games and game play mechanics. Some games incorporated a "retro" look to their games. Others used the new medium to create simple yet addictive games, going back to more rudimentary game play aspects of previous decades.

One such success story of a simple game being sold on the new-at-the-time smart phone market was Angry Birds. The simple game mechanic of launching a bird into pillars established a game empire, creating sequels and vast spin-offs. This franchise caused a frenzy of other companies to try to create the next big thing. This in itself led of the charge of creating simplistic micro game play experiences, capturing the simplicity of games of yesteryear. Fast forward four years, and another simplistic game would be released on mobile devices that would change how simple games could be very successful. That game was Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird came out in 2013 and quickly become a top seller in the apple market. The simple premise of the game combined with challenging game play made the game very addicting. The whole game can be summed up a couple of sentences. Control a bird through a series of pipe passages by tapping. Each successful pipe passage passed gets you one point. Hit anything and you have to start over. The game caused a plethora of copycats to then flood the mobile markets.

The funny thing about successful mobile phone games is that they often can be great candidates for retro consoles. Flappy Bird is one of these examples. In 2014, an established programmer by the name of Rafael Cardoso converted this hit mobile game to an unusual candidate - the Magnavox Odyssey 2. Happy Bird! was thus created for the system. Happy Bird! is a one player game, reproducing the simple gameplay mechanic of flying a bird through pipe passages. The game even has an additional graphics mode for those who own the European Phillips G7400. The game is one player game only. Players are rewarded medals for flying though a multitude of pipe passages. Just like in Flappy Bird, one point is awarded for successful navigation of through pipes. Medals are given for progress. One to 49 points scored awards a bronze; 50 to 99 pts a silver; and above 100 points awards a gold.

This game is a great example of how a simplistic modern game can be recreated for a game console of the past. One thing that I really enjoy about this game is how colorful it is. With so many Odyssey 2 games void of color backgrounds, this one stands out, making it as colorful as one of Rafael Cardoso's other Odyssey 2 creations, Wildlife! I also feel that this game could be used as a great introduction to retro consoles for newer generations. Even though the game is rather difficult, I found that the graphics and appeal of the game could be introduced to a wide variety of people, including ones that would not necessarily be into videogames.

One interesting thing about this game is how you start a new game. In many other Odyssey 2 videogames, I have been conditioned to pressing something on the keyboard to start a game. At first I thought that my game was broken. I started my game console over and over, tapping the joystick button and pressing on the keyboard to see how to start the game. Finally in defeat, I looked at the manual. Upon reading it I discovered that a new game was started by "pressing down on the joystick". I found this to be a peculiar way of starting a game.

Something to be aware of by playing this game is the abuse it will inflict on your Odyssey 2 joystick. This is something to consider when many Odyssey 2 models have hardwired controllers. I found that this game really needs to have a fully functional joystick (especially the fire button) if you plan on scoring anything. My original Odyssey 2 joystick has been used a lot, and found that switching to a controller that had a more firm fire button (and less used) effected my score greatly.

There are two different ways to look at a version of this game being offered on a retro console. One perspective is that it could be perceived a lazy port of a popular game. The other perspective would be that a team of people (and the website dedicated a lot of time and resources to offer this game to a loyal and appreciative gaming audience. After putting in some intense game sessions, I came to conclusion of the latter. While the game may be perceived to be very simple even by Odyssey 2 standards, I would put its game play and attraction next to many other classics on the system. I give this game four out of five stars.

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