Taito's 1982 The Electric Yo-Yo
As if the name wasn't odd enough, The Electric Yo-Yo draws it's gameplay from two of the more unique games of the classic era: Qix and Solar Fox.

You control a yo-yo, and your goal is to pass it over the blocks on the playfield, collecting all of them. To do this, you shoot out a string which loops around a block, and then quickly pulls the yo-yo along after it. If there are no blocks in your path, you just slowly chug along until you can line up with another one. The further away a block is that you loop around, the more points you score.

Getting in your way are Bions and Trions. The Bions are bug-eyed little critters that sort-of follow you around. The Trion bounces around the screen (reminiscent of Qix), and when it passes over the blocks, it briefly energizes them. If you pass over an energized block, then you become energized and can run back and forth over the Bions, racking up some major points.

Missing Ingredient
The Electric Yo-Yo is a classic example of a time when game companies would try almost any idea in order to come up with "the next big thing". Unfortunately, sometimes games got out the door before the gameplay was fully refined.

In the case of this game, there are two problems with it. The minor one is that when there are no blocks in your path, your yo-yo moves far too slowly, which can make the game a little tedious.

The bigger problem is that when there is a block in your path, you're forced to loop the string around it, and go shooting towards it at high speed. Often, you end up zipping across the screen completely unintentionally - and usually right into one of the enemies. What would have fixed this is a button that would let you retract the string without having the yo-yo go shooting off after it. Then, if the string went somewhere you didn't want, you could back out of it.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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