Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ghost Rider: The Road to Vengeance phone game, 1992.

The bigger comics companies must have had kinds of expenses the smaller companies didn't, but they made up for it by apparently engaging in bizarre revenue schemes the smaller companies didn't also. Periodically you'd see these "phone games" advertised in a comic book's pages -- I always imagined that they were a bid to trick readers into spending a few minutes paying egregious 1-900 number rates in order to hear something that some Marvel interns came up with after work and a few beers, speaking goofily in the voices of their favorite characters to come up with some non-canonical adventures callers could direct by pressing 1 or 2 on their touch-tone phone.
This is all pure speculation, as I would never call such numbers. I know that there were some schemes such as I describe, such as Steve Jackson's F.I.S.T., but from the looks of things this one was more of a trivia-by-phone game. I can't speak to its precise gameplay details, but gee whiz, that's a lot of small print!
Audio games aren't video games, but they share a lot of territory (that liminal "computer game" intertidal zone: if you can make a phone maze, you can make a game.) And of course, unlike most "video" games, these ones could be played by the deaf! (somewhat expensively...)