Posts: 2,918 +764
That was Mind Strike. Pretty cool that you rigged up a non-Aquarius printer. I assume you had a tape drive as well?I had the Intellivision II, and the the smaller computer module. I did have one computer-specific game. Forget the name but it was various shaped 'grids' with number that you could smash onto others. You could create your own grids, but not save them.
The Intellivision II had a slight redesign to make Coleco games not work, such as Donkey Kong. It also affected Word Fun, but the person who made that design change assumed nobody would really care.I had the intellivision II, I really liked it, except some cartridges would not work, can't remember which ones but I had a at least a couple of them I think one of them was Donkey Kong. Being the "inventive" kid I was, I resorted to wiggling the cartridge on the slot while pressing reset and voila they came to life.
I think the tape drive was just any old cassette recorder? The BASIC was so limited that it was pretty much useless. It was nicely color-coded, though. I think at that time I had a TRS-80 Model III, so did have a real computer to use.That was Mind Strike. Pretty cool that you rigged up a non-Aquarius printer. I assume you had a tape drive as well?
I swear I made mention of PlayCable in one of my drafts, but I think it got cut. The article was going long and I didn't go into heavy detail, so it got sacrificed. But yeah, PlayCable was waaay ahead of its time.Very well done. You covered all the important points from throughout the Intellivision's commercial life cycle, including the Keyboard Component and other canceled hardware like the Intellivision III-IV. Besides the System Changer, the only thing missing is the PlayCable. My cousins from out of state had it, and I played it in the summer of 1983 when my family went to visit for a week. That was where I first played AD&D, Shark Shark, Buzz Bombers, Mission-X, and a bunch of sports games.
I only wish you had made mention of the indie scene. There were really only two "silent periods" from the beginning of the Intellivision until today: the two years following the industry crash until INTV got going, and a few years after the demise of INTV until the Blue Sky Rangers set up their first website on makingit. We knew Intellivision Lives! was coming for PC, along with an official development kit called the MAGUS-II. Shortly after the release of Intellivision Lives! came the first indie game, which is even mentioned in the Blue Sky Rangers' History page.
Yes, I seem to recall a couple of carts not working for me as well. They worked initially, but after several insertions stopped. I think I solved the problem in a similar way (wiggling it) after blowing on it several times. lol Gotta love that 12-year-old tech ingenuity. When games are on the line, we'll figure it out.I had the intellivision II, I really liked it, except some cartridges would not work, can't remember which ones but I had a at least a couple of them I think one of them was Donkey Kong. Being the "inventive" kid I was, I resorted to wiggling the cartridge on the slot while pressing reset and voila they came to life.
I think the intellivoice didn't work either, I had b-17 bomber and had to play it on my neighbors 1st gen intellivision.
Ugh! I recall pulling out my Mr. BASIC Meets Bits & Bytes cartridge (one of the six released ECS titles, which integrated the onboard BASIC interpreter with three crummy games that you could modify with BASIC code, in a silly attempt to make learning to program fun for kids) and only the shell came out, with the actual game still in the ECS. It never worked after that, and I replaced it a number of years later. But we did try putting resin on the contacts - the kind used to repair car rear window defoggers - hoping that would do the trick. Nope.Yes, I seem to recall a couple of carts not working for me as well. They worked initially, but after several insertions stopped. I think I solved the problem in a similar way (wiggling it) after blowing on it several times. lol Gotta love that 12-year-old tech ingenuity. When games are on the line, we'll figure it out.
Same with the IntelliVoice. The early units could have the top easily removed, and there was supposed to be a receiver inside for wireless controllers. This was a holdover from one of the features planned for the canceled Intellivision III.One interesting tidbit with the ECS addon is that there was a removable cover. It was hot-melt glued to make it hard to remove, but there was a connector inside for some sort of upgrade. The manual had a part of one page with a glued on blank section covering information. I think it was supposedly going to be for a memory and maybe more powerful BASIC upgrade.
The ECS was Mattel Electronics' second attempt at a computer expansion module, released at the same time as the Intellivision II, and with a similar art style on the box. That's what had 6 released games of its own, plus 4 titles that were unreleased. The Intellivision II didn't have any exclusive titles. Only the System Changer (an adaptor to play Atari games) wouldn't work on an original Intellivision unless it was modified.I barely remember the Intellivision-II. I remember it simply being smaller than the Intellivision-I, whose hardwired controllers were replaced with removable units (in hopes of attracting third-party controller makers... a cottage industry for the 2600.) I believed it played the old Intellivision-I games. Good thing since I believe the I-2 only ever had 6 games of its own.
I had never heard of the "keyboard/tape" add-on unit. I do remember the (unmentioned) "Aquarius" computer that came later. Probably born of the same "keyboard" project. That had to be the biggest flop since "Howard the Duck".
Well, back in those days, an item like that was considered to be owned by the parents, like the TV was. It wasn't something that only one child owned unless they were an only child.Being from a large family, this 'present' was deemed too expensive for any one of us to ask for...
It's true. However, for me, it wasn't such a stretch because the ColecoVision's controller was similarly complex:The controller for this system was the reason I could never get into it. Atari's controller was bad enough, this was just unplayable. It wasn't until Nintendo's NES came out with the d-pad based controller that I really got into gaming full force. Everything before that was just amateur-hour. The interface for a system is just as important as the performance and quality of software.