Intellivision Reviews K-L

Kool-Aid Man
Grade: D
Publisher: Mattel (1983)
Reviewed: 2001/11/9

screenshotHere's an interesting game that was only available through a special Kool-Aid promotion. If you're already familiar with the Atari 2600 version, you can rest assured that this Intellivision edition is far more sophisticated. The graphics are fantastic. You control two kids walking around a colorful three-story house complete with stairs, furniture, doorways, and windows. The well-animated children move as a pair, trying to avoid the "thirsties" which randomly float around.

Your mission is to collect the sugar, Kool-Aid, and pitcher items, and to be honest, this part of the game is kind of slow and tedious. The bad guys aren't particularly aggressive, but if the kids do get caught, you're treated to a blood-curdling scream! General Foods reportedly wanted this alarming sound effect removed from the game, but the programmer had already quit so it stayed in!

After you combine the proper ingredients, the second part of the game kicks in. After an impressive intermission depicting the Kool-Aid Man busting through a brick wall, you have him go postal on those "thirsty" bastards. You can move him all over the place, snagging the bad guys and catching floating fruit. It's like a bonus round, but once it's over you're back to those lame kids, and who wants to go through that again? © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 51660
1 player 

new Lady Bug
Grade: A-
Publisher: Coleco (1982)
Reviewed: 2021/4/15

screenshotcoverI've played Lady Bug before but it's taken me decades to discover this fine Intellivision version. The manual depicts a little winged nymph winking seductively. What in the world does this have to do with the game? The manual also states "for color TV only", as if they're going to drag the VGC kicking and screaming into the 1970's! Nice try Coleco but I don't think so.

Lady Bug looks like your typical early-80's maze game, but it's better than most. You navigate ever-changing corridors while collecting X's, bonus hearts, and letters to the word "EXTRA". You're controlling an actual ladybug which is a far cry from the stripper on the instructions. Be careful to avoid deadly white skulls and wandering predator bugs. Enemies are released from the center on a timer, and once they're all loose a tasty bonus appears in the form of a carrot, radish, eggplant (!), or some other nutritious (and lucrative) vegetable.

What makes the game unique are the yellow walls you can push through and rotate like turnstiles, reconfiguring the maze on the fly. It's a very novel feature and a cool way to wall off pursuing bugs. There's a lot going on in this game; the maze feels so alive! The mushy intellivision pad won't do you any favors but that's okay because the game is slow and methodical. With arcade graphics and four skill levels, this is a nearly flawless port. Lady Bug gets extra credit for the hooker on the cover, although Scott says he'd put a bag over her antennae. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 3
Our high score: 16,270
1 or 2 players 

Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack
Grade: A
Publisher: Mattel (1982)
Reviewed: 2000/3/12

screenshotDespite some reservations, I was very impressed with this casino-style card game. One or two people can play blackjack or three kinds of Poker (5 card stud, 7 card stud, 5 card draw). The graphics are sharp and it's easy to read the cards, but the best aspect of the game is the dealer. Not only does he look good when he deals, but he makes some funny facial expressions (depending on how well you're doing). The Intellivision control pads are well-suited for this type of game, with specific buttons assigned to hit, stand, or double down. This is definitely one the better classic card games. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
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1 or 2 players 

Lock N Chase
Grade: A-
Publisher: Mattel (1982)
Reviewed: 2010/3/31

screenshotIn 1982 Pac-Man was taking the arcades by storm, and Mattel needed an answer to keep their system relevant. Enter Lock N Chase. It may not have set the world on fire, but most Intellivision fans regard this as a legitimate classic. Playing the part of a bank robber on the run, Lock N Chase was one of the first games that let you be "the bad guy". Granted, a furry little gremlin wearing a top hat may not match the standard profile, but those shifty eyes of his are devious!

Lock N Chase is a thinking-man's Pac-Man. You're pursued by four policemen, and while you can't turn the tables on them, you can shut doors behind you to slow their pursuit. On occasion you can "trap" them, and it's even perfectly reasonable to trap yourself under the right circumstances. Examine the maze closely and you'll notice white lines indicating where these temporary doors can be placed. I like how the doors gradually disintegrate after a few seconds.

The police are relentless and intelligent. You can't easily fake them out, as they tend to mimic your movements. To maximize your score you'll want to nab any bonus items (dollar signs, phones, briefcases) that appear at the center of the screen. And don't relax once you clear the maze, because you're not out of the woods until you exit through the escape hatch.

This game makes me wish the Intellivision had joysticks, because navigation is tricky with the directional pad. Even so, Lock N Chase is madly addictive, and if you find your scores getting progressively worse, that's because the game baits you into taking risks. That's a sign of a good game, and Lock N Chase provides some of the best arcade action the system has to offer. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: EV 30220
1 or 2 players 

Locomotion
Grade: B+
Publisher: Mattel (1982)
Reviewed: 2001/11/9

screenshotThis is a truly innovative game that demands fast thinking in addition to quick reflexes. Locomotion features a little train engine traveling through a maze of tracks. The tracks are broken up into squares, and by rearranging the squares on the fly, you guide the engine to waiting passengers while avoiding dead ends. You really have to experience this game to fully realize the genius behind it. Later stages feature runaway cabooses that make your job harder.

The controls are very good, and there's even a "panic" button that acts like a railroad version of hyperspace. The graphics don't exactly set the world on fire (the cabooses look like blobs) but the locomotive sound effects are nice. Locomotion never got the credit it deserved, perhaps because it's too difficult and complicated for its own good. Still, strategy-minded gamers looking for a challenge will love it. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 13750
1 or 2 player 


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Screen shots courtesy of Video Game Museum, Games Database