Monday 24 January 2022

Intellivision Collection 1 Review (Evercade)

The Evercade has provided a great window into games of years gone by so far and featured a host of different systems ranging from early Atari consoles to the Super Nintendo and Lynx. This cart adds another system to the collection in the Intellivision. It’s a system that many a European gamer may not be familiar with so it’s great to see the Evercade team try and give it and it’s strange, numbered controller, a worthy piece of the spotlight.

The first collection has twelve games which cover a range of genres and contains a surprising amount of fun multiplayer titles as well.  Astro Smash provides a speedy and slick version of the popular arcade title that plays well. OK, the graphics may not be at the pinnacle of video game conversions but this particular twist on the Space Invaders template it is undoubtedly fun to play. Buzz Bombers also follows a similar pattern with you blasting bees to turn them into honeycomb then having to collect it in order to score big points. Again, this is remarkably fast paced and fun despite the visual drawbacks.

There are two maze games included as well which try and innovate on the Pac-Man template. First up is Night Stalker which is a single screen game where you must collect a gun then shoot various monsters such as bats and spiders that appear for points. We found it quite tricky to get used to and didn’t really get into the high score loop with it. Thunder Castle on the other hand we really liked. Here you must make your way through a Forest, Castle and Dungeon by slaying the monster in each. This is done by picking up a magical power from a moving creature (such as a bat), which acts as a sort of power pill that then lets you kill the beastie(s) on the level.  It’s rock hard but also really good fun.

Thin Ice is another good addition to the collection. Here you play as a penguin who draws lines around other penguins to make them fall through the ice. While doing this you need to avoid a polar bear and seal who will track your lines and eat you. It’s another tough but great fun game and we found it soon became strangely addictive. Speaking of strangely addictive, you also have the wonderful Shark Shark on here. This has players controlling a very little fish who must eat his way up the food chain. Each fish you eat makes you grow a bit meaning you can then eat larger fish and so on. It’s a pure high score challenge that works well. For high score chasers there is also a pinball game included but it is a pretty basic affair and not something you are likely to spend much time with.

A host of multiplayer games help to keep things varied and fill out the collection. Slap Shot Super Pro Hockey is a surprisingly engaging, if basic, four on four version of the ice-based sport. Snafu is basically a copy of games like Tron where four ‘snakes’ move around a screen and try to box each other in, and Word Rockets has players becoming far too competitive about firing letters up the screen at moving words in a race to be the first to form fifty of them.

Perhaps the strangest of the multiplayer offerings is Frog Bog. This game is a single screen affair where two frogs sit on lily pads and leap from one to the other trying to catch insects for points. Each game lasts about three minutes and sees the frogs starting in the morning before the sun slowly sets into the evening. The player with the most points by the end of the day wins.

Amidst the genuine classics of old there is also a homebrew title included on the collection and it’s very good. A sort of Intellivision version of Ghouls and Ghosts, Princess Quest is a great platformer set across several varied and colourful levels complete with impressive boss fights. It’s a good pick by the curation team and something that adds a level of uniqueness to the collection.

Overall, it’s great to see another system added to the Evercade library. This collection of games has been carefully curated to try and highlight the strengths the of the Intellivision while at the same time overcoming the not unremarkable problem of the unique controller the system is known for. All the games on here are decent fun and as a collection it works well. We weren’t sure about this cart when it was announced but we are glad to say it is yet another worthy purchase for Evercade fans.

Overall -

Astrosmash                                                  4/5

Buzz Bombers                                              3/5

Frog Bog                                                        3/5

Night Stalker                                                 3/5

Pinball                                                            2/5

Princess Quest                                              4/5

Shark Shark                                                   3/5

Slap Shot Super Pro Hockey                       3/5

Snafu                                                              3/5

Thin Ice                                                          4/5

Thunder Castle                                             4/5

Word Rockets                                               3/5

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