INTELLIVISION ROCKS (PC & MAC)

REVIEW

"A CORNUCOPIA"
Intellivision Rocks is the second retro compilation for PC and Mac owners to come from the ex-Blue Sky Rangers at Intellivision Productions. The Rangers are the original programmers of Mattel's classic early '80s game console. In 1998, several of them collaborated to produce Intellivision Lives!, a collection of 50 emulated titles comprising practically the entire Mattel-produced library. With Intellivision Rocks, the Rangers have dusted off the Intellivision libraries of third-party developers Activision and Imagic, as well as some "new" Mattel releases developed for the Intellivision's speech synthesis and computer add-on modules. Like the first disc, Intellivision Rocks is a cornucopia for Intellivision fans and history buffs alike.

The games included on Intellivision Rocks comprise the entire Intellivision library of Imagic and Activision (and then some), all but one of the Intellivoice games, and nearly all the ECS titles. Within the 36 games are some famous titles like Pitfall!, Demon Attack and River Raid, and plenty of obscurer ones like Truckin', Mr. Basic Meets Bits 'n Bytes and Worm Whomper. Space battles are represented by Nova Blast, Space Spartans, Beamrider and the aforementioned Demon Attack. Run / jump / climb arcade contests are present in Tropical Trouble and Beauty and the Beast. Safecracker and Bomb Squad have some strategic elements. Most ECS games are a mix of edutainment and arcade action. And Dracula lets you bite people on the neck. In short, the '80s form of practically every genre is represented in here somewhere.

It would take too much space to review each game individually, so a summary is in order. Like most games of the time, the titles on Intellivision Rocks emphasize action and reflexes over heavy thinking, although a few of the titles require some strategy. The graphics of these games are among the best that the early '80s had to offer. They're blocky and abstract by today's standards, but that doesn't mean the games aren't fun. A handful of the most famous console games of the day are accounted for here (Pitfall! for example). However, because almost all the games are third-party titles or required expensive peripherals, this collection contains a lot of games you may never have played or even heard of before. For this reason, it's more likely to appeal to serious retrogamers than to people looking for a brief flush of nostalgia. However, neither group is likely to be disappointed.

The emulation is excellent -- the low-res graphics come through in all their blocky glory, and the sound effects are sharp and clear. These are the games exactly as you remember them (or don't remember them, as the case may be). Ironically, the graphics and sound of games in this collection are "better" than they would be on a real Intellivision console because there is none of the signal loss associated with RF output. The only thing missing is the specialized Intellivision controller, and that unavoidable deficiency constitutes one of the biggest weaknesses of this collection.

Intellivision Rocks isn't only about the games. It's just as much about preserving the history and "mystique" of Mattel's classic console. That much is evident from the careful way the histories and backgrounds of the games are presented, along with perfect reproductions of their manuals, overlays, and box art. But there's more to video game history than game boxes and manuals. There are commercials and print advertisements, not to mention the programmers and their stories. Plenty of these extras are included on the disc as well, most of them within the Museum category.

Video game history buffs will want this collection for the Museum alone. The Museum is where to go to watch commercials where George Plimpton explains how Intellivision's graphics are superior to Atari's. It contains a small archive of magazine advertisements for Intellivision games and photos of a giant hamburger used in the filming of a Burgertime TV commercial. There's even an utterly priceless orientation video that was required viewing for new Mattel Electronics employees. Digging through the Museum's archaeological treasures can be almost as much fun as the games themselves.

Intellivision Productions has succeeded again in breathing new life into Mattel's classic console, which was first launched 22 years ago. The games are as good they ever were, dimmed only slightly by the passage of time and by the lack of a perfect substitute for the Intellivision controller. Younger gamers may not be able to appreciate these older games, but for those older (and perhaps, wiser) gamers who grew up with an Intellivision, this collection of years-past games will make you feel old -- and like a kid again.

> William Cassidy
GameSpy.com

July 30, 2002

First we brought you Intellivision Lives!, a collection of classic games originally released by Mattel Electronics.

But Mattel wasn't the only company that produced games for the Intellivision system. Some of the biggest hits were published by Activision and Imagic.

So now we bring you INTELLIVISION ROCKS, a collection of every game released for Intellivision by Activision and Imagic!

We're also including games for the Intellivision peripherals Intellivoice and ECS (Entertainment Computer System).

And as with Intellivision Lives!, you'll meet the programmers and learn the histories of the games through exclusive stories, photos and video clips.

  • Plays actual game code from the original Intellivision cartridges on your PC or Mac!
  • 25 of the original Intellivision games, including Beamrider, Microsurgeon, B-17 Bomber, The Dreadnaught Factor and Mind Strike! (See list at right.)
  • Unreleased Intellivision games!
  • Package art, credits, development history and trivia!
  • Biographies of the original programmers!
  • Game controller support!
  • Even more video clips, including programmer interviews, original TV commercials and never-before-seen footage shot at Intellivision in the early 1980s!

BONUS! Pop Intellivision Rocks into your regular CD player to hear music tracks based on classic video game themes!


Pull-down menus let you launch your favorite game instantly from any screen.


Play classic favorites...


...or discover unreleased treasures from the Blue Sky Rangers archives.

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Learn about the games: who wrote them, development histories, trivia.


Watch video interviews with many of the games' creators.


See classic print ads and TV commercials, never-before-seen video, and photos from the private collections of the programmers.


For Windows or Mac
$29.95
Plus shipping & handling and applicable taxes
ORDER HERE

(not available in stores)

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Hybrid disc plays on both PC and Mac.

PC: Pentium 266MHz, Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP, 32M RAM, 8X CD-ROM, 16-bit DirectX compatible sound & video cards, extended keyboard required for some games.

MAC: Power Macintosh, OS 8/9/X, 120MHz, 32M RAM, 8X CD-ROM, extended keyboard required for some games.

HELP: Tech & sales questions are answered here.

PLAY THESE INCLUDED GAMES:

Atlantis
Beamrider
Beauty and the Beast
Demon Attack
Dracula
Dragonfire

The Dreadnaught Factor
Fathom
Happy Trails
Ice Trek
League of Light
(previously unreleased)
Microsurgeon
Nova Blast
Pitfall
River Raid

Robot Rubble
(previously unreleased)
Safecracker
Stampede
Swords & Serpents
Tropical Trouble

Truckin'

White Water!

Worm Whomper

Intellivoice games:

World Series Baseball
B-17 Bomber
Bomb Squad
Magic Carousel
(previously unreleased)
Space Spartans

Entertainment Computer System:

World Series Baseball
Game Factory
(previously unreleased)
Melody Blaster
Mind Strike
Mr. BASIC Meets Bits N' Bytes
Number Jumble
(first released on Intellivision Lives!)

Bonus games:

Deep Pockets
Thin Ice
(release version)
Minotaur (debugged version)

© 2001 Intellivision Productions, Inc. Intellivision is a trademark of Intellivision Productions, Inc. Activision and Imagic games are property of Activision Inc., used by exclusive license. Any other distribution of Activision and Imagic games for Intellivision is a violation of copyright law and may result in civil and/or criminal prosecution.

MORE Intellivision games can be found on INTELLIVISION LIVES!, available NOW!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A few of my favorite Intellivision games are missing.

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.

Technical support is here.