This was the last of the Casio game calculators I needed to find, and it took more than a decade to find it — in the Ukraine of all places!
The two latter calculators were rare but I managed to find two of each eventually. But the KG-200 always eluded me. I think I’ve seen maybe one on eBay in 15 years and I just didn’t bid high enough, it went for some crazy amount. So I waited for another one to appear. And waited. And waited…
Eventually I came across some photos doing a Google Image search but there was no detail, other than a phone number. And the website was in Russian, the Cyrillic kind.
I sent an SMS anyway, in English, and no response. That was in 2014.
Fast-forward to September 2016 and I thought I’d give it another crack since another two years had passed and no sign of the KG-200 anywhere. This time I sent an SMS in Russian, and got a reply! It belonged to a bloke in the Ukraine who was, after some back and forth Cyrillic messages helpfully translated by Google, prepared to sell it to me.
There’s no Paypal in Ukraine, so I used Western Union to transfer the funds. That was a bit of a rigmarole too, since their website pointblank refused to do the transfer, so had to visit a local WU office to do it manually. It went through OK though and the calculator dispatched.
Having never received anything from Eastern Europe I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get to NZ or what the Ukranian postal service was like, but inside two weeks it was on my doorstep.
And this game was worth the wait. Well, possibly not the full 10-year wait, but the anticipation of it finally arriving was not wasted.
Complete with the box and (fortunately) the instruction manual, this was a great package to receive. Casio created a game, in the flip-calc/membrane key style, which combines different races (track and steeplechase) and weather conditions (dry to wet) and gives odds on the horses’ chances based on these.
Before you even start racing, you have to choose a horse that has the best chance of winning based on the race/conditions and then play skilfully enough that it really does beat the others.
You have a power meter and, depending how fast you are going, depends how quickly this is depleted. Race too fast to begin with and you’re out of power so lose the race. Don’t get up enough speed to make the jumps and you hit the barriers, pushing you back further.
The sound is pretty basic (along the same lines as the other calculators in this ‘stable’ — the CG-250 Miracle Pinball and CG-260 Block Burster) but are more than adequate.
TBH you’re pretty unlikely to ever find one of these unless you get very lucky. Fortunately if you just want to have a crack at the game, you can find the KG-100 (no calculator) much more easily.