Intellivision Reviews

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Grade C) - A decent first effort in the series, but wasn't a great game. You traveled through a maze and fought monsters but something was missing. A good game to get to see the progress from this to the next two dungeon games for this system.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin (Grade B+) - A much better game over the original. This time you have a 3D perspective with more monsters and better gameplay. The one flaw is that the monsters wait in the rooms for you to come, so if you don't want to fight them, you can leave the room. The monsters are actually well done and look good considering how limited this system is. This adds to the atmosphere which is a word you don't hear much when talking about classic game systems.

Astrosmash (Grade C) -This was Intellivision's answer to all the Atari arcade games.  Was it a good game?  Yes.  Was it a great game?  No.  While it did have its addictive quality, the speed of the game was so slow that you could play for a very long time, before dying.  Still, the concept was pretty good.  If they just added a few different skill levels to the game, we could have had a winner.

Auto Racing (Grade C-) - A decent racer with some solid graphics, but overall it was a bear to play.  The cars handled worse than go-carts or for that matter, worn shopping carts.  But it was fun to run across the field and off the race track.  Granted this got old quickly, especially when you realized that you could not smash through the houses on the game.  If you must race, there really isn't any other choices for the Intellivision.

Beauty and the Beast (Grade B+) - Leave it to Imagic to take a proven formula and change it.  The game is a Donkey Kong clone with a few good twists thrown in.  You must work your way up the side of the building to save your woman, Mabel, from some hick named Horrible Hank (guess with a name like that, you would be forced to kidnap a woman).  The game mixes in a bit of Crazy Climber as you need to ascend with open windows, but it is more side to side movement, like Donkey Kong.  A very good game and proof that Imagic was the best reason to own an Intellivision.

Bowling (Grade A) - This game is better than most bowling games for the NES and beyond.  It has a ton of stuff for such an old game.  There is lane slickness, ball weight, spin can be put on the ball, all kind of stuff that you would not expect from a game from this era.  It is a fun game and with up to four bowlers, it is a good party game. 

Boxing (Grade B+) - A good game where you get to choose from six different boxers, each with their own special abilities. Warning, to make the game fair you should eliminate the endurance boxer as he is hard as hell to beat. The other five boxers are power, speed, all around, and mystery boxer who could be any of them. The different boxers are different colors and you have a good selection of different punches to throw. A great party game.

Burgertime (Grade B) - Not as graphically impressive as the Colecovision, but it plays a little better and you have more screens. If you love the game, you should have both versions as they are somewhat different. One of the handful of arcade games for the system and one of the few that is worth owning. It is also an affordable game.

Demon Attack (Grade B) - The game that is alot like Phoenix, but still a great game. Fight wave after wave of demons to get to the mothership and destroy it. Fun shooter on a system that doesn't have alot of shooters.

Diner (Grade B+) - This is the sequel to Burgertime, one of my all-time favorites and is a great game too. The gameplay has been changed so it is a whole new game. There are similarities between the two but it is a new game. First off, there are new villains including an angry mug of root beer. This time you have to push the trash to the bottom of the screen. This time the screen is more 3D and not just 2D like the original. Overall a great game that is tough to find, but worth it.

Dracula (Grade B) - One of those unique games by one of my favorite third party companies, Imagic. This one pits you in the role of Dracula and your goal is to drink enough blood to make it to the next day. You have to go around and find victims and bite them. But beware of the police and the vulture when you are in bat mode. Plus the sun is coming up soon and you know that isn't good. Clever game that is fun every so often.

Frog Bog (Grade B+) - This game is so unique that I swore it was an Imagic game.  You are a frog and you and a buddy have to jump around and see how many bugs you can eat in a three minute time limit.  You can jump from lily pad to lily pad and even fall in the water (at least this is not like frogger and your frog can swim).  As you play, it turns from day to night and the bugs change to fireflies and you hear crickets in the background.  While it is a little weak in the one player department, it is a very solid two player game.  

Horse Racing (Grade B) - I had one trip to the race tracks in all my life and that was as a kid.  I remember seeing a smaller horse and told my parents to bet on it.  They reluctantly did and the horse won.  It was the first and last time I ever won a race.  Despite this, I still enjoy horse racing games and this is a very fun little game.  It is cool to be able and bet and race.  While nowhere near as deep as the newer racing games like Gallop Racer, it is still a good game and shows the roots of the very small genre with a very loyal following.

Ice Trek (Grade C+) - Another unique game from Imagic, the company that wasn't afraid to do unique games. This one has you going through different screens to complete the task. You have to make your way through a herd of caribou, get across a river of ice and other strange missions. It is a tough game at parts, but is a fun game. Possibly the first game to penalize you for killing.

Las Vegas Black Jack & Poker (Grade C) - A decent card game that is the pack-in with the system. Nothing special, just a card game with an average drawn dealer. It plays well, but hey it was a throw-in.

Major League Baseball (Grade B) - Possibly the best of the early baseball games and a big reason for the early success of the Intellivision. Still has some of the best control of fielders of any baseball game (you get to choose who goes after ball unlike all the new games where the computer determines who should go after it). The early version has the problem that you have to have two players and there are no fly balls. But if you find the later version (with the while label) it adds one player versus computer and fly balls, which makes it an even better game.

Microsurgeon (Grade B+) - Some people love this game, some can't stand it. I am one of the former. Keep this in mind when purchasing this game, it isn't for everyone. You have to go through a person's body and fight viruses, diseases and other such illnesses. You have aspirin, antibodies and other medicine that each work against certain illnesses, but not against others. you have to go to the parts of the body that are in the worst shape and try to heal them. Watch it because the clock is ticking and if you don't save those vital organs, you will be stuck in a cadaver. Great fun.

Mission X (Grade C) - A shooting type game in the vein of a Xevious, but you can move up and down like the space level of Zaxxon. While this is supposed to add more to the game, it only frustrates me as it seems that no matter if I am up or down, my enemy is the opposite. So I try to shoot, but hit nothing but air. At least I can bomb all the targets on the ground. A decent game, but one I am not too big on. Give me River Raid where anything in front of you is toast.

NHL Hockey (Grade B) - A great hockey game that still is fun to play. While the scoring tends to be higher than real hockey, it still is a fun game. The movement on the ice is quick and easy and even the the disc doesn't hinder it. One of the many fine sports games for this system.

Pacman (Grade D) - The game looks good. The game is fairly true to the arcade original. But the game plays terrible. Actually the game doesn't play bad, it is the darn Intellivision controller. Pacman wasn't made for the disc controller as it is tough to turn corners. You end up going places you don't want to and get killed. Too bad as it looks like a good port.

Shark! Shark! (Grade B-) - A fun little game that gets a little repetitive after awhile. You are a little fishy and you have to eat other little fishies while avoiding big fishies, sharks, crabs and jellyfish. As you eat more fishies, you grow and grow until you are the big fishie eating all the small fishies. That is it, a fun game that needs a little more to keep it interesting.

Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back (Grade C-) - While there is something cool about battling these larger walkers as they march along, the novelty wears off pretty quickly.  The game is very repetitive.  There is an endless parade of walkers and you just go along and try to kill as many as possible.  Couldn't they mix in anything else to break up the monotony? 

Super Slam Dunk Basketball (Grade B) - A second generation sports game from the system that ruled in the sports department. This game not only is fun as a basketball game, but you get to draft a team from a selection of players available. You have a salary cap and must determine where to spend your money. This adds a whole new twist to a fun game. 

Swords and Serpents (Grade B) - A very good game for the Intellivision and one more dungeon crawl for the system.  It is cool that you can have two players at one time (and you will need them to finish the game, trust me).  The final serpent is very well drawn and it is a fun game.  Once again, Imagic comes through.

Thin Ice (Grade B) - Another of those darn cute Penguin games. I just love them little buggers. This game has you in the role of a penguin who skates around and tries to dunk the other penguins in the water. If you skate all the way around them, the ice breaks and they go kerplunk. But that would be too easy, you have to have obstacles. In this you have seals who twirl you on their noses if you get too close and an angry polar bear who chases after you. You can confuse the bear by swimming in the water or by retracing your skating steps and confusing the dumb bear. Great little game that proves that penguins rule!

Towers of Doom (Grade A) - This is one those later Intellivision games that came out after the system was all but dead. Some consider this the third of the Dungeons & Dragons series, but I am not sure if it is or is its own game. This is a great game that has a wide variety of monsters to kill, bunch of levels and tons of features. One big advance over Treasures of Tarmin is that the creatures don't just wait in the room for you, they can come out and chase you down! A great addition to this game. This game is one of the best for the system and worth the money you will have to pay to get it (it usually goes for between $20-$30).

Triple Action (Grade D) - This game is much like the triple game cart for the Odyssey II.  It is quantity over quality.  The racing game is pretty weak as is the tank game.  The plane game is decent.  Not great, not even good, but decent.  While it was not worth the $30.00-$40.00 that you would have paid back then, it isn't bad for the dollar or two it will set you back now.  That is about how much value you will get out of it.

Tron Discs of Tron (Grade B-) - While not as good as the Discs of Tron arcade game, it is still a fun game.  You move around the screen and throw your discs at the bad guys.  It plays well and is a bit addictive, but it really needs a few more bad guys to spice it up.  What is even better is the Deadly Dogs version of this game on Dig Dug, which features you battling the hot dogs from Burgertime. 

Utopia (Grade A) - One of those great, original games that made owning an Intellivision a must. This was probably the first sim game and the predecessor to all the God games that are the rage. You controlled an island and had to build the economy with factories, crops, schools, hospitals, fishing boats and other items. You didn't just build here and sit back and watch it grow, no you had different problems to deal with including rebels, pirates and nature itself in the form of storms and hurricanes. These are computer controlled and completely random so you never know where it will strike. The best feature of this game is that you can have two people at once and battle it out. Great game and a must for anyone who owns an Intellivision.

Worm Whomper (Grade B)-An enjoyable game for the Intellivision and one that reminds me of a sideways Centipede. You are a farmer and have to protect your crops from hordes of hungry insects that are bent on leveling your crops. You are armed with your trusty bug spray and must do everything possible to keep them at bay. As in the Activision tradition, you have to keep blasting them and they get faster and tougher. One real nice feature that I really liked is that the game doesn't start until you begin spraying. So if you have to answer the phone or nature, you can take a break and not come back to barren crops.

 

 

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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