Casio wasn’t the only player in the game calculator market in the 1980s.
Sharp made a brief, but impressive foray with a series of calculators called Wondertopia.
They made seven, the WN-100 through WN-106 in, what I can only assume, were very small numbers since I don’t recall seeing these at all growing up, and have really struggled to find in recent years.
Still, slowly, I have been accumulating them and am missing only two, the WN-104 and WN-106.
When I have time, I’ll write about the others too, but for now my most recent acquisition has been the WN-105.
The sometimes frustrating part about collecting game calculators that come without instruction manuals, is that you have to try and work out the game(s) yourself…which is never that easy. The Casio programmers were very clever, and from what I’ve seen of the Wondertopias, the Sharp programmers were equally talented.
So to the WN-105. The usually-reliable Dentaku Museum gave two equally random names/descriptions for the WN-105 – Ranks and Fast Track – neither of which really told me much.
From what I’ve been able to work out, you are trying to ascend the ladder on the left by progressing through the game.
The game itself involves moving a hammer back and forth and hitting heads when they appear. But not just any head, they have to be angry heads. At least I assume they’re angry, they have steam coming out of their ears. Even the ones without steam look a little disgruntled but the steamers need to be hit, and hit fast.
After you’ve bashed a swag of steamers the game rewards you by moving you one step up the ladder before starting all over faster and harder. Eventually you make it to the chair at the top whereupon the game ends (it also ends prematurely if you miss too many steamers) and you are given a final score.
Game two is mostly the same but does have a subtle twist. This time, the level that you are on is displayed in numeric form at bottom left. Each head that appears has a number with it so not only do you have to hammer the steamers but only those steamers whose numbers are the same or less than your current level. Confused? It’s easier once you’re playing it!