A while back I was sitting in the local doctor’s waiting room (I’m fine, thanks for asking) and I spotted this on one of the magazine piles:

epyx_omnicoverNow, I know doctor’s waiting room magazines are meant to be old, but c’mon, a copy of Omni from December 1988? That some next-level atrophy going on in my local quack’s office.

Omni was a weird magazine, obviously geared towards wealthy old men who thought they were smarter than everyone else. There’s articles about brain science and fiction pieces about artificial intelligence and think pieces about what if we can really harness ESP and oh yeah, lots and lots of advertisements for video cameras and cigarettes.

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“Honey, I think we need to buy a video camera to capture the hilarious antics of our pet cross-dressing monkey.”

I love this ad for…I don’t even really know what it’s for. I guess it’s for cigarettes but I think it’s really for dancing lessons or divorce lawyers.

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“Christ, can you believe I married this jackass? What a God damn loser. I am out of here as soon as I finish this cigarette and greatly reduce a serious risk to my health”

I love the tag line. “Benson & Hedges: For people who like to smoke.” Really speaks to the demographic!

Petrol. For people who like to drink.

Anyway, while flicking through this issue I saw this insert:

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“Do you have what it takes to coach an NFL team, win the pennant race, rip a 10′ Malibu tube, or birdie the 18th at Pinehurst?”

NO. NO I CLEARLY DO NOT. Dude, have you seen me try and do anything outside? It’s just embarrassing. I can barely kick a can let alone a football. This is why I stay inside and play video games all day!

Opening it up reveals this:

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Here’s your proving ground.

Introducing a whole new way of playing games.

Epyx VCR and Audio board games.

They’re contests of strategy where anything can happen. Where your fate can turn on the roll of the dice. On the draw of a card. Or on the exciting play of hundreds of taped audio and video highlights. With the action this furious, the fun never stops.

So set up the board. Pop in the tape.

And enjoy the truest test short of being there for real.

Introducing the VCR and Audio games from EPYX.

Epyx, the makers of awesome classic video games like Impossible Mission, Summer Games and OH YEAH THE ATARI LYNX, apparently made these VCR-based games in an attempt to capture a new market.

Opening the pages again reveals four games. They all seem to come with a VHS tape and a themed board with cards and dice and whatnot:

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Let’s see what the games are about a bit more up close! First up is Epyx VCR Golf:

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 Play the greatest golfers on the best courses without a single green’s fee. Epyx VCR Golf provides the ultimate links challenge. You’ll play 18 spectacular holes from the world’s greatest courses. And from the tee to the green, every shot is yours to call.

Roll the dice, play a club card or go to the video featuring live golf tournament footage from ABC Sports. It could be a bogey, a birdie – or better.

With the tape’s unique “quadrant segmenting” feature, which divides the screen in quarters, you watch only the shot that relates to your lie. So no two games are ever the same.

Play alone or fill out a foursome with your friends. You can even make up your own competitions and tournaments. Because if the golf action were any more real, you’d have to hire a caddy.

And to think I spent all these years wasting my life learning how to play Leaderboard on the C64!

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If you got the guts to coach and NFL team, we’ve got your game. Epyx Play Action VCR Football, a tough two-player contest that combines real football strategy with video action from the NFL.

You’ve got 20 offensive plays and 12 defensive options to choose from. It’s up to you, coach.

Should you throw the bomb? Run the reverse? Blitz the quarterback? Guard against the run?

Make your calls.

Then roll the dice or turn to the video, where 200 sensational NFL highlight plays make each game seem like the Super Bowl. There’s game-winning touchdowns. Bruising tackles. Even controversial calls.

For beginner and advanced football fans, you decide the level of play as well as the length and pace of the game. So go tear up some turf!

WOW LEMME JUST CANCEL MY MADDEN 2015 PRE-ORDER AND DUST OFF MY OLD VHS PLAYER FROM THE ATTIC.

Next up, I know California Games was converted to like every system ever made but VHS?!

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Surf the tube. And that’s just the first wave in Epyx VCR California Games.

Here’s the scene: You’re travelling down the coast from San Francisco to San Diego without any cash.

So when the car runs out of gas or a tire blows, you do what any red-blooded Californian would do. Go surfing.

Or skateboarding. Or rollerskating, BMX, body-boarding – there’s over 200 events in all on the game’s videcassette.

The better your moves, the better your bucks.

This road race has all the strategy of a Monopoly-style game, including action cards that can be used to get yourself out of a jam. Or put your opponents in one.

It’s a radical departure from other board games. Suit up and join the action.

Now this is the first time I heard of California Games having a plot or a back story, so that’s kinda cool.

OK, one more to go: Epyx Head-on Baseball!

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These games speak for themselves. So listen well to Epyx Head-on Baseball, a two-player match up with real baseball strategy, plus the excitement of hearing play-by-play highlights broadcast on the air.

Who’s pitching, batting and in the line-up – it’s all up to you. Your opponent is trying to outguess your every move. And with every critical play the action turns to the 200 exciting outcomes on the audio cassette.

Epyx Head-on Football also offers 200 thrilling audio plays, with all the strategy of pro games. In either contest, you’ll decide the level of play and degree of sports strategy. Head-on Baseball and Head-on Football. It’s a double-header of competitive fun.

Man, these all sound absolutely terrible, but I kinda want to play them at least to see what constituted fun for people 25 years ago that didn’t know how to get an Amiga working.

So did anyone out there actually get to play these things?

Oh hey, here’s a TV advert for it:

Oh and by the way, in case you’re wondering: Yes I totally stole this magazine from the doctor’s office and I’m still able to sleep at night.