Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Power of He-Man

I never played this game, for which I suppose I should be thankful. It came out in 1983 for the Intellivision and Atari 2600, so as you can imagine there were only a couple of "levels", one of which was a side-scrolling shooter and the other being some kind of land based thing where you were chasing down Skeletor.

The ad copy reads:
THE POWER OF HE-MAN (TM)* for Intellivision(R) and Atari(R)2600. It's the first Masters of the Universe (TM)* video game, but it could be the last for He-Man (TM)*. Because even if he survives thirty treacherous miles in his Wind Raider (TM)* he still has to battle Skeletor (TM)* in the mysterious Castle Grayskull (TM)*!
Sorry, Castle Grayskull (TM)*? What's Skeletor (TM)* doing there? Shouldn't it be Snake Mountain (TM)*?

Well, whatever. The screenshots lead me to believe that the Intellivision version looked quite good for the era. In fact, it was the first game to use something called "Super Graphics", which I can only imagine to have been impressive. However, by all accounts the Atari 2600 version did not measure up.

Anyway, the mere fact that I've never heard of the game is a pretty damning indictment. I suspect that only two stages featuring a mish-mash of gameplay was as poor an idea in 1983 as it is today. Apparently if you completed the game it took you back to the beginning with a different background colour.

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