Company: Atari
Model #:
Year: 1984
Uses the Kid's Controller


The history of this game is a bit of mystery.  According to the copyright message its part of the Children's Computer Worshop series (the Sesame Street series), but its part number (CX-26131) and late copyright date (1984) are well outside the Children's Series range (CX-26101 - CX-26115).  Atari may have been planning some kind of series for young children and infants in order to reach as wide an audience as possible.  There is evidence of this as prototypes for other children's games such as Peek-A-Boo and Honker Bonker fall into this part number range.  This prototype even uses the Kid's Controller, which further supports this theory.


The only known version of Monstercise is rather incomplete, and much like Grovers Music Maker, there's actually very little gameplay involved.  The screen displays a group of monsters doing what appear to be Jumping Jacks.  At the bottom of the screen is a blue blob (which is assumed to be Cookie Monster) holding a spotlight.  Pressing the # or * buttons on the Kids Controller will cause Cookie Monster to move left or right, and when you get underneath a monster the spotlight will shoot a beam and highlight the monster.  Once the monster is highlighted, you can control his (its?) head, arms, or legs by pressing the the keys on the keypad.  Each body part seems to have two different actions (three if you count not doing anything).  The head can blink or nod up and down, the arms can either flap or pump up and down, and the legs can kick out or squat.  After awhile the whole thing begins to look like a creepy exercise video, which may be where the name came from.



Needless to say the market for children's games was almost non-existent in 1984, as the videogame industry was crashing fast.  Monstercise was probably scrapped due to lack of a market for such a game, or even possibly because of the gameplay was too similar to Grover's Music Maker (which was also not released).  Many game ideas which sound good for demo never evolve enough to be turned into full fledged games, and Monstercise may have suffered this fate.  It's unknown if any more work was ever done on this title.


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