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2017
Sunday 15th January - Juno First - a new game demo for the Vectrex
A member on the German forum "Forum 64" going by the handle of Peiselulli quietly released a demo for the Vectrex in November last year. A recent YouTube video has brought his activities into the limelight.

Peiselulli has released a playable demo Vectrex version of the arcade game Juno First. Titled "Hera Primera", this vertical scrolling game is quite remarkable considering it is just 20KB in size. Itís a shoot Ďem up game with fast paced graphics. The player must negotiate and shoot several waves of aliens.

The game is unusual for a Vectrex in that the overall graphics occupy the whole width of the screen giving the sense of a much bigger playing field compared to other Vectrex games.
In addition throughout the game, music plays in the background and throughout the play. Sound effects are still present when shooting and killing the enemy - all this with a stable and non flickering display - no mean feat on a Vectrex. Itís also impressive that Peiselulli says that this is his first Vectrex game.

As mentioned the game is currently a demo but it is nevertheless still enjoyable to play. You can download this game from Peiselulli's 16th November post on "Forum 64" but if you are not already a member you will have to register your details.

Sunday 1st January - Happy New Year!
Wow, what a time to be into Vectrex last year -the heart beat of the Vectrex community is approaching high BPM! In 2016 there was not only new homebrew software but also hardware.

The established homebrewers from the first Vectrex renaissance came back and were active (Christopher Tumber , Chris Salamon aka Malban with his VIDE Vectrex development suite and George Pelonis from Fury Unlimited with the completion of his delivery of Warrior). Christoper Tumber provided a few demos and concept at the beginning of 2016 and at the end announced his intention to get back in to writing and releasing Vectrex games this year. Kristof Tuts was refining his Vector Patrol game throughout last year and has recently announced that he expects it to be ready for release Q1 this year.

Then there were the new Vectrex kids on the block. This included Sascha aka Luch-soft with Dead of Knight and MITNAL (to name but two of his recent Vectrex releases), Andreas Gustafsson with Vectrexagon, Chris Malcom of Binary Star Software with Death Chase and NOX (James Watt), Chris Parsons aka Vector Republic with his Big Blue game, and Thomas Sontowski most notably for his Robot Arena. And what I outlined so far was just the software! Some of the names above come up again for new hardware.

Most of the hardware was demoed last year but is to be released this year. One exception was the announcement and release of Vectrex32 by Bob Alexander. This is a new cartridge for the Vectrex that allows you to write Vectrex games in interactive interpreted BASIC. The cart contains a 32 bit PIC micro controller which takes care of all the algorithmic aspects of a game, leaving the Vectrex to act as a dummy and maximize its time for displaying Vector graphics. The result, is that purchasers of the Vectrex32 games will be able to write some slick Vector games in a relatively simple programming language (as opposed to writing in 6809 assembler).

What am I looking forward to this year? Well the release of Vector Patrol, Mail Plane, a homebrew project by Federico Salerno, for Vectrex collectors "recreating" the original GCE packaging -box, manual and cart style and Fury Unlimitedís Hell Hole. Chris of Binarystar software will be releasing his Vectrex light-pen and light-gun games. Hopefully, Thomas, will be officially releasing his Robot Arena game, plus the other projects he has in his pipe line. Of particular interest is his VecFever cart. This is more than just a multi cart with 16MB of memory. The cart is able to take all original games titles and substitute their high score routines with a high scores top eight for each game (and game mode). This is possible for 30+ games and includes homebrews too. There are many other tricks this cart will allow too.

And my activities? Demand for Vectrex screen overlays has been high. Last year I commissioned and sold another batch of YASI and Mine Storm overlays. After repeated requests from vectrex fans I'm currently selling a batch of generic green overlays. These overlays hark back to that era (for those of us who admit to remember) of CRT monitors with green phosphors. For me this simple overlay works well with all games. It is also useful for program development. Speaking of which, my Veczogs game has advanced another 10% and is now 70% complete. Will this be the year for its release? - I hope so!

As before, I would just like to finish this first entry for 2017 by saying thanks to all who have contacted me with comments about the website, scores and Vectrex news. I look forward to sharing my Vectrex enthusiasm with you in the near future.