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INTELLIVISION GAMING NETWORK

The Gaming Network featured "betting" games, with the word "bet" always in quotes or following the word "simulated" or "make-believe," lest people think Mattel was promoting gambling. In fact, the word "gambling" was forbidden in the packaging, instructions, and catalog descriptions of these games.

Gaming Network cartridges were released in green boxes. Several of these games were also released under the Sears brand name in different packaging.


Las Vegas Roulette

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#1118]
Also released by Sears
AKA Roulette
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: John Brooks
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION
Can you parlay your pile of chips into a fortune? Do you dare risk it all on a single number that you just know is due to come up on the next spin of the wheel? Here's a great party game with all the sound and color of the big casino. Place your "bets"...all "bets" down? Then here goes the big wheel of fortune -- clickety-click-click -- and cross your fingers as the wheel slows and the ball bounces toward your lucky number.


Horse Racing

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#1123]
Also released by Sears
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: Chris Hawley
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION
A great game of make-believe for up to 6 players. It's like spending a day at the races. Study the tout sheet. Pick a winner -- or a loser. The odds will change. Go for a long shot or play it safe. They're off and the excitement begins. Cheer your horse on. You could clean up -- on paper. A fun party game.


Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#2611]
Also released by Sears
AKA: Poker & Blackjack
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: David Rolfe
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!
Play this game on Intellivision Classics for PlayStation!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION
From the shuffle of the cards...to the clinking of the coins...to the felt green of the gaming table...to the shifty eyes of the dealer, Intellivision has captured the flavor and the color of casino card games.

Play poker! Five card stud or draw. Seven card stud. This dealer plays tough. He raises, drops, even bluffs. Play carefully because he'd like nothing better than to empty your wallet.

When you've had enough poker, relax with a few hands of blackjack. Play real casino style and double down when you feel hot!

FUN FACT: Because it came free with the Intellivision Master Component during 1980, 1981 and most of 1982, Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack had the most distribution of any Intellivision cartridge: over 1,900,000 shipped by the end of 1982. When it was eventually replaced by Astrosmash as the free cartridge, distribution fell dramatically; only 2,500 Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack cartridges were shipped in the first six months of 1983.


Las Vegas Craps

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [UNRELEASED]
AKA Craps
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics

PRODUCTION HISTORY
APh completed (and was paid for) this adaptation of the dice game Craps, but it doesn't appear to have ever been announced or scheduled by Marketing for release.


Royal Dealer

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#3758]
Working titles: Cards, Card Fun
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: Rich O'Keefe
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!
Play this game on Intellivision Classics for PlayStation!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION
If you don't always have someone to play cards with and you're not challenged enough by Solitaire, this cartridge introduces you to three players and three different card games: Hearts, Rummy and Crazy Eights. Your computer deals the cards and keeps score. You can choose to play against one, two or three players.

PRODUCTION HISTORY
While a fairly minor release (36,000 initial shipment), Royal Dealer had a major effect on the development cycle inside Mattel Electronics. Long overdue from APh, when the game was finished it went straight into production with only brief playtesting by a few other programmers. When it was too late, it was discovered that the cartridge contained a major -- and easy to come across -- bug that crashed the game. Because of the low sales expected, Marketing decided to ship the cartridge anyway with an errata slip, but they were furious. The Quality Assurance department, which had frequently been bypassed on late games such as this one and B-17 Bomber, was immediately given life-or-death authority over all future games: nothing was allowed to be released until the official game testers Traci Roux and Dale Lynn had signed off on it. They were merciless: stomping on a game then gleefully showing the videotaped results to the programmer when they found a bug. But it paid off; to this day, we haven't seen any reports of bugs in games they approved.

BUG: Recreating the bug discussed above was outlined in a September 30, 1982 memo from game tester Traci Roux to Joel Crain, head of Quality Assurance:

The following steps lead to the problems with Royal Dealer. They occur in all four games.

  1. You are rearranging your cards and have a card out of the deck. Then one of the players lays down her final card and that round ends.
  2. The new round starts and you hit the disk. The card from the last hand appears. Depending on how you rearrange and throw your cards, different errors can occur. (If you hit rearrange first, the game will progress normally, and the errors never occur.) The errors that occur are:
    1. You can rearrange the blank cards that are displayed. If you rearrange enough times,the program gets confused and the screen blanks out. You have to hit reset to start over.
    2. Sometimes when you lift up a card to rearrange, you see it where the card was. This usually occurs if this is one card by itself.
    3. If you have to draw 15 cards and they are all in a row, it usually will not let you pass. The result is that you have to hit reset to start over.
    4. In Rummy, if you win the round the music plays and the card screen comes up. The screen doesn't show "GIN" by your hand and a card shows up in your final hand that wasn't there before. Results are that you can't continue to the next hand, and you have to hit reset to start over.
    5. If a gap appears between your cards, you cannot get to the cards on the left side of the gap. The gap will go away if you can discard your cards on the right of the gap. If you need a heart, for example, and you draw until you have 15 cards, you may have to pass. If there is a heart on the left side of the gap, you cannot get to it, the program sees the heart, and will not allow you to pass. The result is you have to hit reset to start over.

Because of this bug, the following errata slip was added to the packaging: "Please correct your instruction booklet on Page 2 to read: You can only rearrange your cards each time it is your turn before playing or discarding a card from your hand. Once you have played or discarded, you must wait until your next turn before rearranging your cards."


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