Welcome to the second installment of Brett’s Old-School Bargain Bin, where I point you to games that won’t break your bank account. We’re going full retro this time around (big surprise there), focusing on two key games from a fondly remembered genre that is now all but dead: the climbing game, or what many call the non-scrolling platformer.

Donkey Kong was the killer app pack-in title with the ColecoVision while Beauty & the Beast brought arcade-style action to the Intellivision. Each game will set you back around $5 (cart only).

During the summer of 1982, when Coleco was saturating the airwaves with hype over their next-gen ColecoVision, I knew I had to get one. The initial television commercial, “The Arcade Experience,” was 90% hyperbole, showing a guy standing at an arcade cabinet, playing a 3D shooter in which ships actually flew out of the screen.

Even at the tender age of 14, I knew this imagery had little to do with home gaming (I was almost 15, after all). What truly impressed me about the ad was the other 10%, which showed the ColecoVision port of Nintendo’s arcade classic, Donkey Kong (1981), in action, looking virtually identical to its coin-op counter- part. Those colorful, detailed, beautifully rendered Donkey Kong screenshots were light years above the blocky imagery associ- ated with the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and other previous systems. The sound was great as well.

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Brett Weiss Brett Weiss (44 Posts)

A full-time freelance writer, Brett Weiss is the author of the Classic Home Video Games series, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, Encyclopedia of KISS, and various other books, including the forthcoming The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A–M). He’s had articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Video Game Trader, Video Game Collector, Filmfax, Fangoria, and AntiqueWeek, among others.  Check him out at www.brettweisswords.com