Every home console released in the late 70s or early 80s either needed Pac-Man or a suitable clone to help drive sales. The Atari 2600’s home version of Pac-Man is widely derided as being a vastly inferior port with very little in common with the original arcade smash. It is perceived that much of this had to do with Atari’s insistence on getting a home port out to consumers by Christmas 1981, with very little development time allotted. Thankfully, Atarisoft took their time in developing Pac-Man for the Intellivsion. Released in 1983, two years after the 2600 debacle, Pac-Man fever was starting to wane but a faithful port was still of interest to owners of the Intellivision. The wait was worth it as this version is very good. Visually, the game actually looks like Pac-Man, which at the time was already considered a big win. The mazes, Pac-Man himself, the ghost and the fruit all looked like the arcade, the music and in game sounds are nearly arcade perfect as well. Atarisoft attempted such a faithful port that the intermission screens were included, just like the arcade! Control-wise, the disc pad works ok but a joystick would still be my preferred method of traversing the mazes. In all, this port of Pac-Man for the Intellivision is one of the best of the early ports.
Another arcade port, Bump n’ Jump is no slouch either when it comes to bringing arcade fun home on the Intellivision. The console wasn’t known for its arcade smashes thanks to Atari’s scooping up of as many arcade licenses as they could early on. However, many of the ports that the Intellivision did get were stand-outs. In Bump n’ Jump, you control a dune buggy-like vehicle in a road race against other vehicles of various types. Your goal is get to the end of the course with lives to spare while scoring points by “bumping” cars into hazards such as the sides of the road and water or by “jumping” onto them and crushing them. Your car is one awesome “Jordan from the free throw line” leaping machine. There are larger obstacles such as bodies of water that you’ll need to jump over and the game warns you with a beeping noise and flashing hazard sign because the hazards come on quick. Most of your deaths will be due to hazards just popping up from the top of the screen before you can react. Once the level is complete, you’ll be awarded points for how much time it took you to complete the course as well as how many cars you destroyed. The game runs fast if you’re moving at peak speed and while that is the most fun way to play Bump n’ Jump, it’s probably not the most effective for getting further in the game. Success requires a combination of speed and precision combined knowing when to bump, knowing when to jump and knowing when to just swerve around everyone. Bump n’ Jump excels at fast arcade action, contains nice graphics and music and it’s an overall fun game to play.
Currently in my collection:
Bump n’ Jump – game only A-
Pac-Man – game only A-