GAME MATE II by Frank Lemmen
Recently, when I was playing "Super Sprint" with the senior
of this magazine, I noticed how useful it would be to have two
joysticks (every time we wanted to play a two player game,
Richard had to bring his own joystick with him). A week later, I
saw an advertisement of a Dutch toy shop chain in wich they
advertised about joysticks. After a long while of thinging,
counting, thinking and counting my money over and over again, I
decided to go to the shop an buy the cheapest joystick available.
When I asked the salesman "Which is the cheapest?", he gave me
two (?!?!) remote controlled joyticks. I looked at him and asked
if I was being filmed by Candid Camera because I wanted the
CHEAPEST solution to my problem; he said this WAS the cheapest
solution. The joysticks costed 29.95 Dutch guilders - this is
about £8.50. The set came as two joysticks and one receiver unit.
When I came home, I started unpacking. I wondered just how they
would look. When I removed the carton, I saw two gigantic
joysticks with the following dimensions: 7.5 cm high, 9.5 cm wide
and 8 cm deep with a flexible antenna of 16 cm long. The steering
parts themselves looked like the old Atari joysticks. The
receiver unit's dimensions are 5.5 cm height, 13 cm width and 13
cm depth. It also had two outcoming joystick connectors and last
(but not least) an antenna of 45 cm long (one of those stupid
things you can terribly hurt your eyes with when not looking out
After the first impression, I wanted to play a game with these
wonderful devices. After 15 minutes of trying to put the thing to
work, I gave up and started reading the three-page "manual". When
I read that this set was designed for the Atari Video Computer
System (VCS) I started panicing. On the third page, I read that
it also would work on Commodore VIC-20 computers (strange because
those only have one joystick port) and I thus became certain that
it should also work with my ST. After connecting a 9V adapter to
the receiver and two 9V batteries into the joysticks, the
pleasure was about to begin.
After loading "Time Bandit" I saw it realy worked; I actually
controled the pixel oriented computer human. After seeing that, I
called my dad to test if it would work with two men. To test
this, I loaded "Plutos". After 30 minutes explaining what he (my
dad, unnecessary to say) had to do, I gave up testing because it
was hopeless to explain to a non-computer freak how a joystick
A few hours later, Richard arrived and the testing could really
begin. After loading "Super Sprint", we saw that it worked (yes,
the miracles are not out of this world yet). After that, our
brain coils started wondering as to how far the range would be of
these joysticks. I loaded "Backlash", so if I pressed the fire
button a gaint bullet was displayed. The testing started - I
walked to the other side of my computer studio. When I saw that
it still worked accordingly. I climbed down the stairs to our
basement (12 feet below my room) and still heard an awful sound,
telling me that the thing was still working as it should. After
this, the rose to test it on a longer distance - I would walk to
the of our street (300 metres) and I would constanly press fire.
Richard would stay in my room and, if there was no fireing no
more, he would turn on our front door lamp.
After this plan I closed the door behind me and started walking.
Half way, I passed a human from the other sexe, which looked at
me like I was a piece of dirt (I'm not used to that, being an
army fanatic). After reaching the corner (300 metres, remember?),
I still saw no light, so the joysticks should have a range of at
least the aforementioned distance. The woman (although 'woman'
generally refers to someone rather nice and created to please
men, whereas this female had no intention whatsoever to please
me) was still watching me with her suspicious glance. I walked
towards her and asked her if I was wearing something of hers; her
reply was that she suspected me of being a car cracker (one of
those junks with long hair and no social security number that go
through the weirdest possible difficulties to get money - one of
those difficulties being breaking in a car to pinch the radio
therein) and that she had just see me cracking a car and stealing
the radio and that I had it in my hand. I was stunned that I was
just called a 'thief'. I answered that b.tch that I had never
stolen anything in my entire life and that this socalled car
radio was a remote controlled joystick (try that to explain to
somebody who has just discovered that you can turn a lamp on and
off - being even less a computer freak than my dad). And if she
didn't believe me, she would just have to to call the police so
that we could settle this stupid argument. After a while of
waiting at home I hoped that the police would come - but nobody
After this intermezzo, I will now return return to the joysticks.
After the test we knew the range; now I wanted to know the
frequency so I tested that using my scanner. The frequency of
both joysticks is between the 26 and 28 Mhz.
Advantages - No messy wires
- You can freely move around and still play games
- Good steering
- Wide range
Disadvantages - Use of batteries
- Joystick boxes too big
- Sometimes interference from outside (either radio
interference or dim-witted females)
Manufacturer - CYNEX
Price ƒ 29,95 (excl. batteries and adaptor). Retailer in the
Netherlands: "Bart Smit Speelgoedpaleis".
If you are living outside Holland, try to get them at your
dealer; the official name of the set is "Game Mate 2 remote
controlled - wireless joysticks"
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.