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INTELLIVISION

Children's Learning Network


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CHILDREN'S LEARNING NETWORK

Intellivision was promised as an educational as well as an entertainment product, and one of the first four titles released, The Electric Company Math Fun reflected this. However, Mattel quickly saw where the money was -- sports and arcade titles -- and educational games were put on the back burner.

Only two titles came out as part of the orange-boxed Children's Learning Network. No others were even in development. (Partly this was due to the belief that the Intellivision Keyboard Component was better suited to educational games.) Each of these games ultimately sold just under 150,000 copies -- low by Intellivision standards.


The Electric Company Word Fun

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#1122]
Trademark used under license from Children's Television Workshop, Inc.
AKA Word Fun
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: Kevin Miller
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION
How those little monkeys love to learn! Watch them swing through the jungle, capturing letters with their tails and making words.

Three great learning games. Find A Word has little learners weaving words in and out of each other. Word Hunt sends them into the jungle looking for missing letters.

And Word Rocket has them blasting vowels into the sky to make words out of clouds of consonants. It's the fun and easy way to improve vocabulary skills.

PRODUCTION NOTES
Find A Word was renamed Crosswords between the printing of the catalogs and the release of the cartridge.

The three games in the Word Fun cartridge were recycled in the Learning Fun II cartridge from INTV Corporation.

BUG: The game won't work when plugged into an Intellivision II. A feature to keep early Coleco-produced Intellivision cartridges from working in the Intellivision II inadvertently keeps Word Fun from working also. Marketing didn't feel Word Fun was important enough to hold up release of Intellivision II to fix the problem.

FUN FACT: The fact that Word Fun didn't work with Intellivision II allowed one group of kids to get copies of every Intellivision game for $1.95 each. Ringleader Mark Thompson wrote to explain the scam:

"When the Intellivision II came out, we found out that Word Fun didn't work on the new version and so we called Mattel to see what was going on. When we found out that Mattel was offering to replace the Word Fun cartridges with any other game we wanted, we went down to their place in Hawthorne.

"One day I went to Kay-Bee Toys for new games and saw that Word Fun was only $1.95. To make a long story short, every Kay-Bee store in the LA area was able to sell completely out of Word Fun! We would get a carload of our friends (I was 14 at the time) and make a field trip of going down to turn in our Word Fun cartridges for new games. We'd have about 6 people in the car and each of us would turn in two Word Fun games at a time about once a week (a self-imposed limit because I didn't want to ruin this). The fact that we were able to do this for about six months surprised me. Plus I made a lot of money selling the newest cartridges for about $25 apiece."


The Electric Company Math Fun

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#2613]
Trademark used under license from Children's Television Workshop, Inc.
AKA Math Fun
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: Kimo Yap
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION
Who would guess that learning basic arithmetic skills could be this much fun!

To solve the math problems, two players race their clever gorillas along the river bank, ducking past obstructing animals.

The math gets more challenging when the players are ready for it. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division -- all are more fun with Math Fun.

PRODUCTION HISTORY
Although it has a higher production number than Word Fun, Math Fun was released first -- it was one of the original four cartridges test marketed in 1979.

Initially, the solutions for math problems had to be entered ones column first. For example, when subtracting 5 from 24, the solution, 19, would have to be entered as 9, then 1. While this was designed to duplicate how people solve problems with pencil and paper, many customers complained; intuitively, they wanted to simply press in 1 then 9. A running change was ordered so that later copies of the cartridge use this intuitive method of entry, instead.

The Electric Company Math Fun was recycled as the game Math Master on the Learning Fun I cartridge from INTV Corporation.


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