The Colecovision offered a number of peripherals and “expansion modules” despite the short life span of the console. Expansion module #1 is the infamous Atari adapter, allowing Colecovision owners to play Atari 2600 games. Expansion module #3 was Coleco’s foray into home computing, the Adam. Both #1 & #3 actually utilized the expansion module port on the front of the console. Expansion module #2, however, was a bit of a misnomer as the steering wheel adapter plugged into the controller port instead. As a result, the steering wheel requires 4-C batteries in order to function but that’s hardly a detriment to a wonderful peripheral. The wheel itself is responsive and the gas pedal does what it’s supposed to, accelerate. While the wheel itself takes up the first controller port, you’ll need an actual controller plugged into the second port to shift from low to high gear using the joystick. The steering wheel console has a spot to hold the controller in place and provides the player with the feeling of actually shifting with right hand, steering with left and gas pedal under your right foot. I like to play with the wheel on a small folding table in front of the TV (has to be close to the console since the controller cords are short) and the pedal underneath. I can’t imagine using the steering wheel on your lap.
So what do you use the steering wheel for? Well, there are a few games that are compatible with the wheel, but the game most commonly associated with it would be Sega’s Turbo. Turbo is an arcade port (shocker!) of the popular racing game that actually preceded the most famous racing game of the era, Pole Position. The Colecovision port of Turbo came bundled with the steering wheel and it can only be played using the wheel so the two a loose copy of Turbo without the wheel doesn’t do you any good. In Turbo, you’re racing your car against opponents across varied landscapes such as cities, forests, mountains, tunnels, etc. as well as day/evenings. As is expected in racing games from the 80’s, there are additional hazards such as oil slicks, ice and ambulances (?!?!). You must pass 30 cars in the allotted time to gain additional time and continuing on in the game. I thankfully have the box to go with my wheel and always happy to have the extra cardboard when I can. These 2nd generation systems, games and peripherals are getting harder and harder to find complete in box as you might expect from 35 year old media. The Colecovision did a great job of providing a stellar racing experience for their home console. Turbo is simple, effective, extremely fun and is an awesome racing game and the perfect title to sell Coleco’s “expansion module”.
Currently in my collection:
Expansion module #2 steering wheel – peripheral, box
Turbo – game, manual A