I remember the first time I ever saw a Colecovision. I was in junior high and was invited over to a friend’s house in my neighborhood. We were friends but not necessarily best friends – that all changed when I saw his Colecovision. I wanted to be his best friend for life! When I was young, I did not have any of the newer gaming systems at my house. Sure, we had a Pong clone but it just wasn’t as much fun as those newer cartridge based systems. So what did I do? I made sure that I had friends with game systems! I don’t want it to sound like video games were the ONLY reason I chose my friends, because that is not true. But most of my friends had similar interests – sports, computers, and video games.
When I saw the Colecovision, I could not help but to compare it to the Atari 2600. The Colecovision was easily superior in both graphics and sound. Donkey Kong looked, sounded, and played like the real arcade version (or at least closer to anything I had experienced up to that point). The controller was a tad bit difficult to use, but it only added to the challenge.
The other day I was listing an item for sale on Craigslist. Just on a whim, I decided to search using the term “Colecovision” and I was surprised to get a hit from a seller who lived just down the road from me. He was selling a Colecovision and a “Super Intendo” for $70. I was surprised that it was still available – but after reflection, it may be that it was because of the word “Intendo” rather than “Nintendo.” Perhaps it wasn’t coming up in searches? I don’t know. We made arrangements for the sale. He was a nice person who had played with the game systems when he was a boy. He was cleaning out his attic and decided to sell his “Super Intendo”. I decided not to correct his incorrect pronunciation of one of the most popular video game systems in history. Both systems were in excellent condition, with several games. Plus, there was a huge bonus item which I will discuss in a future blog entry.
The Colecovision needed some cleaning (the Intendo was in excellent condition) but I really enjoyed cleaning it up with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. I had to clean the contacts on all of the games but they all worked. Of course the controllers were just as cumbersome as I remembered. The side buttons did not work very well but I disassembled the controllers and cleaned them up – they worked good as new. I had heard that you can play some Colecovision games with a Sega Genesis controller so I gave it a try. You sure can! The three best games I played were Donkey Kong, Galaxian, and Q-bert. WarGames is based on the hit movie from the 80’s but it looked pretty complex. I’m probably going have to search on the internet and figure out how to play it. It looks like some kind of super complicated Missile Command. I didn’t try to play Pit Stop but I assume it has something to do with racing and not going to the bathroom on a long trip.
As a collector, I have a mental list of certain game systems I would love to own. The Colecovision was on my list. I always wanted to have one to call my own. Adding it to my collection is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. Maybe now I will have friends who want to hang out at my house just to play it too! Of course they would probably be complete nerds – but that’s OK with me!