Motivational Monday: Knock Offs

knock offs demotivational poster
knock offs demotivational poster

Motivational Monday: Knock Offs

Sometimes you just want the prestige of having something popular, at the top of its game. You want everyone to know you have it and have no shame in showing it off. Unfortunately, for many of us obtaining the best is not always possible. Thank goodness for knock-offs.

The knock off is as old as time and it is the art of copying something good, but not good enough that it has the quality of the original. Knock offs can be found in everything from shoes to clothes to electronics and video games are not immune to the knock off. This week we take a look at some of the knock offs that has made their way into video game history.

Now before we begin just a warning. The term knock off can upset people especially those who created something they were proud off. In many cases the court or the court of popular opinion deemed that something was not a knock off. However, I call em as I see em so enjoy.

K.C. Munchkin

I have seen a number of Pac-Man clones in my day, but this one has an interesting story. The Munchkin video game was created for the Magnavox Odyssey. As you can see it looks a lot like Pac-Man, but it was different enough. The problem came because Atari was exclusively licensed to create the home version of Pac-Man, but Munchkin came out first. In 1981 Munchkin was released and Atari sued. At first the courts refused to stop the sale of the game and then the following year on appeal ruled in favor of Atari. Strangely enough the release of Pac-Man by Atari turned out to be a major failure.

The Great Giana Sisters

So why would you try to copy Mario Bros? Why not? The fact was that Nintendo had a hit on their hands and in all likelihood the game was not going to be ported to the personal computer. The Great Giana Sisters was developed by Time Warp Productions and was to become available for systems including the Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64.

The game looked and played a lot like Super Mario Bros. at least in the first levels. Also, it didn’t help that on some covers was the sentence; “The brothers are history.” Yeah, it probably was not a good idea to taunt Nintendo who retailed with a Bowser size lawsuit and got the sisters locked down.

Funny thing, the Great Giana sisters is going to be available on the Nintendo DS.

Munch Man

I really don’t want to call this game a knock off because I owned both it and the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A that it was released for, but it was loosely based on Pac-Man. The cool thing was the differences including the fact that you were trying to connect links to form a chain not eat dots. Also the ghosts in the game, called Hoono’s change from level to level. As the game continues your enemy gets much faster than you and their vulnerability time is greatly reduced.

I loved Munch Man as a kid, the sounds of the game was so trippy to me. Come on, that sound when he eats the bad guy? Classic!

Imitation is the most sincere form

Intellectual property is important and as a writer I understand this even more. With that said some of these games were just great fun and I am glad they were made. There are tons more knock offs or clones out there. If you want us to do an article on them drop us a line.

Zone 40 Wireless Gaming

Zone 40 Wireless Gaming console
Zone 40 Wireless Gaming console

Why oh why would you want to knock off the Wii? I mean you could just load up Yahoo games or an emulator. Fine, I will stop hating, but this console struck me when I was in Denver attending the beer fest. This was behind the counter at a CVS drugstore and I kind of brushed it off at first and then once I got home looked more into it.

What we know


Well the system looks a lot like a Wii console and it offers wireless gaming. However it is called the Zone 40 because 40 games are built into the console and that is the limit (so far) as far as software titles. There is an expansion slot, but it is not clear what it is used for. So you get two controls the console, rca cables, 40 built in games (11 of which are sports interactive), a stand and instruction manual for $39.99.

The word on the net

For those who don’t just scream “It’s a fake!” the reviews still aren’t good for the Zone 40. Pretty much it is said to be a system for a six year old and looks horrible on a HD TV. The sweet spot for this game is a 27 to 32 inch tv, normal definition.

It’s the games stupid


Depending on who you ask the games on the Zone 40 are either really horrible or terribly crappy. Some even say the graphics on the original 2600 look better. The 11 sport interactive games play sloppy and don’t have the look or reaction time of the Wii and the arcade games are not even as good as flash games you can find on an ad on a porn website.

Here is the title list:

100 METER  110 HURDLES ARCHERY BASEBALL BASKETBALL BEE FIGHTING BOMBER-MAN BOWLING BOX WORLD CHESS MASTER COMPETIVE FENCING DANCING GIRLS DARTS DISCUS FIRE MAN FISH WAR FISHING GOLF HIGH JUMP HIGHWAY RACING HITTING MICE JAVELIN LONG JUMP MOTOR STORM PING PONG SHOOTING BALLONS SNAKES SOCCER SPEED RACING SQUARES SUDOKU SWIMMING SWORD OF WARRIORS TANKSTENNIS THE MOUSE AND THE CAT TRIPLE JUMP UNDERSEA ADVENTURE WALKING-RACE ZUMA

The verdict

I haven’t played this, but it doesn’t look worth the cash, but if you want me to test it send my PayPal account $50 bucks and I will do a full review. Why $50? $40 for the game and $10 for the beer I need to make it through the review.