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Ah, the once mighty Connecticut Leather Company! So, how a leather company got into Cabbage Patch Kids and video games is beyond me. In any case, the ColecoVision really was a pretty cool system.

Ostensibly, there were two things that really put the ColecoVision on the map:

  • Expansion Module #1 : Atari 2600 Adapter
  • Donkey Kong

Without a doubt, Coleco had a solid strategy when they entered the market. Despite lawsuits, coming out of the gate with the Atari 2600 adapter was a master stroke. Combine that with landing the hottest arcade game at the time, the system was built for expansion, and that most of their titles would be arcade licenses released on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision as well and you've got a powerful marketing message and presence.

The graphics on this console were truly a step up from the Intellivision - actual arcade-quality graphics! Having not dug into the system specs, I think that the ColecoVision actually used a Z80-based processor, which, if memory serves, was basically what many arcade machines of the day used. The main problem I had with the Colecovision was that it seemed prone to flicker, the controllers were oversized and painful to use for a long period of time, and despite the extra processing and graphics power, it still only had sixteen colors. For an interesting comparison of the ColecoVision and Atari 5200, go here.

I played tons of ColecoVision at my cousin Mike's house and really did enjoy the system. They had lots of cool add-ons, like the steering wheel and roller controllers, and actually delivered a decent computer module add-on - the ADAM. But ultimately, the system was killed in The Crash. Too bad.

Still, about twenty more games were released for the Coleocovision than the Intellivision in the system's heyday, and possibly even more consoles were sold. Perhaps the longer lifespan of the Intellivision, with the later Super Pro and System III releases, changed that–I don't know. In any case, because the ColecoVision used standard hardware (processor, RAM), and therefore (at least in the early 'retro' days, it had a more active homebrew community than the Intellivision. Ironically, the Intellivision Productions folks have released more new ColecoVision cartridges (1) than Intellivision cartridges (0)!! (Due, undoubtedly, to the challenges of Intellivision's more idiosyncratic parts list.)



Title Item No. Manual Vendor Rarity Notes
Beamrider Box Beamrider VS-003 Yes

Activision

U1Manual unfolds to be a nice poster; not much of a graphics upgrade from the Intellivision version, it seems, but have not played much
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns Cartridge (no box) Pitfall II: Lost Caverns VS-008 No

Activision

U1Loose cartridge; haven't played enough to judge this one vs. Atari VCS version
Pitfall! Box Pitfall! VS-001 Yes

Activision

U3 
River Raid Box River Raid VS-002 Yes

Activision

U3 
Centipede Box Centipede 70004 Yes

Atarisoft

C3Cracked the shinkwrap on this puppy in July 2003! Supports the roller controller
Defender Box Defender 70002 Yes

Atarisoft

C3Cracked the shinkwrap on this puppy in April 2003!
BurgerTime Box BurgerTime 2430 Yes

Coleco

U1Pretty nice box, though manual's a bit iffy; sad that Mattel didn't get to do this port ... or would they have exacted revenge for Donkey Kong? The world will never know.
Carnival Box Carnival 2445 Yes

Coleco

C3Another squishy box from Coleco
Congo Bongo Box Congo Bongo 2669 Yes

Coleco

R3Whatever the glue was for that red price sticker is, it seems invincible; gameplay just as icky as on Intellivision and Atari 2600 versions, it seems
Donkey Kong Cartridge (no box) Donkey Kong 2411 No

Coleco

C3Loose
Donkey Kong Junior Box Donkey Kong Junior 2601 Yes

Coleco

C2Pretty rough, as most Coleco boxes seem to be; looks like Rover may have chewed on it a bit, but it plays fine
Gorf Cartridge (no box) Gorf 2449 No

Coleco

U2Loose cartridge only
Lady Bug Box Lady Bug 2433 Yes

Coleco

C3Sadly a bubble-envelope shipping victim
Mouse Trap Box Mouse Trap 2419 Yes

Coleco

C2What is it with Coleco's boxes... they are so flimsy
Omega Race Cartridge (no box) Omega Race 2448 No

Coleco

U2For use with the Roller Controller
Slither Manual (no box) Slither 2492 Yes

Coleco

C3Pack-in with Expansion Module #3 - if that's what the Roller Controller can be called; have manual for roller controller and Slither cart; pretty good shape
Subroc Cartridge (no box) Subroc 2614 No

Coleco

U2Loose cartridge only
Super Action Baseball Manual (no box) Super Action Baseball 2491 Yes

Coleco

C1Pack-in game with the Super Action controllers; includes Score Pad (part number 91994)
Turbo Manual (no box) Turbo 2413 Yes

Coleco

C3Pack-in with Expansion Module #2; have manual for steering wheel and Turbo cart; box tattered but foams still there!
Zaxxon Cartridge (no box) Zaxxon 2435 No

Coleco

C3Loose
Nova Blast Box Nova Blast IM 6609 Yes

Imagic

U2Imagic really upgraded the graphics compared to the Intellivision release; black tray without cardboard backing
Q*bert Cartridge (no box) Q*bert 9800 No

Parker Brothers

C2This cart seems a little bit wider than other ColecoVision shells, based on how it fits into a game holder from back in the day
Facemaker Cartridge (no box) Facemaker FMK-CV No

Spinnaker

U2Loose; label is spotty; no idea how I got this one
Fraction Fever Cartridge (no box) Fraction Fever FRF-CV No

Spinnaker

U2Loose; label is spotty; no idea how I got this one
Jukebox Cartridge (no box) Jukebox JUK-CV No

Spinnaker

U2Loose; label is nice; no idea how I got this one
Learning with Leeper Cartridge (no box) Learning with Leeper LLL-901 No

Sierra On-Line

U1Nice shiny, clean label