Late in 1981, I discovered a trio of exclusive shooters for the Intellivision: Astrosmash, Space Armada, and Star Strike. Each is easy to find today, making them a great bargain for fans of the system. Complete boxed copies are worth only a few dollars each. Before I get to a capsule review of each game, some history is in order on my background with the Intellivision since I’m here to celebrate the console’s 40th anniversary.
Let’s flash back to 1980, when the Intellivision was released nationwide after a limited, but suc- cessful test marketing campaign in 1979. Theconsole cost $300 at retail (almost $1,000 adjustedfor inflation), which was way too expensive for the Weiss household. However, a number of my friends and acquaintances received the system within a few months of release, including a female friend of mine who I would start dating in 1981, when I was 14 and she was 16.
Dating a girl who was two years older than me was awesome because she had a car. Not only could we go out on actual dates, we had transportation to Six Flags without relying on our parents. This was dwarfed by the fact that her family had an Intellivision hooked up in the living room, which is where game consoles typically resided in the pre-Nintendo NES era.
While I was well-familiar with home gaming – my cousin got Atari Pong in 1975, and I had countless friends and cousins with Atari 2600s, Odyssey2s, and even Fairchild Channel Fs – it was still mesmerizing to me to play games in a house on TV, especially since I didn’t have a console of my own. Unfortunately, my girlfriend’s dad and his friends were usually playing the Intellivision when I would come over, and their system library was limited to such games as Major League Baseball, NFL Football, and Las Vegas Blackjack & Poker, which was the pack-in title with the console. They really didn’t have much in the way of shooters or action titles, which were my favorite genres.
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