ColecoVision [OT]

  1. Atari was riding high as market leader in the first true console war and Mattel was making some ground attracting gamers with its more high-tech Intellivision. Coleco was a company that did well in the mid '70s with its Pong clones but had begun to fade from relevance since then. That was until that summer when they launched the ColecoVision in North America. The Atari 5200 and GCE Vectrex came out later in the year.
    Colecovision

Graphically, the ColecoVision was noticeably more powerful than the previous consoles, and more capable of doing arcade games justice. Atari had already the console rights to many of the big arcade games of the day but Coleco managed to get Donkey Kong, and wisely chose to have it as the pack-in title. It was kind of like the Dreamcast in that it started of selling pretty well but after a couple years it faded, was discounted, and abandoned aside from a few stray titles. Coleco lost a ton of money on their ADAM computer variation as well.

I never owned the system until later but an uncle of mine got it shortly after it came out so I got to play many awesome games during its heyday.

Its library of games is very high quality but it does have one flaw, a lack of exclusives. Most of the best first-party games are arcade ports and most of the best third-party games are ports from other home systems.

While this does lessen the impact of the console to someone playing it today, I don’t consider it obsolete by any means. In some cases, it has the best version of a game, in some cases it has a lesser version that’s different enough to still be worth playing, and in some cases I do find a version obsolete. Still, in general, I find the older I get, the more I like playing various versions of games because of the slight differences.

Arguably the coolest add-on on the market back then, the Expansion Module #1 allowed ColecoVision owners to play Atari 2600 games on their system. The graphics do have a slightly different look to them but it’s still very close to the real Atari experience.
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20 quality ColecoVision games:

Donkey Kong Jr.
Even better than the first one. I still go back to this port despite having access to better looking versions.
dkjr

Mr. Do’s Castle
_Do!s_Castle_COL_ScreenShot3

Zenji
This is still underrated, and one of the best pre-Tetris puzzle games out there. It’s about linking all the pipes so everything flows together. The pseudo-Asian music is catchy, too. The game originated on Atari 8-bit but the graphics are slightly improved in the C64 and Coleco versions.
zenji cv

Frenzy
The underrated sequel to Berzerk.
Frenzy_COL

Pepper II
There’s no Pepper 1 as far as I know so I don’t understand the naming. Great Amidar-like game, though.
pepper ii

Congo Bongo
I still say this game has the best “you have just died” tune.
cong

Tapper
Ah, the era where out of shape, moustachioed blue collar game heroes besides the Mario brothers could thrive.
tapper

Boulder Dash
This plays as well as any of the computer versions. The only thing it’s missing is the level editor from Boulder Dash Construction Kit.
boulder cv

2010: The Graphic Action Game
2010

B.C.'s Quest For Tires
bc's

H.E.R.O.
More detailed than the 2600 original.
hero cv

Logic Levels
I loved this puzzle game as a kid (although I had the C64 version which is a bit nicer looking). It was one of the few games the teachers would let us play in class.
logiclevels

Montezuma’s Revenge
I still think the C64 and Atari 800 versions are best (some prefer the more realistic style and easier jumping of the SMS remake) but this is still a great port.
montez cv

Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle
This was a sort of hint of what was to come in the platform genre. Like Pitfall!, it’s flip-screen, but it’s a step closer to Pac-Land and Super Mario Bros.-type scrolling mascot platformers.
smurf

Oil’s Well
It was never much for looks so it doesn’t suffer any downgrade from the computer versions. It’s basically a take on the maze chase genre but instead of roaming a maze freely, you control an extending arm that needs to pull back if anything’s going to touch it.
oilswell

Q*bert
@!#?@! yeah!
qbert cv

Popeye
popeye

Gyruss
Gyruss_COL

Omega Race
I should note that the VIC-20 port of Omega Race is my favourite shooter. The Coleco version doesn’t have the same level of smoothness in its gameplay and isn’t in its league. On the other hand, it does have some exclusive modes which interest me, most notably two-player simultaneous mode.
omega race cv

Burger Time
burger

Some links
http://www.colecovisionzone.com/

2 Likes

Another very cool looking console I’ve never played before. I’ve always wanted to try this and it always seemed like a cooler system than the Atari. Someday, I will play it.

So many hours I put into this console, I think even more than the Atari 2600.

Zaxxon made a huge inpact on me, I couldn’t believe the graphics I was seeing. Other games that I played a lot were Time Pilot, Rocky, Smurfs and then there was this pitfall clone but with a girl character (can’t remember the name).

Sounds like the Cabbage Patch Kids game.

Oh, you’re right. Pretty neat game, played it a lot.

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Coleco was my first console and although I was very young I have lots of fuzzy memories around it. Donkey Kong Jr. was easily the game I remember the most playing it for hours. Sadly due to various moves around the country this is all I have left from that time. In pretty rough shape, guess I could give it a scrubbing too. I’m really looking forward to revisiting it on the NT Mini. Just waiting for my famicom network controller to arrive.


Back then I didn’t even realize the Coleco Gemini was an Atari 2600 clone when I played it at a friend’s house. I thought it was a separate system from Coleco with its own games.

@NeoZeedeater Another fantastic OT for a console I’ve never played!

I’ve added it to the OT OT of OT’s

A very fun system. I recently got mine fixed by a local repair/modder. The system is a blast to play using the Famicom Computer controller I have as well :wink: .The original controllers are an…acquired taste.

Great list of games by the way; I think I’ve played HERO the most. I’ll do a 1CC run some day… :frowning:

I need more Coleco games.

I collect them in the AU ‘puffy video’ cases:

Many games never got a release here so I’ve made up my own boxes for them :wink:

Brings back memories and I remember buying one brand new back in the day when they were being discontinued for £20 in a department store in Oxford Street. I had no idea there was mr Do’s castle but I loved Mr Do! which just shit all over US Gold’s computer ports and I also had the Smurfs game. Donkey Kong was the pack in game.

How big are those ones, a little bigger than the cartridge or way more? I have puffy cases for Atari/Commodore stuff. The tape ones are small but the disk ones are huge.

Way bigger. About the size of ‘normal’ Atari/Intellivision/Colocovision boxes.

Controller arrived and it works perfectly. Only very minor complaint is that you can’t navigate the NT Mini’s system menus using it. Not a big deal. I haven’t spent a ton of time with any game in particular yet, but was nice to revisit some stuff for the first time since childhood such as Rocky Super Action Boxing. Obviously picking up an NT Mini to play Coleco games is not something I can recommend from a cost perspective, however if it is something you are already considering or already own this is an extremely worthwhile pickup to expand its capabilities. Will return when I have spent more time with some games and can provide more in depth thoughts on them.

Growing up I was lucky enough own an Intellivision and have friends that owned a Collecovision and an Atari. I played a ton of frenzy and Pitfall 2, but Smurfs blew my mind graphically. Gameplay wise I sucked. I could never jump those fences.

How appropriate, for that game, to have a puffy case!

i-puffi-1

That’s how we call The Smurfs, here in Italy. :smile:

I had a Colecovision as a kid. I bought it on clearance during the Video Game Crash in the US. I got the system for something like $50 brand new. I had around 15 games, the Roller Controller Module and the Super Action Controllers. I only paid like $20 each for the Roller Controller and Super Action Controllers and the games only cost like $5 - $15 each, all brand new. The crash was a double edged sword, as there was only a few new console games here and there (computer gaming was still going strong in the US), but what was out there was dirt cheap. You could go into the store with $20 and walk out with like 2 or 3 new games.

Some of my favorite games were Zaxxon, Miner 2049’er, Time Pilot, Mr. Do, Pepper II, Star Wars: The Arcade Game, Super Action Baseball and Slither. Slither was a Centipede type game, but way better than Centipede or even Millipede.

Since my RGB modded Coleco came in, my friend who has a bunch more coleco games than I do came over yesterday and we spent a good 3 - 4 hours just playing Coleco. My one controller is half dead, but he thinks replacing the IC could fix it, so well see. We had a damn good time, and one of the big games I walked away now needing for the system is Pepper II. The gameplay there just kept pulling me back. Same with Mr Do! (not Mr Do!'s Castle just regular Mr. Do!). Mr Do! was one of mine, and ofcourse I have Donkey Kong and DK Jr for it. I really liked Smurf too, who knew that game could be so much fun. I played a ton of H.E.R.O. back in the day on the 2600, so I would love to try the coleco version. Similarly I had Montezuma’s Revenge on our Apple II (can’t remember if it was the E or GS) and really want to try the colecoversion.

My friend is letting me borrow Pepper II and Popeye for now, I really need to get my own copy of Pepper II though.

I’m raising this thread again to just ask why the fuck is Smurf so good? Its really simplistic and basic but it keeps pulling me back in. This and Pepper II have been my favorite on the console so far.

I guess you just like to jump over stuff?