When I had to downsize to a small apartment this year, the Vectrex was one of many systems I sold to make space and gather money. I was sad to see it go but I kept the games and maybe one day I wil get another one with new capacitors.
In 1982, General Consumer Electronics (GCE) introduced the Vectrex system to the North American market. The company was soon acquired by Milton Bradley, and they expanded its release to Europe in 1983. Like with the Intellivision, Bandai received the Japanese distribution rights.
Unlike the other more traditional consoles released in 1982 (ColecoVision, Atari 5200), it came with a monitor which displayed vector (line) graphics as opposed to raster graphics of TVs. The downside was that it was the only new black and white console on the market and games included screen overlays to give the appearance of colour, a throwback to many games of the '70s. Still, it was a very impressive piece of hardware. The graphics were sharp and animated extremely smooth.
Its joystick was also one of the sturdiest controllers of its time, and worked great for both digital and analog play. If anyone tells you the N64 had the first good console analog stick, they’re wrong.
It was also the first console to have 3d glasses/visor predating the Master System and Famicom ones by a few years. Since the 3D Imager was released shortly before the system was discontinued, it’s a collector’s item today. At least I got to play SubRoc 3D in the arcades back then.
The character Spike has sort of become retro-actively seen as a mascot for the Vectrex. I don’t think many would consider it a great game but it stood out on the system for its use of voice and being a Vectrex platformer in a sea of shooters.
Anyway, here are some of the quality games available for the Vectrex:
Mine Storm was an excellent Asteroids clone built into the system, and superior to any actual ports of Asteroids available back then.
An impressive port of the Cinematronics arcade game where you move your jeep around a maze shooting tanks and helicopters.
An interesting note about this game - it was probably the first console game to be ported to the arcades.
Hyperchase Auto Race
This racing game has a nice sense of speed.
A port of the Konami arcade game filling the side-scrolling shooter void on the system.
Another somewhat Asteroids-like shooter.
Fortress of Narzod
Web Wars/Web Warp
The special effects were amazing and still look good today. I initially thought this game was all style over substance but it really grew on me.
The system took on sort of a second life with the homebrew scene of the 1990s and 2000s with plenty of new games and multicarts.