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Machine Memories: Intellivision

On 02/04/2023 at 10:35 AM by KnightDriver

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I didn't own this back in 1980 when it came to the U.S., but my next door neighbor had one. I spent a lot of time over there playing with him and all the other 13 year old kids that came over. 


This was considered the ultimate sports gaming machine and it was. The circular pad on the controller gave you much more fluid and exact movement than Atari 2600, and the number pad gave you lots of options. It was especially great with Baseball. You moved the players with the circle pad, selected them with the number pad, and hit and pitched with the side buttons. It worked really great. We also played a lot of hockey, football, and horse racing. 

My favorites, however, weren't the sports games. They were: Sea Battle, a very early real-time strategy game; B-52 Bomber, a flight sim that utilized the voice module peripheral; and the two Advanced Dungeons & Dragons action-rpg games. 

TV Time: Intellivision II? I never knew this existed until a few years ago when my buddy bought one at a game store. I like its smaller size, but my friend doesn't like the slightly different feel of the controller. The number pad is constructed slightly differently which makes selecting players in Baseball a little less quick. The original controllers work best. Also, he has the keyboard accessory shown that he got from a flea market many years ago. That thing is mondo rare these days. 



Cary Woodham

02/05/2023 at 07:39 AM

My uncle had an Intellivision back in the day.  I remember my cousin and I playing Frog Bog for what seems like hours back then.  Not sure why that entertained us so much, but that's kids for ya.  I have a PS2 Intellivision collection that's really good.


02/06/2023 at 02:01 PM

I encountered the Atari version of Frog Bog called Frogs and Flies a few years ago and my friend and I had a blast with it. It's so simple but it's a great competitive game with two people. I went and played the Intellivision Frog Bog after that. I slightly favor the Atari version because of its incredibly simple controls. 


02/05/2023 at 12:00 PM

Even back in the day, critics praised Intellivision as the best sports console out there. I saw Intellivision in stores, and I occasionally see them in the wild at used game shops. I'm mostly familiar with the games they had that were ported to the 2600. Those are the ones where the cartridges are Intellivision cartridges with an Atari 2600 adapter attached to them. They were generally simpler versions of Intellivision games and slightly changed names. I played Astroblast (Astrosmash) and Space Attack (Space Battle), which I remember because you couid set up chain-reaction explosions of enemy ships.


02/06/2023 at 02:09 PM

Ooo, chain reaction explosions. I'll have to check out those games sometime. 

I recently played Baseball again on a Intelivision II with my friend. It's still super fun. You can really control all the players on the field and make crazy pitches. 

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