June 2003


Soon you'll be able to play your favorite Intellivision games without a console or computer! Just plug Intellivision 10 or Intellivision 25 into your TV set and away you go!

Each unit is a complete video game system - with games - built into a hand controller. An 8-foot cable from the controller plugs into the video and audio jacks found on the front of most modern TV sets. A menu displayed on your TV screen lets you choose from any of the games in the unit.

The suggested retail price in the United States for Intellivision 10 is only $14.99. Intellivision 25 is only $24.99! Each requires 4 AA batteries (not included).

Intellivision 10 and Intellivision 25 will be on the shelves in some countries, including England and Italy, as early as mid-July. In other countries it will be available after the beginning of the new year. In the United States, it should begin appearing in stores around mid-August. (To support the retailers, we do not plan on selling the units on our web site.)

We do plan to exhibit Intellivision 10 and Intellivision 25 in our booth at the 2003 Classic Gaming Expo, August 9 and 10 in Las Vegas. This will be one of the first opportunities to purchase these units. You could even have the boxes autographed by the Blue Sky Rangers!

More information, including game lists >

Visit the Classic Gaming Expo web site >


Regular readers of this newsletter know that Intellivision Productions President Keith Robinson is a cartoonist. He did the artwork for Thin Ice, Diner, and a number of other Intellivision box covers.

Since 1985, his comic strip Making It: A Survival Guide for Today has run in newspapers nationwide.

He has a new weekly panel, iMatters, that appears exclusively on the web. The panels are a humorous look at the presentation industry (PowerPoint, office projectors, video conferencing, etc.).

For those of you so inclined, and you know who you are, Keith has a full-page color cartoon in the July issue of Playboy, on newsstands now. The cartoon, "Safe 'N' Sane Tips for Showering Together," is on page 151.

July 17 to 20, Keith will return to Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center. Over 50,000 attendees will meet hundreds of artists and writers from the worlds of comic books, cartoons, science fiction and fantasy films, and video games. Keith will be in the National Cartoonist Society booth signing copies of his books, Making It: A Survival Guide for Today and 5 Years of Making It. And if you happen to have a copy of Playboy or of a Thin Ice box, he'll be happen to sign that, too!

If you're coming to the show, please drop on by!

Info on Comic-Con 2003 >

Read the iMatte cartoon panel by Keith Robinson >

Read the Making It comic strip by Keith Robinson >


The 1982 SIGGRAPH conference was held at the Anaheim Convention Center. The conference is a huge annual show, started in 1974, which brings together professionals working in "Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques." Since Anaheim was less than an hour down the freeway from Mattel Electronics, management felt that some programmers and artists should be sent in case there was anything to learn that was applicable to video games.

Because they all had some graphics background, Daniel Bass, Peggi Decarli, and Keith Robinson were chosen to attend.

The day of the conference, the three met early in the morning at Mattel so they could drive down to Anaheim together.

A little before five that afternoon, Dan, Peggi, and Keith returned. They marched up the stairs to the Intellivision department singing "It's a Small World." They all had on Mickey Mouse-ear hats and were waving Disneyland pennants. They stopped when they saw their fellow programmers glaring at them.

After a moment of silence, someone asked, "Soooo, how was the conference?"

The three of them looked at each other nervously and started stammering things like, "Um, the conference? Oh, uh, great. Learned a lot..."

Then they started singing "It's a Small World" again and marched off to their cubicles.

Only later did they let on that after a long day of sitting in technical seminars, they decided to swing by a Disneyland souvenir stand located outside the theme park to buy the hats and pennants. It was just a joke.

That was their story then and, to this day, they're sticking to it.


Gerald Kloos of Frankfurt, Germany writes:

I still remember very clearly when I played Space Armada way back in 1983 on my Intellivision. One day I made it to the level when the red mothership moved not only from left to right but also down and up on the screen. I loved this variation because it was a total surprise in gameplay for all "Invaders" lovers and also coolly programmed. Now my question: All over the years I wanted to know if there are other variations beyond this level in the game??? I never made it to higher levels but I HAVE to know if there are even more gameplay variations to come!!!

...and in a related question, Rick Reynolds writes:

I'm wondering about one of my favorite games: Space Armada. I used to play that for hours! I always wanted to get to the next level where the enemy armada would throw some new trick into the mix. Do you guys have a listing of all the things that would change from level to level? I'd like to know if I have seen all the variations. Here's what I've seen based on a recent replay via Intellivision Lives!:

  • Levels 1-2: basic Armada
  • Levels 3-4: ships start dropping reddish-brownish looking bombs that explode on impact
  • Levels 5-6: ships in second row are invisible until they shoot (others invisible too?)
  • Levels 7-8: ships start sending slow-moving pink homing missiles that follow you until they explode on impact with something (you, a bunker, an exploding ship)
  • Levels 9-10: all ships are invisible
  • Levels 11-12: all ships are visible again, but now they can fire a spinning, green, fast-moving homing missile (very deadly!)
  • Level 13-14 (??): the mother ship that moves across the top of the screen starts moving downward into the armada. I didn't last very long at this point, so I didn't catch whether or not the mother ship actually starts firing or not.

Do more changes happen at levels 15+? Did I leave anything out?

Keith Robinson, president of Intellivision Productions replies:

You say you didn't last long on the last level. Did you know that once you are defeated, you can continue playing the last level at a slower speed?

When the game is over, press ENTER. You will see GAME OR PRACTICE? Press 2 for PRACTICE, then ENTER.

You will be returned to the last level you were on, but with all of your bunkers restored and 6 laser guns. The game will play slower than before. If you beat the level, you will start over on the same level - you never progress to the next one. Once you lose, you can again choose PRACTICE to play the same level.

Using this technique, you should be able to discover for yourself whether the "mother ship" UFO starts firing. Having said that, I will tell you that 13 is the last level with new variations, so you've both seen everything Space Armada has to throw at you. But if you want to see something new, there are a couple of alternate title screens that programmer John Brooks hid in the cartridge.

The first is the title screen the game had during its early development, when John called it "Space Beasties."

To see this screen, press and hold CLEAR and ENTER on your Intellivision's left hand controller, press and hold the two lower action keys on the right controller, then hit RESET.

After Mattel officially named the game Space Armada, John changed the title screen to one with the name "Spaz Armada" while he finished the game.

To see this screen, press and hold 4 and 6 on your Intellivision's left hand controller, press and hold the two lower action keys on the right controller, then hit RESET.

When Space Armada was complete, John put the real, final title screen on the game, but he safely tucked away his two temporary title screens for posterity.

Play Space Armada on Intellivision Lives! >

Got a question for the Blue Sky Rangers? Write us here >


108 of you entered last month's trivia contest. The question:

What is the only case where the Intellivision cartridge and the M Network Atari 2600 cartridge with the same title are entirely different games?

Eighty-one of you had the correct answer: Kool-Aid Man. (The explanation of this can be found on our web site and on the Intellivision Lives! CD-ROM in the Kool-Aid Man production notes.)

From the 81 correct answers, the random number generator at selected Jerold Stevens of Bakersfield, California as the winner of an Intellivision coffee mug.

Congratulations, Jerold! And thanks to all of you for playing!

Now try this question:

Space Armada and many other games have hidden names or messages in them. But which released Intellivision cartridge has an entire other game hidden in it that can be consistently revealed with the right key presses?

Submit your answer >

(If you have trouble following the above link, or if submitting your answer fails, type the URL into your browser and try again.)

We'll pick a random winner from all complete, correct entries received before NOON PDT, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25. The winner will receive an official Intellivision Coffee Mug - just like we use here in the office for serving up steamin' hot java!



View previous newsletters >


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