Top 10 Lists : The Top 10 ColecoVision Games
To most GameFAQs users, the words "Connecticut Leather Company" probably don't mean a lot. But in the early 80's, the company was riding high on the twin-successes of the Cabbage Patch Kids and the ColecoVision. Following up on the success of the Coleco Telstar in the 70's, the ColecoVision game console was the most advanced system of its generation. Granted, a good 80% of GameFAQs users probably weren't even BORN when the ColecoVision was a going concern, but for those of us who are old enough to remember when the Rubik's Cube was still new, here's the Top 10 games from the ColecoVision.
Like its contemporary "Moon Patrol", this game consisted entirely of ducking overhead obstacles and jumping obstacles on the ground. This game, however, was based on the comic strip B.C., and had a caveman riding a stone unicycle. Your little guy merrily ducked under tree branches and birds, jumped over holes and logs, and searched far and wide for his lady-love.
Taking advantage of the ColecoVision controller's ability to slip plastic slides over the number-pad (yes, Coleco controllers had a number pad - they looked like giant cel phones), this game used those numbers as function keys, effectively turning a two-trigger controller into a 14-button one. This came in handy when you were playing Blackjack, because not only were there were buttons to Hit, Stand, Split, and Double Down, but you could enter your bets in by number. And when playing Poker (5-card Draw), you could choose which cards to keep and drop, when to fold, and what to bet.
#8: Defender (CVIS)
One of the most popular arcade games of the era, it was no surprise when it wound up on multiple home systems. You flew a ship defending planet Earth from alien invasion - but this game wasn't just a pure shoot-'em-up. On the ground were little dots that represented humans, and the alien ships would slowly hone in on them, pick them up, and carry them upwards and off the screen. You could save the humans from abduction if you got to them and shot the ship carrying them fast enough - but if you didn't catch them as they fell, they could still die from the fall! This added a level of strategy that was new to side-scrolling shooter games.
#7: Q*bert (CVIS)
No one ever really knew what Q*bert was supposed to be, even after he got his own cartoon. All we really knew was that he apparently had the power to change the color of tiles by jumping at them, and he swore a lot. @!#?@! This game was fun, but hellishly difficult after the first few levels. If you played long enough, Q*bert probably wasn't the only one swearing.
#6: Carnival (CVIS)
Shoot the ducks and win a kewpie doll! This game was based on the carnival shooting games of long ago, with little targets, ducks, and the like moving slowly back and forth while you try to shoot them. Sure, it's basically just Space Invaders in disguise, but for some reason, it seemed 100 times cooler. The music was some of the best for the period (which, granted, means it was still just a lot of beeping and booping), and with every single target you hit, all the other targets started moving just a bit faster - making the last dozen or so nearly impossible to hit. Add to the fact that there was a time limit on every board, and this was another game to make you tear your hair out.
#5: Popeye (CVIS)
Bluto has kidnapped Olive Oyl, and locked her in a cage! You play as Popeye, running up and down ladders, trying to catch the hearts that she dropped (don't ask me why, I have no idea). Eventually, if you caught all 24, she'd be freed - but while you were running around trying to catch the things, Bluto would follow, trying to punch you in the head. Fortunately for you, there were traps you could trigger (like the bucket you can drop on his head), and a can of spinach that allowed you to punch HIM out! Best of all, a MIDI version of the Popeye theme would play whenver you grabbed the spinach, and the rest of the music was pretty damned catchy as well.
This game was based on Rocky III, and was probably one of the best boxing games of the era (which, granted, isn't saying much). But Rocky doesn't make the list because of its gameplay, or even because it gives you a change to punch a vaguely human-shaped blob that's supposed to be Mr.T - this game was great solely because of the oversized controllers it came with, with FOUR trigger buttons! One for each finger, leaving your thumb free to use the joystick. At the time, it was quite an amazing thing.
A "forward"-scrolling game (your point-of-view was behind the main character), Antarctic Adventure told the tale of a little penguin who had been separated from his family, and had to skate across Antarctica to find them. Skating from checkpoint to checkpoint, he has to dodge giant walruses, hop over cracks in the ice, AND do it all in a specific time-limit. Worse, the penguin in this game is quite possibly the cutest main character in the history of video games, which will make you feel like total garbage when you lose (and you will), and he stares at you with his sad and lonely eyes.
Long before Mario was running around with mushrooms and Donkey Kong was playing bongos, there was this game. For some reason, DK has kidnapped Mario's girlfriend, and now the stalwart plumber (who wasn't even a plumber at this point) had to climb endless girders to save her, while dodging barrels and running away from a fireball. Fortunately, he had his trusty green hammer to bash the barrels and rack up the points. Even now, I can hear that damned background music in my head...
Do you have what it takes to jump over hissing snakes, bouncing skulls, and bottomless pits? Are you clever enough to find the right key for three different types of locked doors? Are you a complete and utter masochist? If so, this game might be for you. In Montezuma's Revenge (please, no jokes) you played as Panama Joe, an explorer looting the lost temple of the Aztecs, grabbing as many gems as you could find while searching for the hidden treasure room. In a world where even the slightest mistake equals death and there's no save feature of any kind, this game was king.
Coleco eventually went bankrupt, killed by the twin factors of the Great Crash of 1983 and the inability to launch the Adam as a viable home computer/game combo. Coleco eventually sold off all its properties to Hasbro, but one has to wonder - had Coleco survived, would it have been able to compete with Nintendo and Sega (both of which had made games for the Coleco)? Would it have continued to produce solid games which were cutting egde for the era, or would it have quietly faded away no matter what? Sadly, we'll never know. And there you have it... 10 games that were awesome before most of you were even born.
List by CynicalZealot (03/07/2006)
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