INTELLIVISION DIRECT TO TV
We're talking about graphically primitive games with enormous retro appeal and, in some cases, an addictive quality that remains amazingly strong all these years later.
[Intellivision 25] has a familiar controller look with a thumb stick and directional pad but it has 25 built-in games. All you do is plug its cable into your TV's audio and video inputs (after putting in batteries). I gave one to a delighted fellow reporter, and a reporter who sits near her immediately went out and bought four to use as presents.
Those kids I mentioned earlier put down their Game Boys to vie for time with the Intellivision 25, and the adults around them seemed to be having almost as much fun watching.
The full impact -- simplicity of use, timeless gaming, retro-nostalgic appeal and a $20 price -- makes the Intellivision 25 the gift you'll buy for yourself at the same time you buy it for someone else.
Intellivision game revivals are not new, and other vintage game brands have enjoyed celebrated resurrections as well. Lots of computer and handheld retro-game options exist.
Nothing I've seen, however, has the unpretentious charm of the Intellivision 25.
> Mike Antonucci
Unlike the Jakks Pacific Atari 10-in-1 video game that looks like the joystick controller of the Atari 2600, the Intellivision 25 unit bears no resemblance to any part of the original Intellivision. It is based on the Techno Source TV Play Power technology, which means what they are doing is having NES hardware emulate an Intellivision. It really looks like a Dreamcast controller more than anything else. Just as well. I've always thought that the original Intellivision 16-position thumb-pad controller must have been designed by someone with an utter hate and contempt for humanity. The nice thumb stick and D-pad lets me finally enjoy playing some of these great games that the original controller made less than fun.
The game selection interface is one of the better I have seen. After an initial title screen the system displays the name of the first game complete with a screen shot. The thumb stick or D-pad moves between games to select and a punch on the "A" button brings up the game.
By now you're probably asking, "But how do the games play?" The answer to that depends on how much of an Intellivision purest you are. The emulation of the games is not Intellivision perfect. The changes mainly take the form of differences in sound, very small graphic details and the controller scheme. These things may really bug someone who devoted many long hours to mastering the games of the Intellivision back when it was a new system. For everyone else, they are just going to have fun. The games are real retro-gaming goodness when taken just on face value. The unique Space Invaders/Asteroids mix of the classic Astrosmash has never been equaled.
For someone just looking to try the great, classic Intellivision games without hunting up an entire system and cartridges, I highly recommend the Intellivision 25. For the serious Intellivision player and collector...who are we kidding, you'll want to pick up the Intellivision 25 just to have a complete collection of Intellivision stuff. Either way - buy it!
> Jayson Hill
> Kenneth Terrell
"WE SAW, WE TRIED, WE LIKED, WE ENDORSE"
> Lou Harry, IMM Recommends
> Will Tuttle, Wired Gadget Lab
Now you can 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 (see lists at below right).
The suggested retail price in the United States for Intellivision 10 is only $12.99. Intellivision 25 is only $19.99! Each requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
The game systems were designed and manufactured by Techno Source Ltd. The Intellivision games were ported to the systems by the company's programmers. Adapting to the systems required some games to be modified, but the programmers worked with the original source code to keep them as close as possible to the look and feel of the classic games. Blue Sky Rangers Keith Robinson (TRON Solar Sailer) and Stephen Roney (Space Spartans, B-17 Bomber) consulted on the porting of the games.
"While we think the longtime Intellivision fans will get a kick out of these, they are really aimed at introducing a new generation to these fun, addictive games," says Robinson. "We've always felt that the real strength of Intellivision isn't nostalgia, but the timeless, high-quality game play."
Reflecting this, the look of the controllers and packaging is contemporary, aimed at young, active gamers. Response has been enthusiastic; as of August 2004, over 1,000,000 of the units had been sold worldwide.
The National Parenting Center has awarded its seal of approval to the Intellivision 25 and Intellivision 10 direct-to-tv video game systems.
In awarding the seal, the Center commented, "Who would have thought, in this age of ultra-real, 3D video games that the ancient games of our youth would still hold any interest for kids? Certainly not us. That is until we plugged in this self-contained video game system. These aren't the exact originals but the familiarity is unmistakable when you start up Astrosmash, Space Battle, Buzz Bombers and the like."
Staffed by volunteers, the testing facility of The National Parenting Center has parents, children, and educators play with, read about, and judge a variety of submitted products. Evaluated are each product's level of desirability, sturdiness, interactive stimulation and other ingredients essential in the make-up of a quality product.
The Intellivision 25 and Intellivision 10 are manufactured and distributed by Techno Source under license from Intellivision Productions. Introduced in late 2003, the video game systems have become bestsellers in markets around the world. In the US, KB Toys named them to their list of "Must-Have Toys" for the Christmas 2003 season.
This isn't the first time parents have recognized the Intellivision games. In 1999, Family PC Magazine gave the PC/Mac version of Intellivision Lives! its second-highest rating of any game released that year.
"A lot of parents concerned about sex and violence in video games tell us how happy they are to find us," says Intellivision Productions President Keith Robinson. "The kids find the games fun and exciting, and the parents don't find anything objectionable. It's funny, because back in 1982, we'd be concerned if people would find a game like Shark! Shark! too violent: Ooo! The little fishy got eaten! It seems so innocent today."
According to the mother of our eight year old tester who plays video games both on the TV and on the computer she found this system easy to navigate and extremely captivating!
"We plugged it into our car's DVD player during one of our long drives and it kept her going for 2 hours of the trip!! She's never played the old style games of the 80's but there were NO complaints about the graphics or level of difficulty! This system is great for many reasons. It's plug and play and doesn't take up a lot of space. You don't have to download anything or install anything. The clean-up is simple...just unplug the system and put it away. There are NO tapes, CDs or cartridges to fiddle with, AND...it's FUN!!"
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.
> Top Ten Gifts for Children 8 and Up
INTELLIVISION 25 $19.99 ORDER NOW!
INTELLIVISION 10 $12.99 ORDER NOW!
Games on Intellivision 25
Games on Intellivision 10
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I hook up two controllers to play games head-to-head?
No. All of the games are one-player only, or two players taking turns.
Are the games fully emulated?
No. The hardware in the controllers is based on the classic Nintendo game system. The games have been reprogrammed for the hardware.
What changes have been made?
We've worked to keep the games as close to the originals as possible, but some compromises had to be made. Is it right for you? As Jayson Hill says in his review (left column): "These things may really bug someone who devoted many long hours to mastering the games of the Intellivision back when it was a new system. For everyone else, they are just going to have fun."
Will a controller bought in one country work in another?
Depends. The controllers are either NTSC or PAL. A controller for one system will not work on the other. SECAM will be available in 2004.
A few of my favorite Intellivision games are missing.
Two-player only and voice games were left off of the controllers. Also, legal restrictions kept us from including some of the classic games that were based on movies or arcade machines.
I bought one and am having a technical problem.
See the Support Page >