Saturday, April 10, 2010

Their Best Space Game Ever

This magazine ad was running all over the place in the early 1980's, when Mattel's Intellivision was getting off the ground and Star Strike was a space game experience the Atari 2600 presumably couldn't muster:

(The orange thing is a small explosion, the blue thing is an alien craft, and the cursor casting a shadow in the trench is the player's targeting device.)

I remember playing Star Strike for the first time a few years after it came out, and flashing back to these ads.  The game was clearly inspired by the climactic trench sequence from Star Wars (when it was known simply as Star Wars, thank you), and while it wasn't much more than a target shooting game dressed up with a scrolling pseudo-3D trench, it was technically impressive in its day.  The ad mentions "special effects so realistic they appear three-dimensional," which is overstating the case a bit; the impressive stuff consisted primarily of a chunky animation of the Earth blowing up at the end of the game.

Of course, once the game's technical sales edge had been exhausted, Mattel duly released a competent Atari 2600 version on its M-Network label.  Notably, it was the only original (non-licensed) M-Network game released under exactly the same title as its Intellivision counterpart. 

One suspects that might have been because Star Strike was still working off those months and months of colorful two-page ads.


  1. I loved this game when I was in my later teens!
    lol yeah I am 45 now, but still remember it :^)