Sunday, February 20, 2011

Game of the Week: Space Hawk for Intellivision

Intellivision Space HawkSpace Hawk for the Intellivision home video game system was kind of an oddity. In many ways it was like the popular Atari arcade game Asteroids, at least in that you're floating around in space while shooting at comets and meteors and alien spaceships flying by. But Space Hawk was unique in that the player didn't control a spaceship, but instead controlled a spaceman in a suit with a jetpack on his back. This might appear like a minor difference, but back in the early days of video games, it seemed like a major change.

Another thing about Space Hawk was that you could teleport your character around when he got into trouble.

The graphics for this game were somewhat simple, but they were typical Intellivision graphics, which meant they were pretty strong when this game was released in 1981. Atari might have been king of the home video games back in the early 1980s, but there's little argument the Intellivision system generally had better graphics.

The sound was somewhat bland, but the gameplay was excellent and quite exciting.

There was one problem within the game, however, and that was that at random times your character might be teleported to another spot in space. It didn't happen often, but it happened just enough to be confusing and somewhat annoying when it did happen. Actually, according to the website Intellivision Lives, this teleporting problem was a technical flaw with the controllers that could not be fixed. So, after looking into the game's code and realizing the teleport problem couldn't be fixed, an addition was printed in the game's instruction manual basically saying that this random teleportation was intentionally part of the game. Genius!

Anyway, Space Hawk was a fantastic game and the Intellvision was an awesome system.

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