High Five #8 - The Five Greatest Intellivision Games

I never owned an Intellivision. I was an Atari kid. 

But my best friend had an Intellivision, and it was - in many ways - obviously superior. 

In other ways, it was ridiculously inferior. The controllers were hardwired to the console! 

And no joysticks!

Bottom line - I logged a lot of time on an Intellivision. Once you got used to the weird keyboard/disc hybrid computers, it was pretty great. 

Getting right to it - here are my five favorite games for the Intellivision:

5. Astrosmash - Everyone had Astrosmash. It was, after a while, a pack-in game with the system. And it was great. 

It was a bit like Space Invaders, in that you played as a mobile gun turret on the ground. But it was also a lot like Asteroids, in that you were largely shooting asteroids. 

This is the first game that I can really remember feeling "in the zone" with. It was time to go home, and I couldn't leave YET because I was unstoppable and breaking all the records. 

30 years later, I'm the parent, the game is "Skylanders", and the scenario is EXACTLY THE SAME. Seriously, it's time to go. 

4. BurgerTime - Yeah, I know, an arcade port. 

But honestly, the best-ever port of this game from the era. It was colorful, the gameplay worked perfectly, there were enemies everywhere. 

If Intellivision was capable of doing "BurgerTime" like this, then there was NO excuse for their "Donkey Kong" to look the way it did. 

Seriously, the 2600 version may have been better.

3. Night Stalker - Scary title. Really cool game. 

Kind of like "Berzerk", in that you're running through a maze and there's a robot chasing you. But there are also spiders. And a huge spiderweb. And you have to find your weapons Metal Gear-style. 

This was an exciting, nerve-wracking game. 

2. Utopia - I've heard this game referred to as "Civilization 0.5". In Utopia, you're trying to build an island society, while your partner/adversary builds a society on his own island. 

For 2 ten-year-olds, this inevitably meant cooperation for a while, (Fishing! Building hospitals!) followed by all-out war. (Why do I have so many insurgents all of a sudden?)

It was a great idea for a game. It should be remade immediately.

1. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - This game was spectacular. To a 7 year old, it was legitimately scary, too.

The game has an "overworld" and dungeons. In the overworld, you're trying to make your way to a large mountain. But there are several smaller mountains - dungeons - along the way.

In the dungeons, your character explores a maze, which is only revealed bit by bit as you move along. 

You can't SEE around the next corner... but you can HEAR the monsters lying in wait. 

Your guy is an archer, and you use the keypad to shoot in each of 8 directions. Your character turns colors as he weakens - from black (healthy) to blue (wounded) to red (mortally wounded). 

A really great game from an old console. 


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