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New Intellivision games from PRGE


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Been a bit since there was any new content added to the Intellivision section here so I'm going to break up that ice a bit.

Did anyone else besides me who attended PRGE also pick up any of the new Intellivision games from the Intellivision Revolutionaries booth? I picked up 3 games:

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Bank Panic


I've only played Raiders and Bank Panic so far but they are both pretty impressive games! Bank Panic especially surprised me with how well it actually plays using the default controller. Using the keypad on that game to control the shots for the left,middle, and right doors is simple and prevents any fumbling which, is critical for this game since reaction times matter. And the overall graphics while of course not matching the arcade, are still quite good and it is just a general blast to play!

Raiders... Hmm.. Okay. Now there are a TON of spoilers ahead for this game, so if you haven't played it or don't know how to play it and want everything to be a surprise, then do NOT read beyond this point. If you would also rather not read all of this and see it in action instead, then I did a live stream game play through to the end last night. It isn't very long since the game is pretty short to play if you know what needs to be done. Again, it is a complete walk through play of the game so only watch if that isn't important to you.



So it is a direct port of the 2600 version of the game by HSW. That said, there are some changes to the core game play in the Intellivision version over the 2600 version that in my mind, make the game much easier than the 2600 version. Before I get to those differences, I will say that I really like the new graphical overhaul they have given to the game. It is very much what a port of a 2600 game to a better spec system should look like. The Indy sprite still looks basically the same and has the same smooth walking animation and that is good. And again the game play is a port of the 2600. Sounds are also similar but with that Intellivision sound to them. Now..about those differences:

- In the 2600 version you have a limit of only 6 items at a time that you can carry in your inventory. So in order to get through some parts of the 2600 game it becomes required to have to juggle what you really need vs want in order to get some items. On This new Intellivision port, this isn't an issue as you can carry a bunch of stuff all at once. This I consider a win in the Intellivision versions favor but does make the game overall much easier than the 2600 version. However,...

- There are 2 items that work very similar to each other in both the 2600 and Intellivision games. They are the hour glass an the Ankh. Both of which are gotten from the temple of the gods. They work the same in that both act as a grappling hook device that is needed to traverse the mesas section of the game. However, the difference between them is that the hour glass can be used and put away as needed in the 2600 version. The Ankh on the other hand, will not let you unequip it once you have it equipped and so you have to drop it when you are done with it on the 2600 version in order to have control of Indy again and move onto the next screen. The main advantage of the Ankh over the hour glass, is that when you activate the Ankh from most anywhere in the game, it will teleport you to the Mesas part of the game instantly. It is also nice to have in case you fall, because you can quickly teleport back to the top of the mesas before hitting the ground an losing a life in the process. The Hour glass does not teleport you and will not save your life if you fall and try to use it. Both of these items are in the Intellivision version as well. But unlike the 2600 version, you can also equip and unequip the Ankh. Therefore the hour glass is pointless to even get or use in the Intellivision version of the game since the Ankh does it all and you aren't stuck in grappling mode using it as you are in the 2600 version. This I'm undecided on being good or bad in the case of the Intellivision version. But it does seem like the hour glass is redundant and is a waste to include in the game.

- In the 2600 version of the game, there is a spider room and the spider only comes after you if your character happens to touch the spiders web, dictated by a small dot that shoots out from the spider that is hiding at the center of the screen. On the Intellivision version, the spider is always visible and will always come directly at the player character regardless. The spider in the Intellivision version also shoots out webs at the player character that if hit, will cause Indy to remain frozen on the screen for several seconds. So in the case of this room, the 2600 version is the easier of the two I think and this is a win for the Intellivision version.

- In the 2600 version there is a room with a timepiece that you can pick up. The only purpose of the timepiece is to give you an idea on what time of day it is so that you know how much longer you might have to wait in the map room later on. This object basically works the same in both versions of the game. Although on the Intellivision port, when you use the timepiece it will show the current time in 24hour format. In both versions of the game, the sun rises at around 12 noon so again, it is nice to have so you can see how long a wait it might be.

- In the 2600 version you have to be in very specific spots of the screen when exiting to the next screen or else Indy can fall to his death. These aren't issues in the Intellivision version. Examples of this are going to the map room from he Mesas and while in the map room itself. Again, on the 2600 version you had to be centered in parts of the screen or paths you walk to prevent from falling. In the intellivision version, the map room is a full size room with the map room being locked in a chamber within the room. So no risk of falling. Not sure if this is a win or not in the Intellivision's favor since I never had too much issue with it on the 2600 once I knew where I needed to be. But for new players it does make it much easier to play with less frustration on the Intellivision

- There are two parts in the 2600 game where there are thieves that move back and forth from the left and right sides of the screen that you have to dodge. One is the screen on the way to the black market, and the other on the way to the well of the souls. On the 2600 version you are safe on pretty much every other line of this since the thieves stay on their horizontal paths they enter the screen on. But on the Intellivision version, there are always two thieves on these screens and they come straight for the player. This is actually a more difficult screen on the Intellivision and I think is a win towards the intellivision version. It really makes the digging more difficult on the well of souls at the end because you have to move back and forth to dig but also dispatch the thieves that come after you at the same time.

- There is a character known as the Raving Lunatic on the 2600 version that doesn't move around. He is just a static object on the screen that represents a person. If you try and cross anywhere past him horizontally, then a quick black line appears on the screen and you lose a life. This character is present on the Intellivision version as well but in the manual it states he is harmless and to ignore him. And yes... you can move all around him without worry in the Intellivision version and nothing will happen to Indy. I do think this should have been added but maybe have the raving lunatic move around the screen erratically and slower than the thieves so he would at least be a threat to Indy instead of just sitting there and looking cool on the screen. So I don't consider that a win for the Intellivision version.

- There is a Gun you can get early in the game on both versions. On the 2600 version, you initially have 6 bullets when you buy the gun. Additional bullets can be purchased in the black market but only 3 bullets at a time with each one costing a back of gold. On the intellivision version, the gun has NO ammo when you first pick it up. Therefore, the only way to get ammo for it at the black market. However, unlike the 2600 version which, features limited ammo, once you buy the ammo on the Intellivision version, you have unlimited bullets from then on. I also do NOT consider this a win for the Intellivision version because it pretty much makes the gun pointless to have. Getting to the black market is towards the latter portion of the game so it seems pointless to not be able to use it until near the end when you might not even need it depending on how familiar you are with the game.

- Secret escape from guardian light room. In the 2600 version of the game, it was possible to move Indy in such a way that you could escape the dungeons in the light room that you go through on your way to the temple of the gods. However, escaping via this method would cause two of the doors in the time piece cave to close permanently and the one remaining way to exit to slowly start to close on you. So if you took too long getting around and having to retrace your steps, there would come a point that you could no longer access this part of the game if you triggered the trap with the doors. This same feature is in the Intellivision version, in that you can eventually escape the dungeon on the screen, but doing so will only cause the two bottom exits in the time piece cave to be closed off. The slowly descending door does not appear to be present in the Intellivision version so again, there isn't really a penalty for using this method as was initially intended on the 2600 version. So I do not consider this a win for the Intellivision version but some might like this option more.

So all of this sounds pretty cool and makes the Intellivision version seem pretty balanced with the 2600 version righ?! Well.. not quite. There is one... very LARGE difference between the 2600 original and this new port. And I think it is critical for replay value.

On the 2600 version, the location for the well of souls will randomly change from game to game. So you always have to visit the map room each time you play in order to know where the well of souls is. But in the Intellivision version... it never changes location. It is always in the same place each time. I played 3 games in a row yesterday and each game, the well of souls was in the exact same spot on the mesas. The kicker is, that the secret opening in the mesa wall that you have to use the parachute to get into, will NOT appear until you go through the map room process. So even though the location never seems to change, you still have to go through the full routine to find it before it is accessible to access the well of souls.

So overall I feel like the new graphics and sounds are a great addition and make the port very much worth playing. But more time could have gone into actually randomize the ark location from game to game to make it have more replay value. The addition of both the hour glass and Ankh is also a misstep because I think they could have done away with the hour glass and perhaps created a new item that Indy could use somewhere in the game. Or kept the 2600s feature where the Ankh remains constantly active and forcing you to drop it in some manner in order to proceed to the next screen.

Another interesting thing in regards to the 2600 manual, is that there is a section that states that in the map room is a symbol telling you which item you need in the map room. While this was never made to be a random item in the 2600 game, it might have been cool to do that in the Intellivision version. Yes I know the head piece on the staff of Ra is what was needed in the movie and it is here as well, but with the other liberties that were taken on the game play and locations, it wouldn't be that big of a stretch to have more than one such item that might have to be found and used first? Heck, while it would require adding a lot to the game, it would have been cool to have to do some stuff to first find where the head piece was located, and then have to find that first, and then have to buy a staff for it an then find the map room and well of souls. It would make the game play much more interesting although it would be more complex vs the 2600 version. I get they were trying to port the 2600 version an keep that. But then so many other changes were made that sorta detract from it being a true port. They did leave the YAR easter egg in there and the same method to activate it on the 2600 is done on the Intellivision version as well. However, unlike the 2600 version, it doesn't appear that there is a way to unlock HSW's initials in the game. Likely because he of course didn't have anything to do with this version of the game.

I also meant to add that like the 2600 version, there isn't a direct score in the game. When you beat the game on the 2600 version, Indy will be on a scissor lift like pedestal reaching up towards the ark. The height that Indy is at at the end of the game, indicates how many Adventure Points you earned. So the higher Indy is the better. The Intellivision version has this same feature. And it seems that to get the highest score requires getting and using all of the items at least once. Must use the secret escape method from the dungeons at least once. And last, you have to activate the Yar easter egg in the game.

I will have to give Parsec a try soon since I was told it does support the Intellivoice module and has all the same speech as the Ti original. Although I was never that good at the Ti version, more games for the Intellivision can only be a good thing!


Edited by CrossBow
Corrected content and added video twitch stream link.

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections


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