There was an influx of cheap(ish) handheld electronic games at the tail end of the Seventies and beginning of the Eighties (think Grandstand’s ‘Invaders From Space’ game, a clone of Space Invaders). This was beginning of the home gaming revolution, which would quickly overtake Arcades as the preferred environment for gamers worldwide. Before the electronic handheld game, and during its early years, there was a competitor, made by Palitoy, called Pocketeers, a range of distinctly non electronic handheld offerings.
You can see why the pocketeers lost out to the electronic games – the Pocketeers take on ‘Space Invaders’ does not have the same dynamic quality that the likes of ‘Invaders From Space’ has;
Basically, you wound up the barriers, they moved from side to side and you had to fire a tiny ball and try and hit the U.F.O at the top of the screen. That was it. No waves of attacking aliens, no damage to shelters that protected you from the invaders missiles. Bit boring, with limited appeal. I remember being excited at the prospect of playing, but feeling VERY let down by the reality. Ho hum.
There is a bit of detail about the game here;
The excellent ‘World Of Stuart’ website has loads of information about the Pocketeers – well worth a look;
For an overview of Grandstand Games, and other handheld electronic marvels, have a look here;
For an exhaustive look at the handheld gaming, check this out;