A relay race run by dogs. There are four dogs per team, and the height of the hurdles is determined by the height of the shortest team member. Each dog must jump four hurdles, trigger the fly ball box to release a tennis ball, catch the ball and return with it across the hurdles.

It's a lot of fun for dogs and masters.

Fly Ball was an old arcade game released by Atari Games way back in 1976.

The story

This may have been the first baseball arcade game, not including electromechanical titles, of which there were many.

The game

This game is a very basic implementation of the game of baseball. The graphics are in black and white monochrome, and each side only has a single player (well the pitching team only has the pitcher, but several men can get on base at once).

The rules of baseball are better described in that node, but I will mention a few specifics to this version. The game uses analog controls to simulate both pitching and hitting, so a smooth motion of the joystick will produce the best results. The pitcher is the only person on the field besides the base runners, so it is often best to make for one base further than the one you would have thrown the ball to (the pitcher has to run after the batter). The game only lasts for one or two innings (depending on how it is set), so each at bat really counts.

The Machine

Fly Ball came in an upright cabinet that was neon green and white, with sideart of baseball players in action. The marquee matched the cabinets sideart almost exactly, and used the same color scheme. The game used an unadorned white monitor bezel, which was rather unusal as most games either have black ones, or decorated ones.

The control panel featured two smallish analog joysticks, and a single action button for each player.

Fly Ball used an M6502 CPU running at a smoking hot .76 Mhz!

This game uses a 23" black and white television as a monitor. The TV has been removed from the case, and had a few other minor mods, but it is essentially a television, and can be replaced by another black and white tv (some solder work is required to do this).

Where to play

You can play a version with no sound using the Mame emulator, please remember to use an analog joystick for proper gameplay (in other words, a flight stick, not a gamepad).

It is debatable as to whether or not this game is worth purchasing for your arcade game collection. It is not a bad game by any means, but no one is going to want to have more than one baseball title, and many newer baseball games (such as Clutch Hitter), are much more fun. Given the choice between this title and a newer one at the same price, I would pick the newer one. Although I would buy them both if they were cheap enough (I will buy just about any game if it is less than $100).

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