There are two games in my Colecovision collection that weren’t available on any other home console of the era, although there were ports on various home computers such as Commodore and Atari. Cabbage Patch Kid dolls and the movie WarGames were totally 80’s relics that belong in a time capsule. The video games that were born from those respective licenses could also be considered time capsule relics as well.
Cabbage Patch Kids were, of course, the Coleco manufactured doll phenomenon that allowed children to raise their own Cabbage Patch babies born in a garden (I think that’s their backstory….I never had one so I’m just guessing). It would seem appropriate that Coleco would try to capitalize on their immense popularity to help promote and sell more of their own Colecovision video game consoles by making a game featuring the debatably cute dolls. Based on the commercials and advertisements I’ve seen from that period, Coleco definitely had an eye towards getting young girls into gaming and specifically, their console via Cabbage Patch Kids. Was the actual game any good? Eh, its ok….but nothing special. Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park is a bit like Pitfall in its side scrolling, running and jumping aspects. You maneuver a girl doll around Babyland Park jumping over small puddles, fallen branches, grabbing onto branches to swing over large puddles, jumping onto trampolines, avoiding balls and insects and basically just running around avoiding death for no apparent reason. Insanely repetitive and kind of difficult, Cabbage Patch Kids looks good and has a nice upbeat music loop but the game itself doesn’t offer much of interest. Kind of like the dolls themselves (can you tell I wasn’t a fan back when they were popular?)
WarGames is the video game based off the cold war era movie in which a young Matthew Broderick plays an 80’s high school hacker & gamer that inadvertently finds himself in the middle of a global thermonuclear crisis. The game based on the film finds you at the controls of several defenses (air, ground and sea) of the United States. You use the number pad to zoom in on various parts of the lower 48 states and the buttons at the bottom of the pad control the defense weapons. The game plays like a more sophisticated and advanced version of Missile Command and that’s not a bad thing since Missile Command is awesome. Protecting the country from attacking subs, missile strikes and airplane attacks in order to avoid defcon 1 status and complete thermonuclear war is the goal of the game. WarGames demands a manual for the complexity of the goals as well as an overlay since 10 of the number buttons on the Colecovision controller correspond to gameplay controls. Unfortunately, I only have the loose cart so I had to do some internet research to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing. Once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed WarGames and appreciate what Coleco was trying to do as well as the execution. Overall, I have a hard time not recommending either because of their intensely ’80’s aura but also because both of them are adequate, if not spectacular titles.
Currently in my collection:
Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park – game only C
WarGames – game only B
WarGames – manual and overlay