The Simon Memory Game for Children or Adults: It's Still Around
Have You Ever Played Simon? - Just a quick visitor poll....
What's your Simon experience?
One of My Favorite Games Growing Up (And Then Some)
When I was a kid and couldn't sleep, I'd sometimes take out my Simon, turn the sound off, and play it by sight only. No need to turn on my bedroom light or wake my parents with all the musical notes.
The game was more challenging to play without the sound, but I played it so much I became really good at it. Whether or not the game actually helped my memory long-term, I don't know, but I do have a pretty good one ... so maybe I owe some of those brain cells to Simon.
I was recently thinking about what to get my friend's 10 year-old daughter for Christmas, thinking about what my favorite toys were when I was her age, and Simon came to mind. So I thought I'd check to see if it was still around. Lo and behold, the classic memory game seems to be going strong decades later, and there are quite a few more versions now than when I was young, including several variations and handhelds too.
A Quick Look at the Game in Action - Watch this short video to see how Classic Simon works.
The premise is simple, but the game isn't. The farther you go, repeating the sequences, the faster it goes, too. So, it's not just the length of the sequence that's challenging, but also the speed the game goes.
Some Facts and Figures
Did you know....
- Simon was first manufactured by Milton Bradley, which is now owned by Hasbro. It was introduced in 1978 at Studio 54 in New York City.
- The toy is named after the game of Simon Says, but the game itself is based on Atari's "Touch Me" arcade game from 1974. That game wasn't very popular, because the buttons were all black and the sounds were very unpleasant.
- The sounds are based on the notes of a bugle.
- The notes of the Simon game are: A for the red lens; A an octave higher for the green lens; D for the blue lens; and G for the yellow lens.
- Atari released a handheld version of Touch Me in 1978 after Simon was released. It was basically a small clone of Simon with some minor differences.
- Some versions of Simon have audio themes of animals -- a cat, a dog, a pig and a cow -- football sounds, space sounds and other variations.
- Simon has inspired a number of other clones, which you can read about in this Wikipedia article.
- The original Simon game had a black casing. Newer versions have a translucent casing like the one pictured above-right
Variations on the Game - All of which test the player's (or players) memory AND eye-hand coordination.
When I was a kid, I had just your basic Simon, with a black case and red, green, yellow, and blue lenses like the one pictured above. As far as I remember, there was only one type of game. You could adjust the difficulty level, but that was it. Nowadays, there's not only Simon Classic but also Simon Bounce, Simon Surprise, Simon Rewind and more....
The snazzy-looking Simon Trickster includes the classic Simon game along with three new games that weren't part of the package when I was a Simon-playing kid:
- SIMON Classic - You press the lenses to repeat the patterns
- SIMON Bounce - The colors "bounce" from lens to lens, and you have to follow them to repeat the pattern.
- SIMON Surprise - Every lens is the same color, so you have to remember the patterns by location only. (That sounds tough!)
- SIMON Rewind - This is Simon Classic with a brain-straining twist! You have to remember the patterns BACKWARDS!
With Simon 2, you can play the traditional Simon games against the machine or, instead, you can turn over the unit for to play against a human opponent. All seven games are variations on the original Simon -- an increasing sequence of flashing and beeping colored buttons, or lenses, which have to be repeated by alternating opponents.
The Simon 2 has non-scuff rubber feet and takes three AA batteries (not included). There are adjustable skill levels on most of the games -- a sequence of as few as eight or as many as 31, for example.
And Here's a Blast from the Past
This vintage, double-sided Super Simon has multiple levels of play and 5 different games.
I've actually never seen a Simon that wasn't round.
More Fun Simon Memory Game Stuff
From Accessories to Apps
Here's a cool mini-Simon you or the kids can play on the go, like on road trips (as long as you're not driving!) or when camping, snuggled in your sleeping bag or chilling in your camp chair.
I have one of these, which I keep in my "STUFF" basket on the kitchen counter. I often pick it up for a try as I watch my husband cook dinner (it's safer if I stick to Simon and cleaning).
This little game works on three CR123A batteries. Now, if only it came with headphones...
A Look At the Mini Simon: It doesn't have to be big to make you think!
The Mini Trickster
It's another mini-Simon for mobile memory games. This handheld version of the game features two classic Simon games, a Simon Trickster game, and one new challenge.
Super Simon: The App
The classic Simon memory game is now available on your Android device.
You can try this app right now on your computer. You control the application with your mouse and keyboard to experience it like you would on your phone, so you can test it out before you buy.