The Dovetail Group

The Dovetail Group
Cover art for The Dovetail Group's 3rd title, Movie Musical Madness.

The Dovetail Group, Inc. was one of the earliest video game developers to specialize in music video games. The Dovetail Group's products were designed for second generation systems such as the Atari 800 and the Commodore 64. Notable games developed by The Dovetail Group include Halftime Battlin' Bands (1984), Coco-Notes (1984), and Movie Musical Madness (1984).[1][2] These games are notable as they represent some of the earliest examples of the music management subgenre of music video games.


Published by CBS Software in 1984,[3][4] Halftime Battlin' Bands is a multiplayer game that requires a player to compose a marching tune and then lead a rank of band members in complex formations to outmaneuver the opponent player[5] (Single-play mode means that the opponent was the computer). In order to prevent the other band from accomplishing their goals, a bench of weapons are available for use against the other band. As the two opposing teams compete, The Jazz Scats (a group of early beatnik cheerleaders[6][unreliable source?]) cheer for the team that is winning. The player is scored based on time it takes to complete a good routine and quality of the routine.[citation needed]

In Coco-Notes (also published by CBS Software[7]), the player is stranded on Coco-Note Isle where he must fish for musical notes in the form of coconuts[8][unreliable source?] and tunes in the form of fish. The player may then use these notes and tunes to create melodies in a free form manner. The game also features a quiz minigame where The Jazz Scats (a group of castaway hipsters) perform the first half of a jazz song and the player must then complete the song before Mr. Cool Clam (a square note-eating clam) eats the song.[5]

Movie Musical Madness is a 1-player[9][unreliable source?] music management game in which the player takes the role of a musical film director as he attempts to create an appropriate score for, select an appropriate plot for, and direct the actions of his group of actors, The Jazz Scats. The Jazz Scats (a group of bearded actors[10][unreliable source?]) can be set to perform in dozens of scenes ranging from city scenes to jungle scenes to outer-space scenes.[5]


  1. ^ "List of Games - Dovetail Group (The)". Retrieved 2008-12-11. [dead link]
  2. ^ The Dovetail Group. Movie Musical Madness. (CBS Software). Commodore 64. (1984) "Cover label: ©1984 CBS Software, A Unit of CBS, Inc. Program ©1984 The Dovetail Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Commodore 64™ is a trademark of Commodore Electronics Ltd."
  3. ^ "Halftime Battlin' Bands". Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  4. ^ The Dovetail Group. Halftime Battlin' Bands. (CBS Software). Commodore 64. (1984) "Title screen: CBS Software Presents HALFTIME BATTLIN' BANDS FEATURING... the JAZZ SCATS! Copyright 1984 The Dovetail Group"
  5. ^ a b c "Zoom". Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  6. ^ "Halftime Battlin' Bands". Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  7. ^ "Coco-Notes". RF Generation. 2008-11-05. 
  8. ^ "Coco-Notes". Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Movie Musical Madness". Gamebase 64. Retrieved 2008-12-11. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Movie Musical Madness". Retrieved 2008-12-11. 

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