Awesome Earl in SkateRock

Awesome Earl in SkateRock by Share Data

Does anyone remember Awesome Earl in SkateRock, circa 1988? He was supposed to be the sart of a franchise, with many other adventures “coming soon.” It’s a curious title for a video game. I imagine somebody in marketing picked up a copy of thrasher and randomly appropriated a feature title. SkateRock is a side scroller where you are supposed to avoid obstacles in order to “Join the coveted ranks of the Slime Rat Skaters!” That quote comes from a the game description online, but it’s not actually listed anywhere in the packaging that comes with the version I have. Inside the box there’s nothing more than a 5.25″ floppy, a very short instruction page, and a warranty card. I didn’t actually own this game in 1988, It wouldn’t have run on my Apple IIe. I own it now because I have poor impulse control. Radical! Bigger photos and screen captures from game play after the jump.

Is that Awesome Earl or Rob Roskopp? This game must have been a huge seller, for surely no consumer could resist the siren call of “Affordable Fun!” The packaging is slightly fancy, featuring a die cut window with prism film glued behind it.

Awesome Earl in SkateRock by Share Data: Box Cover

With just a quick glance, Awesome Earl is reminiscent of McDonalds’ Mac Tonight character.

Awesome Earl in SkateRock: Bac Cover and screenshots

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At the A prompt, type “SKATE” and hit RETURN!

Awesome Earl in SkateRock by Share Data 5.25" floppy disk

Awesome Earl in SkateRock: 5.25" Floppy

Not much to the instructions. Use the space bar to start the game and your arrow keys move. Don’t forget to adjust your trucks before the game. “How tight the trucks are set how fast, or slow, the skateboard turns.”

Awesome Earl in SkateRock instructions

Alternate cover found here. SkateRock Ricochet Simulator! Earl is actually listening to Skaterock in this version. Nice football helmet.

skaterock7

I would have taken some screen shots, but my Tandy™ compatible computer is in the shop. Here’s a couple I found at Moby Games.

As can be expected, the best graphics are found on the Commodore version. The worst color scheme is found on something the DOS version. Then there’s something called an Amstrad CPC version, which is between the two, though the straight DOS version has a better title screen than any other.

skaterockscreen1

skaterockscreen2

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skaterockscreen4

skaterockscreen5

skaterockscreen6

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7 Comments

  1. Eric C. on August 4, 2014 - Reply

    Not to be a stickler for this kinda thing, but the copyright in the title screen shows 1987, not 1988.

    Still cool tho, I hadn’t heard of this game before.

    • I noticed that too, but the copyright printed on the back of my box says 1988. It’s entirely possible that different versions were released on different platforms at different times, or that the program was finished in ’87, but not released until ’88. Or that the date on the box is a typo.

  2. It’s crazy to see just how far video graphics have come in the last 20 years.

  3. Hah, this reminds me of an old article I read about forgotten skateboarding games. These would have been a great addition to the article lol.

    http://www.gamesradar.com/14-skateboarding-games-forgotten-by-time/

    • Eric C. on August 5, 2014 - Reply

      Not the most complete history for skateboarding video games, but certainly a nice throwback.

      I had the privilege of participating in the production of a skateboarding game, not just a skateboarding game, but the worst one ever made. Possibly one of the worst games ever made!

      Boards & Blades

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101156232/boardsandblades.png

      I can save myself some immortal shame in being honest that I only did the texture artwork in that game. No programming, no beta testing, not much else.

      Think of the time, how exciting it would have been in your head in those days “Finally a skateboarding game and I get to help make it!”, all the fantasies of how cool it was going to be. Only to get the golden master FedEx’ed to you when it’s done and find out what a steaming unplayable pile of shit it is…. with your name on it.

      That’s my legacy, least I went on to do a wee bit more in computer games before running out of ambition.

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