Colecovision

The Colecovision was another of the great consoles from the early eighties. The console was released in 1982 in the United States by Coleco (formerly the COnnecticut LEather COmpany) who had had some earlier dealings in the video game market with their Telstar game unit, a simple Pong close that they released in 1976. CBS were the company responsible for sales and marketing in Europe.

The Telstar console had initially sold well, but missed the Christmas sales peak due to striking dock workers and experienced a number of other problems. The company lost over $20 million dollars on the Telstar, but were determined to press ahead into the video game market nonetheless.

Coleco had contacted the Japanese company Nintendo and secured the rights to produce a console version of their arcade hit 'Donkey Kong' for a princely $250,000. The console manufacturers promised 'arcade quality' games, and better sound and graphics than the two other main consoles of the time, the Atari & the Intellivision. This proved to be a fair description - the console outperformed both the Atari & Mattel machines on all aspects, sound, graphics & power.

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The Colecovision sold almost 1 million units in its first year, which was unheard of at the time for any consoles initial year. While the Atari & Mattel machines were enjoying good sales figures, they had been slow to get where they were. By 1983 the Colecovision was outselling them both.

Another selling point of the console, was the Expansion Pack Module #1. This expansion pack was an add-on that connected to the Colecovision, and allowed the owner to play Atari 2600 Games through their Colecovision. This dramatically increased the back catalogue of titles available to the machine. The company promised a similar add-on for the Intellivision, which would give 100% compatibility of games currently on the market.

Unfortunately, this never came about. Coleco had poured all the profits from the Colecovision into their new Adam Home Computer. The Adam was an attempt by Coleco to crack the Home Computer market - sales of the Colecovision had started to dip due to some parents concerns that video games consoles were bad for their children. The Adam was the solution to this; while the console still played all the Colecovision games, it also had all the educational benefits that came with a home computer.

Unfortunately, the initial release was more than problematic - over 50% of machines had to be returned from new. This coupled with the high price tag for the computer meant sales plummeted (well, in reality, they never plummeted as they never reached any decent numbers) and eventually Coleco pulled out of the Computer & Video games market all together in 1984.

Given that the market was collapsing at the time, this would have happened anyway, and Coleco managed to survive on sales of its Cabbage Patch Dolls, if only for a short while. Over the next few years the company went from a profit of millions to losses of millions. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1989.

The Colecovision may have been short lived, but produced some of the most accurate Arcade conversions of its time. Games from Nintendo, Sega & Universal remain pretty faithful to their coin-operated counterparts. Notable games are Mr Do!, Gyruss, Donkey Kong & Looping.

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Mr Do!

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

Gather in the cherry harvest, but look out for the bad guys. Mr Do can use apples as barricades or offensive weapons. Sometimes a fallen apple yields and unexpected bonus; the diamond. Throw the 'magic ball' to destroy enemies, or collect bonus score letters.

Lady Bug

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

Guide the Ladybug around the maze. Eat the hearts and letters to increase your score. Move the maze doors to escape enemies, but avoid the poisonous skulls. New enemies enter the maze when the border is lit. Each new maze becomes more difficult; enemies moving faster, but rewards are greater.

Gyruss

Notes: 
This game is the plastic box version.
Box: 
yes
£20.00
Manual: 
yes
£20.00

Three billion miles is a long way from home. But there's no shorter route from outer Neptune to Earth. As if that weren't enough. it's got to be a shoot-out all the way. You alone in your rapid-firing spaceship, swirling in a circular flight pattern. orbiting to the right. arcing to the left. trying to mow down wave after wave of enemy plane formations, rocketing meteors and run-away satellites.

Gorf

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

Your first mission is to defend against the Gorfian Robots' bombs in astro battles. Then destroy the laser Ship and all Kamikaze crazies in the laser attack. Next, escape the deadly subquark torpedoes through the Space Warp. Your ultimate mission is to demolish the all-powerful Flag Ship in a powerful neutronium explosion.

Frenzy

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

Move from maze to maze to destroy Evil Otto's robot forces. Use laser and reflective walls to eliminate the enemy. Eliminate the control centre of each maze for extra points but beware of the homing robots.

Defender

Box: 
yes
£0.00
Manual: 
yes
£0.00

The thrill of the arcade game! Landers, Bombers, Baiters, Pods and Swarmers. The alien attack has come, and defeat at the hands crazed invaders threatens the humanoids. Their only hope is the spaceship, Defender. Armed with smart bombs and able to shift into hyperspace, Defender evens the score only to become the object of another foul attack; kidnapped humanoids transformed into killer mutants!

Donkey Kong Jr

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

Swing Junior along the vines, jump on islands but avoid the snap jaws. Move on and push the keys into the locks at the vines tops. When all the keys are in place, move to the next screen. Moving platforms and chains make your rescue attempt doubly difficult.

Cosmic Avenger

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

Your fighter can fire rockets and drop bombs to knock out enemy installations. Use the radar screen at the top for advance warning of deadly UFO's. Explorer undersea caverns but beware of attack from submarines. Enemy installations fire from above and below, use Super Thrust speed to attack or escape.

Centipede

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

The thrill of the arcade game! An insidious invasion of multiplying insects (centipedes, jumping spiders, poisonous spiders and frenzied fleas!) pose different perils to the mushroom patch. You must repeatedly blast enraged creepers and stubborn obstacles. Remember to listen for the distinctive sounds of the attacking bugs; and watch out for blasted centipede segments - each one grows a new head!

Carnival

Box: 
yes
£14.00
Manual: 
yes
£14.00

Fire at moving targets; ducks, owls, rabbits and pipes. Use your bullets carefully; don't let flying ducks eat them up. Hit all the pipes then clear the moving targets from the screen. Hit the moving bears to make them roar then turn and roar faster!

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