The ActionMax was not exactly a hot seller in the late 80’s when it was released. For one, it relied too much on the gamer to own other hardware, such as an expensive VCR. Also, games were not exactly games, rather they were pre-recorded footage on VHS tapes- think early Sega CD Full Motion Video games like Night Trap and Sewer Shark (who knows what system they were originally planned for?). Obviously sales were horrible, even worse than what Sega experienced with their Master System console in North America (calm down UK readers). There were only a handful of titles released for the ActionMax and the only one worth checking out was left on the developer’s kit.
Having just been released in September, Bubba’s Buck Blastin’ is the first ActionMax game in nearly 30 years. It is also the first homebrew release, that I know of anyhow, for the ActionMax and it holds the place of being the sixth title released of all time.
For those that are not familiar with ActionMax games, like I was a few minutes ago, games are played on an external device and the ActionMax console acts like an interpreter for the controls. This is similar to how games played on the Pioneer LaserActive system when you were using the Turbo Grafx-16 and Sega Genesis modules. The video streams off the VHS tape, or DVD thank to how the ActionMax was designed, and you use the light gun that came with the console and the sensor bar which tells the console where you are aiming on the TV. Quite an ingenious design implementation that has left the ActionMax open to upgrades in technology. You could literally play Blu-Ray ActionMax games if someone made one- or Xbox One or Playstation 4 (via DVD/video) implemented titles. Interesting.
Head over to AtariAge if you want to purchase a copy of Bubba’s Buck Blastin’ for about $10.