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Mattel's entry in the Star Raiders clone craze. Or... Space Battle 1.5.
Space Spartans is a decent game. The voices are actually quite good, with the sexy female computer voice somewhat reminiscent of the original Star Trek TV series, the mechanical status report, and the sinister voice you hear at the end of the game. "The battle is over."
Gameplay is much like any of the other Star Raiders clones out there, but perhaps it's a bit easier to control the ship's systems than the various third-party VCS clones (e.g. Activision's Starmaster and Imagic's Star Voyager). This game's overlay content is clearly much like the Atari VCS's Video Touch Pad controller overlay included with the Atari 2600 version of Star Raiders. You have full control over your ship's resources - Impulse Drive, Hyperdrive, Shields, Battle Computer, Tracking Computer, and Repair assignments. And, true to their word, Mattel made the voices essential to gameplay - don't bother trying to play without the IntelliVoice unit.
The game is broken into two main screens - the star map strategy mode and the combat screen. The starmap is nicely done, but the combat screen is really not much more than a scrolling Space Battle screen with a fixed cursor and different aliens. They tried to have a 3-D look to the aliens, with them appearing small and growing larger - charging toward you, for example. The effect falls flat, mainly because you don't have a starfield effect, i.e. the stars are 'flat' and you don't seem to advance through them. The sound is adequate, the voices well-done. It's worth a good rousing play once in awhile, but it's definitely a middle-of-the-pack game in terms of long-term replay value.
A total of four Space Spartans box variants have been documented.
There are at least three versions of the Space Spartans box. Two of these are subtly different, and I have a theory as to the origin of the differences. First, you'll see the images of the back side of the box. Can you spot the differences between the two on the right? Special credit to humblejack for making me aware of those two variants, and for donating the original box.
The difference is the appearance of the Mattel 'Running Men' logo on the G1 revision. In my experience, the G1 version is much more common. The working theory is that Space Spartans was originally coming on the scene around the same time that Imagic (and others) started producing Intellivision games, in 1982. After that time, I suspect that the Mattel 'Running Men' logo, which intones that only Mattel's cartridges offered the best performance and by implication, compatibility and games for the system. In other words:
"Don't get those games from those non-Mattel companies!"
Finally, the French-Canadian version put information on the top and bottom flaps (not pictured) as well as the game title on the 'open' side of the box.
A total of four Space Spartans manual variants have been documented.
On a humorous note, it seems that perhaps the game was too easy when they first
documented it. After all, the instructions referred to the Space Spartan
cartridge. Guess perhaps they added more aliens to make the game harder.
A total of two Space Spartans overlay variants have been documented.
A total of three Space Spartans label variants have been documented.
If you find new, contradictory, or other information you wish to share, please let me know!
Page last updated 06-Nov-2016 17:59:36 EST