Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cover to Cover: Intellivision Spring 1986 Catalog (pp. 4-5)

More activity from the post-crash Intellivision era greets us on pages 4 and 5 of Triton's Spring 1986 Intellivision catalog, with a mixture of old Mattel titles, new and updated INTV Corp. titles, and several Atarisoft releases for the rival platform.

Page 4 features several post-crash Intellivision titles rarely seen in the wild today: 

Mystic Castle was a fantasy game pitting a knight against dragons, wizards and demons; it was better known under its official title, Thunder Castle, but appears in this catalog under its original development name.

World Championship Baseball, like the preceding page's soccer and tennis titles, updates the classic Mattel Baseball cartridge, losing the official MLB license but adding much-needed single-player-vs.-CPU support.

Motocross was another late release from Mattel, with detailed graphics and solid gameplay with decent physics by these early 16-bit standards.

Pinball is an old Intellivision favorite, but there's something odd about the catalog listing here -- the screenshot does NOT resemble the released Mattel Intelllivision Pinball cartridge at all, which may mean this was a preliminary image taken from ancient marketing materials (and might explain the Mystic/Thunder Castle confusion.)

Page 5 raises a fundamental question -- why is the page headed "Action, Adventure" when it should probably say something like "Arcade"?

Mattel produced Bump'n'Jump under license from Data East, source of most of the Intellivision's official arcade first-party titles, including Lock'n'Chase, Burgertime and Mission X.  (Loco-Motion was an exception, originating with Konami.)

Triton had also picked up some of the Atarisoft titles, produced in the mid-1980s when Atari realized that there was money to be made from putting its major arcade properties on competing platforms.  Note the Special Value tags on Centipede and Defender -- something tells me a warehouse somewhere was clogged with cases of these crash-era releases.

And I suspect the Pac-Man ad copy was translated from the Japanese, or written by someone with a thesaurus on hand but no dictionary: 

The refinements of dot chomping lead to high scores as hungry Pac-Man avoids ambush by vicarious goblins.

 Next time... more pages!

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