Friday, 26 March 2021

ColecoVision A-Z

Several consoles appeared in the early 80s which were intended to compete with, even supplant the mighty Atari VCS. The effort by Coleco Industries was pretty decent, but sadly their... umm, vision I guess, was thwarted by the 'great videogame crash'. Here, over time, I will take a look at all the system's games. This is one of five posts to that end and features all games beginning with letters K through M:

Ken Uston's Blackjack-Poker (1983)

Okay, I've no idea who Ken Uston is and I don't really have any interest in poker. Nor, I wouldn't have thought, did this title suit the usual Coleco demographic. As far as I can tell, though, it plays a reasonable enough game of blackjack, and probably poker too, and supports up to four players, so if card games are your bag, baby...


Keystone Kapers (1984)

Apparently there was a series of films many moons ago called Keysyone Cops and this is based on them. It's a simple platformer charging you, as a cop, to chase down 'Harry Hooligan' in a department store and nab him before he escapes. It's pretty addictive as it goes, but it does also get rather repetitive.


Lady Bug (1982)

There were lots of Pac-Man clones in the early 80s and this was one of the most appealing. It cast the player as the titular beetle whose job is to collect all the x's in each maze, with help coming in the form of twirly gates that only she can pass. It's a very enjoyable and addictive game and a great conversion too.


Looping (1983)

Another arcade conversion, this time of a little-known German shooter. So called (presumably) because of the looping landscape, it's your job to destroy specific targets within its cityscape before navigating a mazey section and reaching the exit. It's a little strange but also quite addictive and an excellent conversion.


M.A.S.H. (1983)

Although a conversion of an existing VCS game which was obviously based on the popular movie/TV show, this one never saw release on the Coleco for some reason. It does appear to be finished though, and tasks you with collecting injured troops by chopper, then operating on them. Not bad for an unreleased game.


Meteoric Shower (1983)

A real rarity, this one, in that it was a European exclusive. Not sure why though, it's rather good! It's a pretty simple Galaxian clone except this time the aliens are very small and also swoop onto the screen from the bottom as well as the top - eek! Luckily you can shoot downwards too. Good fun and addictive.


Miner 2049er (1983)

Lots of systems got a version of this platformer in the early 80s and this Coleco version is as good as any of them. Like many such games of the day, precision jumping is the order of the day here, with the object being to 'paint' all the platforms in a given stage. It can be frustrating but it's also very addictive!


Montezuma's Revenge (1984)

I thought this would be another single-screen platformer like Miner 2049er but it's actually a flick-screen game with some Metroidvania aspects - could it be the earliest example of that sub-genre? It's rather good too, if tricky. I think this might've been one of my favourites if I'd had a Coleco back in the day...


Moon Patrol (1984)

I believe this is another game that went unreleased for the Coleco, perhaps because of 'the crash', but it's a shame whatever the reason as it's a very decent version of the arcade classic from what I can see. That also means it's pretty tough but it's great fun to see how far you can get anyway. Give it a try via emulation.


Moonsweeper (1983)

Here's one I didn't know anything about. It initially looks like being another fixed shooter, albeit a slightly weird one, but you can also land on moons that fly by. The game then becomes an into-the-screen shooter where the object is to rescue stranded miners while shooting stuff. Nice graphics and fast scrolling too!


Motocross Racer (1984)

Another conversion from a VCS game which of course now looks much nicer. This one is a basically a motorcycle dodge 'em up split into four sections including into-the-screen and side-scrolling. It also employs a strange manual 3-speed gear system but once you get used to that it can be good fun.


Mountain King (1984)

I thought this one might be about trolls or something but no, it casts you as an explorer looking to snaffle diamonds and other treasure from a vast platformy mine. The graphics are very basic - just a white stick figure over a black background - but it can be quite enjoyable in short bursts.


Mouse Trap (1982)

This was an early release (it was a launch title in fact) and it's another Pac-Man clone similar to Lady Bug. Instead of that game's twirly gates, however, this game has colour-coded doors that you can open and close to escape from the pursuing cats. It's good fun but the maze feels a bit more claustrophobic than in similar games.


Mr. Do! (1983)

I never really got into this colourful Dig Dug clone but it has a lot of fans. Any of them who were/are Coleco owners must've been mighty happy with this version too. Mr. Do himself looks a bit like a ghost goblin and a few of the gameplay intricacies are a little different, but apart from that it's a mighty fine port of this collect-a-thon.


Mr. Do!'s Castle (1984)

The cherry-loving clown returns to the Coleco and this time looks like himself too. The game is tricky though - it's a single-screen platformer with the cherries embedded in floor tiles which Mr. Do has to hit with his hammer to collect. The pursuing enemies are much harder to avoid/defeat this time though.


Ms. Space Fury (2001)

This one is unusual in that it's actually a homebrew title that was released 'only' 20 years ago! It appears to be a sequel/spinoff of Space Fury and takes the form of a single-screen platformer with the object being to collect all the dots/balls on the platforms Pac-Man-stylee. It's quite tricky but it can be good fun too.


Left out on purpose: Learning with Leeper, Linking Logic, Logic Levels, Memory Manor, Monkey Academy (all educational games).

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