A rip off of the Power Pad you say? No, you’ve got it all wrong… The Family Fun Fitness “Control Mat” was released by Bandai in 1986 with a North American release in 1987. It came with a game called “Athletic World” with exciting mini-games like “Hop A Log” and “Dark Tunnel”.
- Tag Archives Bandai
Shortly thereafter, Nintendo acquired this item and rebranded it the “Power Pad”. There were no functional changes and the same game was included, at least initially. Like most NES peripherals (e.g. the light gun and power glove) there weren’t a lot of games released for it. The Power Pad had a total of six games released in North America with a few others being Japan only releases. While the Family Fun Fitness Control Mat is functionally the same as the Power Pad, the original is far more collectible because of the relative short amount of time it was on the market. In addition, when Nintendo bought and rebranded it, they recalled all of the original versions left on the shelves. I imagine a boxed original could fetch a pretty penny on eBay. The games released for the Power Pad are not all that memorable for the most part but this device influenced the development of far more popular games that would come later like Dance Dance Revolution. The above ad is from the Fall 1987 issue of Nintendo Fun Club News (the predecessor to Nintendo Power). Screen shots are from Athletic World, the game that was packaged with the control mat/power pad.
Digimon World (PlayStation)
Remember the Tamagotchi craze? There was even a song. Anyway, they were little digital pets on a keychain that you had to take care of. For a few years they were immensely popular and there were many imitators. Digimon was one such imitator. This PlayStation game is based loosely on the concept though for the purposes of the game you are sucked into the world of your digital pet.
Apparently, a bunch of Digimon have gone feral and it is your job to save them. Digimon’s unique twist on the genre was that Digimon could fight other Digimon. This plays heavily into the game since you have to raise various Digimon along the way and battle other Digimon. Digimon World did a few things right. For instance, the graphics were very good for the time. Unfortunately, the game play left a little to be desired. The battle system in particular, which the game revolved around, was pretty poor with little effective control over the battles. Reviews were pretty poor for this game and if you have never even heard of Digimon then there is definitely no reason to pick this one up. However, if you were a hardcore Digimon fan and somehow missed it, it might be worth a shot…just don’t expect great things. This game was originally released in 2000 and there have been no re-releases or remakes. There was a Windows version of the game also but I believe it was never released in North America. There were three sequels (the first two on the PlayStation and the last one on the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox). The type of gameplay varied quite a bit between games but every one of them was pretty terrible. There have been a couple of more recent sequels including Re: Digitizer (PSP but in Japan only) and most recently, Digimon World: Next Order for the Vita and PS4. The PS4 version was released in North America last year. Reviews would indicate that it is only slightly better than the originals.