As a kid in the late 1970s, before I had a video game system of my very own (Santa didn‘t come through until 1982, when he brought a ColecoVision to our house), I would make any excuse I could think of to visit friends who owned an Atari 2600, an Odyssey2,or even a Fairchild Channel F. In 1980, a new system called the Intellivision began appearing in certain homes I frequented, and I was impressed by the elaborate nature of its sports and strategy games and by the gorgeous graphics of such titles as Armor Battle (1979) and Star Strike (1981).

Despite the advances made by the Intellivision, I still preferred the Atari 2600, with its fun (if incomplete) ports of such arcade favorites as Space Invaders (1980) and Missile Command (1981). The 2600 just seemed like a faster, more accessible system, with games that you could pick up and play without referring to the manual or hassling with a control disc or a keypad (the 2600 joystick felt like a more solid, more reliable way to manipulate onscreen images). I enjoyed Astrosmash (1981) and Space Armada (1981), but that was about it.

Fortunately, I stuck with the Intellivision (or at least my friends‘ Intellivision) long enough to discover such action-packed gems as Beauty & the Beast (1982) and Demon Attack (1982). More importantly, I developed the patience to learn and enjoy such
detail-intensive games as NBA Basketball (1980) and B-17 Bomber (1982). With such sophisticated offerings, the Intellivision helped pave the way for the next wave of super systems, namely the ColecoVision and the Atari 5200. I remain a fan of the Intellivision to this day and, from time to time, still hook it up to my old 19-inch television set.

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Brett Weiss Brett Weiss (32 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