Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cover to Cover: Intellivision Spring 1986 Catalog (pp. 6-7)

We're looking at a very late era lineup of products for the Mattel Intellivision console, circa 1986, a few years after the system's mainstream retail availability had ended during the mid-80s industry crash.  Pages 6 and 7 of the Triton Products Spring 1986 Intellivision catalog are up next.

Page 6 features yet more of Mattel's stock-in-trade sports titles, tradin' stock now at the low, low price of $9.95:

Golf and Auto Racing are pretty self-explanatory; note that both are solo contests, with Auto Racing pitting the player against the clock (in the two-player mode, players take turns!)

And Tennis prompts a correction on my part -- I had assumed that page 3's Championship Tennis was simply a two-player update of an existing title, but it's clear that this earlier game was a completely separate product, with a side-on perspective instead of the later game's trapezoidal "3-D" presentation.

Horse Racing isn't really a sports title -- it's a gambling game, and the player doesn't do anything to participate in the actual race.

Page 7 clears out some more Mattel stock from the warehouse -- these games were all based on licensed arcade games or pop culture properties, and have not generally reappeared in later Intellivision compilations.  They were also going for a few dollars more than the games on the preceding page:

Burgertime remains one of the finest coin-op conversions of its day, replicating the play action and music from Data East's original arcade game and using Mattel's "Super-Graphics" technique to create multi-colored sprites (by combining two or more single-color sprites!)  Mission X was another Data East arcade conversion, a Xevious-style shooter making good use of the Intellivision's ability to display complex backgrounds not possible on the Atari 2600.

Masters of the Universe was based on Mattel's own popular line of action figures, and also uses the "Super-Graphics" technique to present the simple story of He-Man flying from left to right to take on Skeletor.  The title screen features a reasonably good instrumental rendition of the animated TV show's theme song.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Treasure of Tarmin was an early console 3-D dungeon crawl, Mattel's second game based on TSR's popular pencil-and-paper role-playing system.  Movement takes place in fixed steps, but Mattel's machine was able to present a fairly convincing 3-D dungeon environment populated by scary (if blocky and lacking in detail) creatures.

Next time... more pages!

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