Tag Archives: INTV Corporation

10 Best Intellivision Games

LISTS: as decided by The King of Grabs, in descending order of greatness:

1. Treasure of Tarmin
2. Tower of Doom
3. Cloudy Mountain
4. B-17 Bomber
5. Lock ‘n’ Chase
6. Stadium Mud Buggies
7. Chip Shot Super Pro Golf
8. Bump ‘n’ Jump
9. Auto Racing
10. Dracula

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellivision

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Chip Shot Super Pro Golf, Intellivision

Although it’s not quite Leaderboard, Chip Shot Super Pro Golf is a decent enough golf game on the Intellivision console. Arguably even the best.

Graphically it’s quite nice, with the golfer represented as a sprite in a black box and the various courses shown from an overhead view.

Making shots is easy enough; you rotate a direction cross; choose your club, then make a double press on the fire button to decide shot strength and amount of ball slice/hook. That said: there does seem to be an element of luck involved as wild shots are the norm when first playing. Eventually (if you practise enough) you’ll get the hang of it and start getting the ball onto the green.

On the putting green the view switches to a closer overhead view of the hole; markings on the ground indicate whether there are any slopes on the green. Sand bunkers and water traps must obviously be avoided.

Chip Shot Super Pro Golf can be played solo, or with one other human opponent, and there are plenty of courses available to play, and even a built-in course designer. It’s very simple stuff, though, so don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.

Thin Ice, Intellivision

Also known as Duncan’s Thin Ice, this cute arcade-style action game was released by INTV Corporation in 1986.

It says “copyright 1983” on the title screen, though, which gives away a possible secret… I’m willing to bet that Thin Ice was in development at Mattel – and shelved – but later released ‘as is’ when INTV Corporation took over the Intellivision.

I just read some guy on the internet saying that his bet (about this game) was that it was “rushed out the door” to get it to market… Duh, nope. Quite the opposite. Look at the title screen. It doesn’t say “copyright 1983” for no reason…

Thin Ice looks quite nice. It has cute, colourful graphics, but the gameplay is definitely super flawed. There just isn’t much to it, and what there is is almost impossible. All the hallmarks of an unfinished game being sent to market…

Stadium Mud Buggies, Intellivision

Stadium Mud Buggies is a fun isometric racing game for one or two players. It was released on Intellivision cartridge by INTV Corporation in 1988.

In many way Stadium Mud Buggies reminds me of the classic Racing Destruction Set, or Rare‘s R.C. Pro Am, but it stands on its own two wheels as arguably the best racing game on the Intellivision.

In the single-player game the screen scrolls smoothly with the car in the centre. In two-player, both cars remain on-screen and the losing car plays catch-up, which isn’t ideal, but it is what it is – a simple racing game.

Graphically, Stadium Mud Buggies is quite lovely. Sound-wise it’s not too bad either, with pleasing engine noises and spot effects. There are nine different courses in total, so plenty of room to burn some rubber in this fun buggy sim.

Tower of Doom, Intellivision

Tower of Doom is a Roguelike RPG with mazes that must be explored and monsters that must be defeated in order to escape the dungeon.

There are seven different quests, of increasing difficulty, and the player can choose to play as any one of ten different classes (Novice, Warrior, Archer, Knight, Trader, Barbarian, Waif, Friar, Warlock, and Warlord). The ultimate aim is to reach the stairs on each level, and to keep going down until you reach the exit.

Tower of Doom is an excellent game, although a couple of things let it down slightly. Firstly, the screen ‘real estate’ isn’t great. The sandy-coloured border is way too bright and ugly, and way too big – the game would’ve looked better (and been easier on the eyes) with a smaller, black (or darker) border. Secondly, the inventory is a bit clunky. Dropping items to make room for others is a bit hit and miss because you can only drop items when you have room around you, and often it won’t let you. Other than that: Tower of Doom is an extremely enjoyable game and is still fun to play now.

Note: Tower of Doom was reportedly in development (as another licensed AD&D title, to follow Treasure of Tarmin) at Mattel Electronics before INTV Corporation took over the Intellivision. The game was unfinished at the time of the take-over (1984), but was later completed and released onto the market in 1987 (minus the AD&D license).

Diner, Intellivision

Diner is an unofficial/official sequel to BurgerTime, created by Mattel Electronics exclusively for the Intellivision in 1987. ‘Unofficial’ because it’s not really counted as canon, and ‘official’ because Mattel at least got permission from Data East before releasing it.

To many, Diner is the ‘killer app’ on the Intellivision, although, to me, it seems a little over-rated. It’s still reasonable fun to play though.

Again you play chef Peter Pepper, only this time you are kicking food down the screen and back onto a plate at the bottom. While at the same time avoiding the various chasing ‘rotten food’ that will kill you if touched. You can again throw pepper to stun enemies that are in your way, just like in BurgerTime.

Diner has four skill levels and a variety of different levels. What slightly sours the game for me are the enemies that inexplicably appear on top of you after regenerating, and the not-very-forgiving collision detection. The basic idea behind Diner is flawed, really. There isn’t a great deal to it and I can’t help but disagree with those who say that it’s the “best Intellivision game ever”. It isn’t. It’s not bad – it just isn’t that great either.

The development history of Diner is quite interesting too. It started out as Masters of the Universe II, written by Ray Kaestner. When Mattel re-evaluated their games in development they decided to change it into a BurgerTime sequel.

Doesn’t currently have its own Wikipedia page, though.

Intellivision Special

The Intellivision video game console was launched by Mattel Electronics in 1979. It was a direct competitor to the Atari VCS (aka the 2600) and doesn’t tend to get much love, because – like the Atari 2600 – the games are pretty basic. The disc-like controllers were unorthodox too, although each controller does have a numeric keypad, which allows for some complex gaming.

The Intellivision does play host to a number of classics in its catalogue. Games that have stood the test of time, in spite of the machine’s limitations.

This week I’m going to be publishing a series of Intellivision game grabs, plus write-ups about each of the games.

Here are links to what was published:
Lock ‘n’ Chase
Diner
B-17 Bomber
Bump ‘n’ Jump
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Armor Battle
Tower of Doom
Stadium Mud Buggies
Defender
Beauty and the Beast
Microsurgeon
Dracula
Thin Ice
Chip Shot Super Pro Golf
Auto Racing

Cheers,
The King of Grabs

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellivision

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