(September 1982-1984)
you'll swear it was a NES, maybe

You have to love the box design here, eh?

Coleco was well known back in the early 80's for some of its famous toys like the Cabbage Patch Kids, handheld games, and other stuff like that but some people also remember their very own game system: The ColecoVision!

The ColecoVision should not be confused with Coleco's earlier copycat Atari 2600 clones (something Atari wasn't too pleased with btw), the ColecoVision is suppose to be a souped up Atari 2600-killer with stronger Ram, Colours, and lots more. This 8-bit machine looked awesome when it arrived in stores in 1982, and it was even backed by Nintendo themselves. Nintendo's Donkey Kong was even the official pack in game for the ColecoVision (a very big deal at that moment). The ColecoVision was meant to be a superior choice to the rival
Atari 2600 and Mattel Intellivision back in the video games of 1982 and it had all the makings to be the best game system on the market, at that time of course.

The Coleco Accessories:
The Coleco controllers are designed a lot like the Intellivision ones but at least these ones are removable, however they are still rather poorly made. The 8 way Analog stick they give you is hard to get a decent grip on and feels very stiff as well so moving your character can be more of a challenging task than it needs to be. I like the 12 key pads with the 2 action buttons but even with all these buttons here there are few Coleco games that support a simple pause feature. There are Super Action controllers available but I hate their bulky Xbox-like size.

The ColecoVision also has a useful expansion port in front of the system for three special modules. The first module is the Atari 2600 expansion pak; with this little beauty you can play Atari VCS games with your Coleco, cool eh? The second module is the Driving Wheel designed for such games as the Dukes of Hazzard. The final module was the Adam upgrade to turn the ColecoVision into an advice computer but again the whole idea didn't sit well with cost conscience players. I'm not too sure if there was more then three but I'm open to emails if I'm wrong.

Like most things from the 80's the ColecoVision gets absolutely no respect. For example: The Colecovision was even featured in a early South Park episode named Chicken Pox where the poor kid, Kenny still had one on his old black and white TV. He was being made fun of by the other kids and Kyle even said this is a like a third world country (Kenny's house).  I still remember playing it at a friend's house and admiring it myself. Another weird thing about that episode is that the ColecoVision is suppose to be only used on a colour TV anyways, not a black and white TV! I also remember seeing the Coleco Adam on a Simpson episode when Lisa cheated on a Test and good old Gill was trying ever so hard to sell the hard hit school some Coleco's for the Computer Lab. Again the Coleco didn't look so flattering.

Bottomline: Could have been great!
The ColecoVision had it's fair share of near perfect arcade translations of several hit arcade games like Donkey Kong Junior, Frogger, and Zaxxon just to name a few to catch the eyes of the player public back then.  The system was a solid hit for Coleco and it was even out selling the other consoles at a time but not even the all powerful ColecoVision could survive the great market crash of 1984 and the failed Coleco Adam computer which was nail in the coffin for the company.
Definitely a good system if you can get the right games for it, like Frogger and the Expansion module opens up another long list of 2600 titles. On the flip side though this is a very old machine that only appeal to retro fanatics and a lot of the games are not quite arcade perfect either (like the disappointing Donkey Kong). Buy on eBay with caution, there is also the DINA Personal Arcade machine by Telegames which was a ColecoVision clone.

Colecovision Rating: 80/100 good selection of retro titles available but it just died too early.

Rare Scale: 3/10 it was quite popular! But it was very short lived!

Common Colecovision games: Rare Colecovision games:  
Cosmic Avenger
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle
Super Action Football
Artillery Duel/Chuck Norris combo
Boulder Dash
Make A Face
Motorcross/Tomarc the Barbarian combo
Q * Bert Qubes
Robin Hood/Sir Lancelot combo
Sammy Lightfoot
Sector Alpha
Super Action Soccer
Super Crossforce
Tomarc the Barbarian
Up 'n Down
Wing War
Word Feud

Most Disappointing:
Donkey Kong
Mr. Do (Dishonourable Mention)

The Worst:
Dam Busters
Looping (Dishonourable Mention)

Most Underrated:
Pac Man (Honourable Mention)

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