"Intellivision Gen2" aims to update old classics for modern systems


The Intellivision game console was originally released in 1979, and quickly settled into the role of Burger King to Atari's McDonald's: successful, even better in some ways, but always second fiddle. And then, like everything else from that era, it fell victim to the mid-80s market crash, and that was that. But Keith Robinson acquired the rights to the software and founded a new company, Intellivision Productions, in 1997, and now he's joined up with Retro Action Entertainment and former Intellivision game designer Dave Warhol to create updated versions of early 80s Intellivision games, beginning with three "iconic and beloved classics": Astrosmash, Shark! Shark!, and Night Stalker.

Work on the project is already well underway, according to the Kickstarter, and crowdfunding is the only type of financial support the developers are pursuing. "While we have chosen not to pursue financial backing other than crowdfunding, a choice which enables us to retain full control of the games, we have carefully identified the amount of money needed to deliver the games with a minimal team—a team comprised of individuals with many years of success working on projects like this and bringing videogames to market," they wrote.

The Kickstarter goal is a not-insignificant $100,000, and despite having "carefully identified" how much the project requires, there's no hint as to how it will be spent. I'm no expert on game development, but I do have to wonder why the budget is so high, especially since the gameplay appears to be almost entirely unchanged. Furthermore, the originals are already being offered for free on the Intellivision Lives! website—which, by the way, is the home of Robinson's Intellivision Productions.

The long-term plan is create multiple three-game packs—the next up are Utopia, Sea Battle, and B-17 Bomber—but so far the effort doesn't seem to be gaining much traction: The Kickstarter launched on May 20, and with 40 days remaining stands at a little under $2500 pledged.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.