Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toy Review: Omni Entertainment System

The Omni Entertainment System is a bit of a wonder to me.  It is a multi player quiz game that is run off an 8 track tape.  This confounds me as I can't really think of a way an 8 track could work as a tape drive. 

The basic game is pretty similar to the multi player version of the Quiz Wiz.  It allows four players at answer various questions, you are presented with a series of buttons to answer the questions.  The difference here is you were not reading from a book but rather the tape provided pre-recorded questions from a host.  Some of the hosts were the quiz show masters of the day and even Vincent Price shows up on one.  There were only a few different tapes available for the Omni, and it appears that the original launch series is it, no second series.

The odd thing about the game is those 8 tracks.  If you know how an 8 track works, its a single spool that uptakes while it unwinds.  This is opposed by a cassette tape which had two reels or even a 9 track tape drive.  The difference functionally is that the 8 tracks don't allow rewind but rather just play forward. Basically this made them an infinite forward loop.  I am not sure this could work in a tape drive.  There is the other option that the tapes were just to play the questions and that the device was pre-programmed for each quiz.  This would have made the device not compatible with expansions.  I am not sure if this or the dependence on the 8 track was the cause of the product not launching subsequent releases.

Really as a game it's sort of ahead of its time.  This would probably make a fantastic iPhone application.  Allowing people to answer each from their own device.  As I have mentioned in my Quiz Wiz review, I could even allow players to each have their own questions.  Sorry that is sort of my dream quiz game where everyone has their own area of expertize.

The 8 tracks as I know them are the original launch titles

Words Words Words
Music Music Music
Password +Plus
For the Fun of It
Sesame Street
TV Trivia
Movie Trivia
Baseball Quiz
Football Quiz
Sports Quiz
ReAction Quiz
And  a Variety 8 Track that came bundled with the toy itesel

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