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Games are rated relative to other games for the same system.

Colecovision Reviews Q-R

Grade: A-
Publisher: Parker Bros. (1983)
Posted: 2004/6/12

screenshotThis is a good-looking adaptation of the likeable arcade hit. In Q*bert, you control a cute little round guy (with a long nose) traversing a pyramid, trying to turn its squares the same color. This edition is impressive, with all the elements of the arcade game including those squiggly green things that move across the pyramid sideways. There are even short "intros" to each level. I'm glad to see that the "escape disks" sport that cool swirl pattern, but I must say I'm disappointed Q*bert doesn't have any eyes. He's just not the same loveable freak without those big, white eyes.

Also, when he "curses", it doesn't look like he really means it. I had difficulty with the control until I realized you need to turn the controller forty-five degrees and play it like that. It feels strange at first, but it's not bad once you get the hang of it. The characters are animated smoothly, and the sound effects are faithful to the arcade. Q*bert has three skill levels, and provides plenty of old-school fun. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 3
Our high score: 11,355
1 or 2 players 

Q*bert's Qubes
Grade: F
Publisher: Parker Bros. (1984)
Posted: 2018/12/5

screenshotQ*bert (Parker Bros., 1983) was a universal hit starring a loveable, profanity-spewing creature. Its simple gameplay involved hopping around a pyramid until all the blocks were the same color. Q*bert's Qubes adds a Rubik's Cube twist to the formula, narrowing its appeal considerably. Now the cubes you jump between have colors on all sides, and when you jump off a cube it rotates in the opposite direction.

The goal is to rotate them to match the "model cube" in the corner. This is harder than it sounds and extremely irritating. It's often necessary to hop on and off the same cube several times to get it right, and when you have dangerous snakes and balls bouncing around you, cube orientation is the last thing on your mind.

As if the developers sensed the headache they had created, they lowered the bar a bit. Instead of changing all the cubes, you just need to complete any single row. Believe me, when this happens it's completely by accident. Q*bert's Qubes has all the tedium of a puzzle game and absolutely none of the fun. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 2
Our high score: 6905
1 player 

Rip Cord
Grade: B
Publisher: CollectorVision (2017)
Posted: 2022/5/6

screenshotOriginally a black-and-white coin-op published by Exidy in 1979, Rip Cord was one of those games advertised on Coleco boxes and catalogs that never saw the light of day. Until now. With nothing to go by but an artist-rendering from an old catalog, programmer Russel Kumro has effectively resurrected this long lost artifact. He did a bang-up job. This is pretty terrific.

As soon as I spotted the colorful screenshot of this game on CollectorVision's site I fell in love with its graphics. The bright blue sky, palm tree, and fancy hotel instantly put me in the mind of summer! And the 12-year-old in me still thrills to these vintage, arcade-quality visuals.

Fire up Rip Cord and you'll be stunned by the amazing rendition of "Jump" playing over the title screen. My friend Eric noted that since the game was originally released in 1979, Van Halen totally ripped off this game! Either way, it's great fun to kick back and listen to.

Rip Cord is very easy to play, calling to mind the much less-sophisticated Sky Diver (Atari 2600, 1978). A blue plane flies over what appears to be an exotic resort with soaring red cliffs, a posh hotel, and an inviting blue harbor. Pressing a side button makes your tiny man jump from the plane, diving towards the ground. Pushing the button again deploys your parachute, and while floating down you can guide yourself slightly left or right.

Making the game challenging are helicopters buzzing around the sky in unpredictable patterns. You'll need to time your jumps carefully, remaining in dive position until you reach a safe zone to deploy. It's great fun to "thread the needle", missing the whirling blades of a copter by the skin of your teeth. The only thing missing is a timer. You could wait all day to jump.

There are six landing pads of various point values, and you'll need to hit one worth 10, 20, and 50 points before you advance on to your next mission. The screen layout doesn't change between missions (sadly) but additional helicopters join the fray. It's not very deep but if you're in the mood for a quick thrill Rip Cord has got you covered. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 3
Our high score: SDZ 5015
1 or 2 players 

River Raid
Grade: A
Publisher: Activision (1984)
Posted: 2004/6/12

screenshotThere's not a single bad thing I can say about this terrific version of River Raid. Unlike the Atari 5200 version, which bore a striking resemblance to its Atari 2600 cousin, Activision has given this version the royal treatment. All of the graphics have been completely redone, and the multicolored ships, helicopters, and tanks look far more realistic.

The riverbank winds in irregular patterns, and you'll have to squeeze through some very narrow openings. Numbered bridges allow you to track your progress, and it's always satisfying to blast a bridge to smithereens as a tank's rolling over it. This edition of River Raid even throws in a few extra challenges to ratchet up the difficulty. Special helicopters can fire missiles at you, and tanks line up and fire at you from the riverbank!

Your plane is a pleasure to control, and your precision-guided missiles make it possible to obliterate everything in your path. Just make sure to keep an eye on that fuel supply, since fuel barges become more and more scarce as you progress. River Raid has four levels of difficulty. If you're getting tired of the Atari 2600 version, give this one a try. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 3
Our high score: 18550
1 or 2 players 

Robin Hood
Grade: C-
Publisher: Xonox (1983)
Posted: 2010/7/20

screenshotRobin Hood features a series of unique screens rendered with some sweet, high-resolution graphics. The lush green countrysides of Sherwood Forest look terrific, but that red sun looks so hideous that it makes me feel embarrassed for the real sun. In the first screen you fire arrows at henchmen who emerge from trees and riverbanks. It's especially satisfying when you shoot them in the head!

The controls are pretty good (you can fire diagonally) and the collision detection is forgiving. In crossfire situations, your enemies can inadvertently shoot each other. The second screen contains a bunch of swordsmen milling around like zombies. You can engage each with your sword, but your best bet is to systematically sneak up behind each one and bludgeon them in the back of the head. You get unlimited lives for this screen only, probably because of its potential to be frustrating.

The third screen depicts a majestic, multi-tiered castle on the right half, with archers that randomly appear in the towers. After killing five archers a switch will appear that opens the drawbridge. Just be sure not to touch any water while crossing the bridge, because in classic gaming few things are more deadly than water!

Once inside the castle, your final challenge is to locate the gold and princess behind a series of doors. This stage is a minor disaster. Most doors unleash henchmen, and since you're completely unarmed, you're reduced to running away like a sissy. Navigating the stairways is tricky, and even when you find something it's hard to tell if it registered or not.

After exhausting your lives the game awards you with a title (usually something like "stable sweeper"). In terms of audio, an understated melody plays throughout the game, and it sounds appropriate for the period. Robin Hood delivers a very uneven gaming experience, but collectors will be intrigued. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 1
1 or 2 players 

Roc N Rope
Grade: C-
Publisher: Coleco (1983)
Posted: 2001/7/4

screenshotRoc N Rope was a minor arcade game that pushed the Donkey Kong formula a little too far. Instead of climbing ladders, your man shoots ropes diagonally between cliffs, then climbs them to higher ground. Monsters lurk in caves on the cliff faces, and they will either shake the rope, or climb down after you. To defend yourself, you have a flashlight that temporarily stuns them. If you make it to the top of the screen, you'll rescue a magic egg and move on to a tougher level. Subsequent levels include elevators and more complicated sets of platforms. I can see why Roc N Rope never really caught on. The controls have a steep learning curve and the game lacks personality. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Recommended variation: 2
Our high score: 16340
1 or 2 players 

Grade: D

screenshotIf you were a kid seeing this game in the 1982 Sears catalog you'd think it was too good to be true. Instead of the tiny, pixelated characters, Rocky boasts huge, lifelike renderings of Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T facing off in the boxing ring. There's even a bow-tie-wearing referee, constantly jostling around to maintain a good vantage point. To this day I am astonished by this game.

You need to whip out those oversized Super Action controllers to play this one. Upon starting a new match you're treated to a screen-sized digitized image of Rocky! Though stunning in 1982, the use of day-glow colors tend to undermine his toxic masculinity. The Rocky theme however sounds so awesome I just want to put down the controller and start working out!

Like most Colecovision sports titles there's a price to be paid for the bleeding-edge visuals. I like the idea of being able to position my boxer around the ring, but your movement is extremely sluggish, almost to the point of feeling unresponsive. There are two punches that don't generate much power. Whenever I land a punch the CPU opponent immediately jabs me back. Ducking and blocking aren't very effective. The action feels more like rock-paper-scissors than cat-and-mouse.

Occasionally the fighters will clench, prompting the ref to break them up. The animation becomes stilted when a knock-down occurs, but I like the drama of watching a fighter trying to return to his feet. The crowd occasionally sounds like people are cheering, but the cat-call whistles seem strangely out of place. Each fight ends with the victor donning a belt in the ring, raising his arms in victory.

I play most Colecovision games on variation three (arcade level) but in this case you'll want to dial it down. The rounds are short but the idea of going more than three is painful. Rocky is a showcase title - no doubt about that. But if I'm going to be honest it's more fun to watch than play. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.

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Recommended variation: 1
Our high score: 113-108
1 or 2 players 

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Screen shots courtesy of Video Game Museum, Console Classix , Colecovision.dk, Games Database, The Dreamcast Junkyard, Moby Games