Coleco Titles for the Intellivision – Carnival, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Ladybug, Mouse Trap, Venture

Coleco published a handful of games developed by Nintendo, Exidy and Sega for multiple systems back in the early 80’s. The Atari 2600, Colecovision and of course the Intellivision all had versions of the 6 games reviewed in this post except for Ladybug which was only available on the Colecovision and Intellivision. I happen to also own all 6 titles in this post on the Colecovision as well and as one would expect, the Colecovision versions are superior to the Intellivision’s. With that said, the difference in quality between Colecovision and Intellivision is less discernable in some of these games than it is in others. Since I’ve talked about the game play of most of these titles either in my previous Colecovision or Atari 2600 posts, I will leave that aspect of my review out in order to prevent having to repeat myself.

Carnival – Currently in my collection – game, manual, box. Gameplay is super simple. You shoot upwards from the bottom of the screen at targets while avoiding running out of bullets. Clear the screen of targets before your bullets run out and you move onto the next screen. You can add more bullets by shooting at targets with plus signs and a number after them but you can also lose bullets quickly if you let diving ducks make it to the bottom of the screen without getting shot. I find this game a bit dull but it has some short term appeal.

Donkey Kong – Currently in my collection – game, manual, box. The Intellivision version makes the Atari 2600 version look pretty decent by comparison. Game sounds are awful. The graphics are horrendous. The two available screens repeat ad nauseam and the game quickly becomes boring. A travesty to the game of Donkey Kong. Only reason I don’t give it an F is because it’s Donkey Kong. Avoid. D-

Donkey Kong Jr – Currently in my collection – game only. Better than Donkey Kong but that’s not saying much. 3 unique screens from the arcade make this version of DKJr way less repetitive that DK but the controls are still a bit questionable. It took me a bit of time to figure out how the proper angle to jump up in order for Jr to grab onto the vines. Once I got the hang of it, it worked fine and I had fun. It’s nowhere near as good as the Colecovision version, however. B-

Ladybug – Currently in my collection – game only. One of two Pac-Man clones from Exidy on this list. You control a ladybug that attempts to devour all the flowers and letters on the screen while avoiding the other insect enemies. Ladybug gameplay utilizes gates that can be used to keep your enemies away from you and create different layouts of the maze. Additionally, you are lured by the promise of big, big points if you can eat the unique level fruit/vegetable that resides in the enemies home after all 4 have been released by the timer. This strategy is high risk and high reward and usually ends in me dying trying to avoid the 3 enemies chasing after me while waiting for the 4th and last enemy to exit, exposing the reward. I do enjoy this game as I enjoy maze games in general. B

Mouse Trap – Currently in my collection – game, manual, 2 overlays, box. The other maze game on the list, also with gates, or color coded traps that can be manipulated using the keypad with overlays. Similar to Pac-Man, you can gobble bones that can be activated to turn your mouse into a dog and chomp the cats chasing after you. Unlike Pac-Man, you have to activate your dog transformation using a keypad button. Fun game overall and nice Intellivision port, just more difficult to manage the gates without memorizing the color order or looking down at your keypad. B-

Venture – Currently in my collection – game, manual, box. The adventures of Winky, the courageous dungeon explorer is back on the Intellivision. He’s still circular shaped with his big melon head and enormous shit-eating grin. Watch Winky move in and out of dungeons, shooting at enemies, collecting treasure and avoiding dungeon monsters in and out of the caverns. Venture on the Intellivision gets a lot of things right vs. the arcade and Colecovision port and is a better version than the Atari 2600. I just wish Venture was more fun. C+

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