Intellivision Memories

September 5, 2014

COURTESY OF WEBMIKEY:  Dad and I have always had fun together with technology, which includes home video games. When I was really young, I remember we owned some kind of dedicated Pong TV game that we played together, but our gaming history really started with the Intellivision console by Mattel, sometime in the early 80s. Unlike other kids, I never had to talk my dad into wanting to buy a home video game, since he was just as into the advertising hype as I was! Of course, we had to decide between Atari and Mattel, but since the Intellivision came bundled with Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack and Dad has always loved gambling and card games, Mattel was the clear winner (and I didn't really care since Dad was buying!).

We used to stay at my Grandmother's apartment in Waco each year during Thanksgiving, and while we were there Dad and I would always go shopping together. One year Dad decided this was the perfect opportunity to buy anIntellivision! We were concerned about Grandmother's old TV and how the games would look on it, but since we wanted to play it immediately so badly, Dad just decided, "What the heck, we'll buy her a new TV, too!" It was so much fun getting back to Grandmother's (and surprising Mom with our big spending), hooking up the console, and seeing that Blackjack dealer rendered in giant pixels on the TV! Of course, we thought it was the best thing ever, and over the years we played lots of games together.

Dad loves to get excited about something and buy everything in sight (his current passion is iPhone apps), so it wasn't long before we had tons of cartridges (I'm amazed at some of the titles we owned, but I'm sure Dad found them on sale and couldn't resist!). We even bought the Intellivoice module, which allowed us to play the first speaking games for the home market (we loved B-17 Bomber, and still laugh about the voice saying "Watch out for flak! That was close!" to this day). Eventually we got our Atari 800 computer and I got into programming while Dad got into computer gaming, so the good ol' Intellivision went into the closet, but I'll always be nostalgic about those great games!

Recently Dad was doing some decluttering and stumbled upon all of our oldIntellivision cartridges, neatly stored in cases with the original instruction manuals and controller keypad overlays (which helped you remember some obscure buttons in more complex games). The actual Intellivision console is still missing (possibly in the attic somewhere), but it was really fun to look over the games themselves. I decided the overlays had such cool retro graphics that it would be fun to scan them all, so here's my contribution to online game history. Most of these overlays are available on the cool Intellivision Lives website (highly recommended), but Dad and I had a few that I haven't seen online elsewhere!

View photos: Intellivision Overlays

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