After all of the lists I've seen from various people around the site, I've decided to compile my own lists of favorite games. Yes, I wrote lists, plural, since I'll be doing a top 5 for every video game system I've owned in my life, PC included. These lists will then be compiled to compose my top 10 favorite games of all time.
Let's start from the beginning, shall we?
Retail availability: 1980
Retail price: $299
Units sold: 3 million
Best-selling game: Astrosmash (1 million units)
While all of my friends were getting Atari 2600s for Christmas, my father decided to buy me an Intellivision because, in his words, it "looked better". In fact, it did have better graphics and sound than the Atari 2600 did. Thankfully, it also had great games. Here are my five favorites on the system.
5. Night Stalker (1982)
You could say that this was my very first shooter. In Night Stalker, your objective was to rack up the biggest score possible without getting killed by bats, spiders or robots. Problem is, you needed to get to your gun first, because you couldn't shoot without it. If you got bitten or shot, you'd die, lose a life and respawn in your base, located in the middle of the maze. Naturally, the robots were worth a ton of points and got tougher as you progressed through the game. Some took more hits before they blew up, other would destroy your base, leaving you nowhere to hide, while others would shoot bullets which swallowed yours up. The maze layout never changed, but it was still great fun trying to beat my score at every game.
Here's some gameplay footage of Night Stalker.
4. Utopia (1982)
Before Sim City, there was Utopia. This was designed as a two player game (there wasn't an AI opponent), but I used to play it by myself to see how big of a score I could get. You were given an island where you could construct buildings, such as schools, farms and factories, build fishing or PT boats, or promote rebel activities on the other island (which was useless when playing alone). Each round lasted the amount of time you wanted it to, as you would input that number at the beginning of the game, as well as the number of rounds you wanted to play. Your score would be determined by your population. If they liked what you were doing (were well fed, had housing, etc), it would increase. Sometimes, rain clouds, storms or even hurricanes would come along and destroy your crops or buildings, which obviously had an impact on your population. The game was incredibly fun and addicting without being too complicated.
Here's some gameplay footage of Utopia. Please note, however, that this footage is from the Aquarius Computer and not the Intellivision, since I couldn't find any.
3. TRON Deadly Disks (1982)
This is actually an excellent movie to game adaptation, and one of the first. In TRON DD, you play as TRON, as he takes on wave after wave of enemy disk throwers, who would come through "doors" on each side of the grid. If you threw your own disk into the doors, they'd become accessible and you could go through them to escape difficult situations. However, after two or three waves, a RECOGNIZER would come along and close all of the doors, unless you shot it directly in the eye with your disk. This was quite a daunting task, however, since the gap to the eye was very thin. Naturally, the enemies would become harder to kill and more mobile as the game progressed. Some would break your disk, while others would electrocute you, and so on. I loved playing this game with my father, who was an absolute master at it. He would play an entire afternoon and would rack up one hell of a score to boot, while I sat there, amazed. Man I miss those days.
Check out TRON Deadly Disks right here.
2. Lock 'N' Chase (1981)
I guess I have Pac-Man to thank for this game. In Lock 'N' Chase, you play as a thief who breaks into a vault and tries to steal all of the coins, while collecting other goodies that randomly appear while he does so. You'd see money bags appear in the middle of the screen (4 for each level) and other accessories such as hats, clocks or telephones, depending on the level you were on. You're pursued by 4 policemen, known as Super D, who try to stop you in your tracks. The thief can lock the Super D behind doors for a short while before they break free. He only has 2 doors to work with however. Although I was quite good at this game, it was my aunt (yes, my aunt!) who kicked all of our butts at it. She would get to the final level and complete it over 20 times afterwards. To this day, I still wonder how this frail, gentle woman could be such a bad ass at Lock 'N' Chase.
Check out some gameplay footage here.
1. Triple Action (1981)
Three games on one cartridge. That's what Triple Action was all about. Unlike Utopia, this was exclusively a 2-player game. You'd compete against a friend in 3 different games. One pitted 2 tanks against each other, where you tried to shoot the other player down before they did it to you. The walls surrounding you were bouncy, which allowed for some very cool (and cheap) kills. The second game saw you race against your friend, each on your own section of road, while you tried to accumulate the most mileage before crashing. The third game, and my favorite of them all, was biplanes. You'd dogfight against an opponent while doing crazy turns in the sky. First player to make it to 15 won the match. You could also go the pacifist way and try to shoot the orange air balloon that took off every once in a while, but where's the fun in that? My cousin and I would play this game all night long when he'd come over and laugh ourselves silly in the process. We'd call our games "Snoopy vs. The Red Barron" (I was always Snoopy) and had a riot each and every time. Each time we meet, we talk about those sessions and laugh ourselves silly once again. Such great memories.
Here's the Biplanes section of Triple Action. Sadly, I couldn't find a video with all 3 games in it.
I had great fun doing this blog. I had a huge lump in my throat while watching these videos, thinking back to the early 80s and the great times I had with theIntellivision. I still have the system somewhere in my attic, and this made me want to go look for it and dig it out.
In my next blog, I'll be revisiting the NES and my 5 favorite games on the system.Thank you for reading.