Handball (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972)

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Handball (Odyssey, 1972)The lines are advancing! Push back or we'll be crushed!

Ending out our tour of 1972 home videogames we have Handball for Magnavox Odyssey. It is another Tennis variant. You hit the Ball Spot and then try to wiggle it past your opponent's Player Spot by controlling the ENGLISH. The difference here is that the Center Line Spot becomes a WALL Spot and is adjusted to exist on the left side of the screen. The players then alternate hitting the Ball Spot against the Wall.

This game uses cartridge #8 and an overlay (above). This game isn't worse than the other Tennis variants. In fact, it's SLIGHTLY better. Having a wall to hit the ball against is novel considering the only things we've EVER seen it deflect from has been the Player Spots.

The instructions list some gameplay variants involving the positioning of the SERVER and the RECEIVER but they don't change the game play significantly enough to go over here.

A few words about the term "Crap Game from Hell".

While I was cajoling my son into playing Handball with me, I billed it as the "Last Crap Game from Hell from 1972!!!" This term isn't meant to malign Odyssey or its games. It rather serves as a warning to my son that the game I'm asking him to play isn't going to be as easy to enjoy as some modern games, but that I need him to do his best for me. We tend to enjoy these old games a lot more when we expect that they are going to be hard to enjoy. Calling them "Crap Games from Hell" is to remind us both we need to keep our sense of humor (which is easy to lose track of during a game like, say, Odyssey's Football).

We didn't hate Handball, but we were very reluctant to continue playing it more than about five minutes. It would be safe to say that we are neutral: We are neither for other people playing it nor are we against ourselves not playing it.

Ultraman 10, Odyssey 12

Okay, 1972 is over! I'll do an overview, er, I mean Überview in the next entry.

FYI, there are still FOUR more Odyssey games in its library and they were all released in 1973. We'll go through those in the coming entires, whenever I get to them.

PS: Sorry for the On Again / Off Again nature of these little descriptions of the games. While having a day job certainly has its advantages, as does having children (especially for two-player games) it does give one things to which one must pay attention. I've been tinkering with the idea of making youtube video versions of this commentary, but I'm sure that would increase the amount of time per entry considerably. Doesn't mean I'm not still considering it, of course. heheh.


DMC2010 (not verified)
Youtube Videos

Well an overall view of Magnavox Games in YOutube woukd be cool since the only Videos of Magnavox are the AVGN & IRATE GAMER ones which are more or less making fun of the System and the Games. So a Direct Review or a show off the Games would be pretty Interesting.

Thx for your review


Nélio (not verified)
Great reviews

I just wanted to say that I absolutely loved your reviews. I wish you had continued and gone over the games released in 1973, and even continued with other platforms - yes, in chronological order.

I'm sure you had your reasons to stop this blog. Thanks for the entertaining and insightful reviews of these relics.


Nélio (not verified)
Rest of the series

Just found the rest of this wonderful series here:


Happy reading!


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