The Classic Intellivision FAQ
Composed, arranged, and produced by Intv Prime, Artifact Productions Division
Section 6.0: Organizations
Development and Distribution Groups that created, supplied, or otherwise worked in the Intellivision galaxy.
- 6.1 Software Publishers
- 6.2 Hardware Producers
- 6.3 Add-On Publishers
- 6.4 Media Organizations
6.1: What is 2600 Connection?
2600 Connection covers classic Atari VCS games in addition to regular mentions of Intellivision
6.1: What is Activision?
Activision was founded in 1979 as an alternate source of Atari VCS/2600 games. They successfully recruited disgruntled Intellivision developers from APh and became the first alternate publisher for the console.
6.1: What was APh?
Many of the original games were programmed at APh by college students as part of their programming classes.
In November 1975 APh was asked to brief a group of Mattel middle managers on how a microprocessor could be combined with a custom VLSI circuit to create a home video game system. During December it prepared a proof-of-concept demonstration that showed how a microprocessor based "TV typewriter" capable of displaying 25 rows of 40 characters (which you know today as BACKTAB) on a normal TV set could be modified/enhanced to include writeable character memory (which you know today as GRAM) plus a small number of additional characters specified by registers containing the character number that could be positioned anywhere on the screen using x- and y-position registers and optionally mirrored or magnified in x and y (which you know today as Moving Objects). Its demonstration implemented two such characters, which it called "Thing 1" and "Thing 2." The general architecture proposed by APh informed Chang’s thinking and heavily influenced Mattel’s subsequent vendor selection, and as such can be regarded as the genesis of the Intellivision. I’m not saying Maine and Harrower based their STIC on this work—they developed that independently—but that rather that it was behind Mattel’s decision to go with GI’s STIC and not with, say MOS Technology’s VIC, for the Intellivision.
6.1: What is Atari VCS?
The VCS, later called the 2600, was a simple home video game created by Atari in the mid 1970’s. It retailed for USD $199 (equivalent to $849.88 in 2020) and became the dominant home system in the second era of home video games. The low graphic resolution, simple control and play, and lack of sophistication made it the perfect foil for Mattel to leapfrong with the Intellivision console 2 years later.
6.1: What is Atarisoft?
Atarisoft was a game publisher that released Cantipede, Defender, and Pac-Man for the Intellivision. Pac-Man is the only game to be released first by INTV Corporation under license and then directly by publisher (meaning two boxes and in-game title screens exist for same game code).
6.1: What is Blue Sky Rangers Inc?
Intellivision Productions, Inc has been renamed to Blue Sky Rangers, Inc, and our store and other information is being moved to BlueSkyRangers.com. Former coding BSR Steve Roney is now the president of the operation, releasing old stock from the former Intellivision Productions vaults, and releasing new IP for the classic console as it becomes available.
6.1: What is Classic Game Publishers?
Classic Game Publishers is a packaging/publishing house of original Intellivision IP games and licensed games like Match 5 and Defender of the Crown.
6.1: What is Coleco?
After observing the profits being made by Atari and Mattel, the Coleco Leather Company (founded 1932 in Connecticut, USA) decided to enter the hot videogame market of the early 1980s.
Coleco released a console that derived from Intellivision innovation with similar controllers, overlay concept, PSG for audio, and modular computer conversion capabilitie.
Games focused on "arcade ports", mimicking most capabilities of hardware in commercial coin-op arcade machines. As Donkey Kong was a top coin-op arcade game, Coleco selected it to be the Colecovision pack-in, driving hugh sales that outstripped Mattel and Atari by 1983. In the 21st Century, with emulation available on modern computers and devices, the Colecovision’s conversions of arcade ports is less impressive because true full versions of the real arcade games can be emulated on modern hardware.
6.1: What is Console5?
Console5 is a company that carries Intellivision ECS power supplies, fuses, and capacitors. They also carry hard-to-find Apple II items like the DarkSound board.
6.1: What is Digiplay?
During the 1980s, the Brazilian government required outside-developed technology to be re-developed within the country for soverignty reasons. Details of the deal made with US-based Mattel are not known, but Digiplay was the entity responsible for localization of hardware labels and references, game text, boxes, overlays, and advertising.
Digiplay had a "pirate competitor" in the Carioca company distributing the IntelliGame bootleg games, manufactured by VLS. Foundd in 1984, it sold photocopied manuals and Portuguese-summarized materials for rental stores. The price was much less than official Digiplay content, and the games were exactly the same (some were even multicarts with hardware switches).
6.1: What is Elektronite?
Elektronite is the leading publisher of commercial-quality, new Intellivision games. They often license IP from legitimate owners to create games (eg Boulderdash from First Star Software).
6.1: What is General Instruments?
GI owned the popular PIC microcontroller IP in the 1970s, and converted knowledge of it to design the GIMINI 8900 game system. Mattel Electronics partnered with GI to create the Intellivision as a superset of the 8900 specs.
6.1: What is Good Deal Games?
Good Deal Games publishes 21st Century titles that really maximize Intellivision graphics and sound capabilities with "Anthopomorphic Force", "Dragons n Swords", "Copter Command", and others.
6.1: What was Imagic?
Imagic (pronounced "imm-magic" not "eye magic") was a game publisher founded by Intellivision and Atari 2600 expatriates. Responsible for many cutting-edge games that made the most of Intellivision hardware in the early 1980s. The industry crash hit their small operation the hardest, and were in bankruptcy with assets being manipulated by Activision in the hopes that Activision would buy them and not abuse the catalog.
6.1: What is Intelligentvision?
Intelligentvision is a 21st Century game development and publishing house. They also carry modern bridge hardware.
The mission statement of Intelligentivsion is to share the love of the Intellivision console. How we do this has changed over the years. Phase one was to release new games. Phase two was to share the games that were still in development when the video game industry crashed in 1984. Phase three continues to be updating games we knew as a kid and make them more fun to play as an adult.
6.1: What is Intellivision Collector?
Intellivision Collector is a Canada-based producer and distributor of homebrew and independent Intellivision games. They have released new titles like Castle of Death, Keystone Kops, Show must Go On, as well as hard-to-find classic releases.
6.1: What is Intellivision Productions?
Intellivision Productions is the corporation formed by Keith Robinson in 1997 and re-organized in 2008 to market and develop original Intellivision game intellectual property. After INTV Corp shut its doors, Intellivision Productions pushed a branding blitz with new website, emulation on modern systems (including Nokia phones in 1997 and iOS and Android in 2000s), PC development environment, and official merchandise to bring blocky-fast game fun to newer generations of gamers.
6.1: What is Intellivision Revolution?
Intellivision Revolution, led by the enigmatic "Rev", publishes new homebrew and independent games. IR releases tend to have full CIB treatment, and look great on the shelf as well as on the console to play. IR has championed Intellivision development since 2010.
Intellivision Revolution hosted the wildly successful Intellivision Virtual Expo in 2020.
6.1: What is Interphase?
Interpahse was a 1-person dev comapny made by a secretive gentleman. Releases were Blockage Runner and Sewer Sam.
6.1: What was INTV Corp?
In 1984, the vice president of marketing for Mattel Electronics bought the rights to the Intellivision and formed a company called INTV Corp. The company released a console physically identical to the 2609 console on the outside, with remaining 2609 electronics and in some rare cases, disabled Tutorvision electronics. The company also released games leftover from Mattel.
INTV continued to sell Master Components and cartridges, as well as to hire former Mattel Electronics empolyees to continue developing games. Surprisingly, INTV Corporation kept the Intellivision name alive until 1990. Having run out of money, INTV Corporation failed to sucessfully make the jump from exclusively supporting the Intellivision, to developing for the incredibly successful Nintendo Entertainment System, and went bankrupt some time in 1991.
6.1: What is Intv Prime?
Intv Prime is a small organization with a passion for creating new/authentic Intellivision© games, as well as tools that help others author fun games. Intv Prime also creates services for gamers like Live Streaming, Advertising, and internet-based archival. #stayBlocky
6.1: What is Ivory Tower?
Ivory Tower Collections is a specialized hardware modification business, projects include RGB modification of Intellivision consoles.
(2022-July-17) Operations are paused until the backlog is addressed.
6.1: What was JHC Electronics Service?
(Keith Robinson from 1995)
One of the most asked questions we get at the Blue Sky Rangers is "Where can I get my Intellivision repaired?" Well, the official Intellivision repair service (i.e. the one Mattel still refers people to when they call) is:
J.H.C. Electronics Service
901 South Fremont Avenue #108
Alhambra, California 91803
J.H.C. is owned by James Hann, the guy who ran the repair service for INTV Corporation. While their primary business is special controllers for newer videogame systems, they still have the equipment to test and repair Intellivisions and are (amazingly) still willing to do it.
They advertise: "J.H.C. Electronics will repair any Intellivision video game system, no matter where or when purchased, for one low price! Complete overhaul, thorough testing, no-charge return shipping to you – only $49.95."
J.H.C. can also repair Intellivoice and computer modules. Call for prices.
Note: They do NOT have Intellivision II power supplies. They get asked that all the time, and they looked into having some made, but the minimum order is 500. J.H.C. has 100 people on a list now, and if they get 400 more commitments they’ll have a batch made up. We wouldn’t hold our breath, unless someone wants to pay $3,000 for the first one to get the ball rolling. Still, if you want to be added to the list, e-mail us at Tech@intellivisionlives.com; we’ll pass them along to James if a significant number of people write."
6.1: What is Kai Magazine?
Kai Magazine software is a retro videogame development group. Their Intellivision games resemble early NES 8-bit games, they utilize all of the Inty hardware and use unique tricks!
6.1: What is Left Turn Only?
LTO is the publishing organization for Joe Zbiciak, kick-starting the entire Intellivision homebrew/independent ecosystem with the SDK-1600, jzIntv, JLP, and LTO technologies.
6.1: What is M-Network?
Atari VCS games made by the original Intellivision game programmers at APh were made under the "M Network" tradename (M for Mattel). All of the games were Atari 2600 versions of already released Intellivision cartridges. In recognition, though, of the concern that the simpler Atari versions might reflect badly on the Intellivision originals, the names of the games were changed.
6.1: When did M-Network close?
Mattel closed its software division in January 1984, leaving a number of Atari games, in various stages of development, unreleased.
6.1: What games were released for M-Network?
- Armor Ambush
- Dark Cavern
- Frogs and Flies
- International Soccer
- Lock ‘N’ Chase
- Space Attack
- Super Challenge Baseball
- Super Challenge Football
- TRON Deadly Discs
- Adventures of TRON
- Air Raiders
- Bump ‘N’ Jump
- Kool-Aid Man
- Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man
- Star Strike
- Anteater (unreleased)
- Rocky and Bullwinkle (unreleased)
- Sea Battle (unreleased)
- Sharp Shot (unreleased)
- Swordfight (unreleased)
- Loco-Motion (unreleased)
- ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS TREASURE OF TARMIN Cartridge (unreleased)
- Monkey Business (unfinished)
- In Search of the Golden Skull (unfinished)
- ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS TOWER OF MYSTERY Cartridge (unfinished)
- Computer Corridor (unfinished)
6.1: What was Mattel Electronics?
Mattel Electronics was a Mattel subsidiary created in the mid-1970s by younger executives that wanted to create a new kind of entertainment beyond the traditional and successful toy offerings like Barbie.
Mattel Electronics pioneered successful handheld games, which prompted the organization to partner with General Instruments and APh to create the Intellivision console to compete with Atari.
6.1: What is Midnight Blue International?
Midnight Blue, headed by Michael Hayes, is an independent game development shop that has published purely original content through Intellivision Revolution and Good Deal Games. Their releases include Blix and Chocolate Mine. MBI has also created the Intellivision Portable Development Environment, a way for anyone with an Android OS system to create new games with IntyBASIC and ASM1600.
6.1: What was Parker Brothers?
Board game publisher that formeda video games division just as the industry crash began in 1982 (see ill-fated "Best is yet to come" commercial in Media links list), owning unique licenses for Star Wars and similar franchises.
6.1: What is Pboland?
Pboland is an Atari Age member that creates high-quality, 3rd-party Intellivision overlays.
6.1: What is Roklan?
Beginning as a management consulting firm in the 1970s, the company converted to contract software development in 1980 and produced several Intellivision titles for CBS/Coleco and Parker Brothers in the USA. They also produced games for the Atari VCS, 5200, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, C-64, IBM PC, TI-99/4A, and VIC-20.
Roklan was a big deal in the arcade->console porting business. A disassembly of multiple Coleco and Parker Bros games seems to indicate that the same Roklan tool chain and coding patterns were used.
6.1: Did Sega make Intellivision games?
Sega published Carnival, Congo Bongo, Frogger, Turbo, and Zaxxon on the Intellivision.
6.1: What was Shockvision?
Shockvision was a secretive company in the 1980s that created a hardware method to bootleg-copy Intellivision cartridges to an EPROM daughterboard and generic cart shell, which could be plugged into a main cartridge that connected to the Intellivision. Console owners would rent the main cartridge and/or the bootleg daughtergame. Contentional memory-mapped games all played just fine. Like other pirated game companies, the releases came with photocopied instructions and generic boxes.
- Armor Battle
- Horse Racing
- Sea Battle
- Space Battle
- Star Strike
- Star Wars
- AD&D I (Cloudy Mountain)
- AD&D II (Treasure of Tarmin)
- Ice Trek
- Lady Bug
- Mission X
- Nova Blast
- River Raid
- Sewer Sam
- Shark Shark
- Space Spartans
- Sub Hunt
- Swords and Serpents?
- Tron Maze-A-Tron
- Tropical Trouble
- White Water
6.3: How are Intellivision boxes made?
Not really a business as I don’t actually sell anything. I make designs, mostly requests, for things that people want boxes for. I started by creating replica boxes for the more rare games I never thought I’d have complete in box. Since the printing process I had available (commercial grade color printer/copiers) could not print onto full thickness stock, I had to get innovative with how I reinforced the thinner cardboard. This led to making a pocket for the manuals to sit in as well as using the Coleco-style cart retention to shore up the middle and sides. Since the thinner copier stock can be ran through twice, I came up with the idea of printing on both sides to give the inside of the box a cool look that was specific to each game. The unofficial Piggy Bank box being the first one to have this with the gold coins pattern on the inside.
6.4: What is Digital Press?
Digital Press is an online forum for every popular video game in existence, home of the original Intellivision database and collection checklist, and is home to people that just love the Intellivision. The official DP Collector’s Guide is referred-to even now as the authoritative resource for scarcity and value of games in the classic catalog.
6.4: Who are The Intellivisionaries?
The Intellivisionaries is a podcast (43 episodes as of 2022) that features and focuses on the classic Intellivision (with a little Amico mention). The hosts "go deep" on a game from the classic catalog in each episode, and include game reviews, listener feedback, and interviews with the Blue Sky Rangers and other developers of the games we all know and love.
Every episode is highly polished, and none of the regular ‘casts are less than three hours in length. The show is often the authoritative source for what happened or what is happening in the classic Intellivision galaxy.
6.4: What are The Intellivisionaries Podcast episodes?
All episodes from the first in 2013, to present (2022):
Episode 1 The Master Component and other Hardware
Episode 2 Astrosmash and other Intellivision Fun
Episode 3 Microsurgeon Interviews and More
Episode 4 Christmas Carol and More
Episode 5 Bomb Squad
Episode 6 The Dreadnaught Factor
Episode 7 Baseballs
Episode 8 Sea Battle
Episode 9 Beauty and the Beast
Episode 10 ADnD Treasure of Tarmin
Episode 11 Q Bert
Episode 12 Thin Ice
Episode 13 Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack
Episode 14 Dracula
Episode 15 Donkey Kong DK D2K Arcade
Episode 16 Thunder Castle
Episode 17 Math Word and Learning Fun
Episode 18 Basketballs
Episode 19 Tron Maze A Tron
Episode 20 Boulder Dash
Episode 21 Deck The Shelves with New Brew Multis
Episode 22 Of Robots n Garbage
Episode 23 Truckin Christmas
Episode 24 Twice The Bits of Atari
Episode 25 Zaxxon Space Raid
Episode 26 Masters of the Universe The Power of He Man
Episode 27 Rick Rolled Retro
Episode 28 Space Spartans
Episode 29 Pac Man Ms Pac Man
Episode 30 Royal Dealer
Episode 31 Vectron
Episode 32 Portland or Bus
Episode 33 TRON Solar Sailer
Episode 34 Easter Eggs Anyone
Episode 35 Space Patrol
Episode 36 Shark Shark
Episode 37 Amico Portland and Baum Oh My
Episode 38 Happy Trails and Loco Motion
Episode 39 Distanced Intelligence
Episode 40 Marketing Art n Christmas
Episode 41 Top 10 of the 125 part 1
Episode 42 Top 10 of the 125 part 2
Episode 43 Bus Full of Homebrews
Special Edition 1
Special Edition 2
Special Edition 3
Special Edition 4
Special Edition 5 In Memoriam Keith Robinson
Special Edition 6 Where Have they Been
Special Edition 7 A New Intellivision Console
Special Edition 8 PRGE 2018
Special Edition 9 PRGE 2018 Wrap-up
Special Edition 10 Christmas 2018
Special Edition 11 Summer Ketchup Catsup
Special Edition 12 Year end Outtakes
6.4: What is NAVA?
The North Atlantic Video Game Aficionados is a monthly event bringing gamers of all ages together for competition, trade, and chatter. It paused operation in 2020 due to COVID-19, we await its return!
6.4: What is Sibling Rivalry podcast?
AJ and Tim are a sister-and-brother team that "drink a beer and play a game", reliving their youth by playing Inty games and showing them on Youtube.
Their exhibition booth at PRGE 2022 hosted the Intellivision Virtual Game Room.
Intellivision is a trademark of © Intellivision Entertainment, Inc. Intellivision, Blue Sky Rangers Inc, the Intellivision logotype and the Running Man logo are registered trademarks ® of Intellivision Entertainment, Inc. Other trademarks are the properties of the trademark owners. Use of these trademarks is for historical and contextual purposes only and do not imply any endorsement or connection with IE or its properties.