(For project status and links to existing simulators, go to the table near the bottom of this page)
(Also, see update from March, 2014 at the bottom of the page for info about other Microvision emulation efforts)
In the Spring of 2007, while digging through a pile of odds and ends that had collected in my basement, I found a big cardboard box containing my old Microvision video game system and nine game cartridges. For those who never had the pleasure of playing with a Microvision, it was the first hand-held video game system that could use interchangeable cartridges to play multiple games. It came out in the late 1970s, long before Nintendo made the idea profitable with the Gameboy. See Wikipedia's Microvision page for more info and a couple photos.
I did extensive Google searching, to see if anyone had already written a Microvision emulator. All I could find was a German web page where you can download a program called AMiViSi that simulates one Microvision cartridge, Phaser Strike. The page is in German - English speakers can try their luck with Google's Translation of the page, but it's not that hard to figure out in its original language.
I had hesitated on writing a simulator for the Vegas Slots cartridge, mostly because I have no idea how the original game calculated the odds of the slot machine paying off. Finally, in the summer of 2008, I decided to just wing it and make my own version that at least looks like the original, if it doesn't play exactly like it.
Maybe someday I'll get back to this project and try to write some of those unfinished games, but for now just enjoy the four that are here.
Here's the current status of the Project:
I received an email on March 16th, 2014, from Sean Riddle who is involved in an effort to create a true Microvision simulator. Apparently there are two projects being worked on - a standalone Microvision emulator called MVEM, and an attempt to add the Microvision as one of many systems emulated by MESS. Here's Sean's email:
"I just wanted to let you know that there are a couple of Microvision emulators now: MVEM and MESS. A fellow named Kevtris figured out how to dump the code from some carts, and Iíve been blow-torching the rest and taking pictures of the dice to extract the ROM contents visually. All of the known carts (including Super Blockbuster) have been dumped, although Iím still working on transcribing a couple of them. Neither MVEM nor MESS have complete Microvision emulation, but some games are playable, and eventually all should be. Your site helped some of the programmers without Microvision units to figure out what the games should look like. Thanks."
He provided these links to the projects: