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Intellivision Entertainment announced today that it will delay the launch of its Amico video game console from October 10 to April 15. The company also announced 20 new games for the “reboot” console (with a total of 30 in the works), which is aimed at getting young and old family members together on the couch again for fun games.
The original Intellivision was a game console from Mattel that gave Atari a run for its money in the early 1980s. It was more advanced than the 2600, with better graphics, and it even had simple voices in some games. Tommy Tallarico, the creator of the Video Games Live concert series, announced in 2018 that he had acquired the rights to the console and its original games, and he planned to relaunch Intellivision as a retro brand.
In a virtual press event, Tallarico revealed the list of new Amico games, such as Earthworm Jim 4 and Rigid Force Redux Enhanced.
“Due to the worldwide pandemic, we sat down with our retailers, manufacturers, component supplies, and distributors and decided that our biggest impact for launch would be to do it during a time when everyone else isn’t fighting for air time and shelf space,” Tallarico said in an email to GamesBeat. “It was a strategic decision that many people and partners had a say in. Our major retailers like Walmart, Gamestop, Amazon, Best Buy are excited and very happy with the new date that they themselves helped us to pick.
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“The biggest challenge, aside from COVID affecting [manufacture and supply], was all of the compliance testing that needed to be completed before even being allowed to sell an electronic product like ours. Because of our multi-country launch, we have over 50 different compliance tests we need to pass and they, like most companies in the world, are all very much backed up or limiting their workflow. We also want to ensure what we are putting out is of the very highest quality possible. We’re not interested in putting out an inferior product or one where we had to cut corners.”
Intellivision also provided a variety of business updates, such as licensing partnerships with Mattel, Sesame Workshop, and Usaopoly (The Op), which publishes a number of games besides Monopoly clones these days. Intellivision’s partnership with Mattel will bring a racing game based on Hot Wheels.
Teaming up with Sesame Workshop, Intellivision will also make games for kids and families that are both fun and educational.
The Usaopoly/The Op partnership brings the first interactive versions of the award-winning board games Telestrations and Blank Slate. These announcements come on the heels of recently announced licensing deals with brands such as Major League Baseball, the daredevil Evel Knievel, and The American Cornhole League.
“We were so excited today to show the world what we’ve been up to. The focus of our event was on people and real gameplay. Not cinematics or expensive logo renders (as much as I freakin’ love cinematics and expensive logo renders!),” Tallarico said. “We wanted to show real people and developers from around the world talking about real things and why they are so happy and excited to be working on Intellivision Amico. People have been hearing me drone on and on and on about Amico for over two years. So glad to be able to showcase the incredible talent who have been working and playing on Amico for over a year. We are a different type of console with a different mission, different audience and different way of approaching the industry.”
The company also announced more retailers and online partners. They include GameStop, Amazon, Walmart.com, Best Buy Canada, Electronics Boutique in Canada, Koch Media in Europe, Mediamarkt in Germany, and Saturn in Germany.
“We are currently scheduled to have around 30 exclusive games on launch with a new game releasing around every 10 days after that,” Tallarico said. “We don’t want to release multiple games at once for the benefit of the developers being able to have the spotlight.”
Earthworm Jim 4
The multi-award-winning sidescrolling series is back as an Amico exclusive. It will feature multiplayer. While it has a fun legacy, this game could also prove problematic for Intellivision, as co-creator Doug TenNapel has been saying allegedly racist things in light of the Black Lives Matter protests, not to mention alleged homophobic remarks. He is one of a team of co-creators who have returned to work on the game for the Amico.
[Update: In a message, TenNapel said he participated in one brainstorming session with Tallarico’s team and is open for unpaid consulting on the project. But he said he has not been part of the team in any other way so far. He is providing any consulting as a friend and said Intellivision only needed him for consulting from time to time just to make sure the character and story were remaining consistent. TenNapel said his controversial remarks have been taken out of context. Tallarico confirmed TenNapel’s account].
Intellivision and Sesame Workshop announced a series of educational titles that use the Amico’s touchscreen controllers and motion controls.
Intellivision will make a racing game based on the brand for parents and kids alike.
Rigid Force Redux Enhanced
A modern rendition of the classic sidescrolling shooter genre, Rigid Force Redux Enhanced arms players against waves of attackers. The remake has a new soundtrack and graphics, and it will have couch co-op multiplayer.
Through its partnership with The Op, Intellivision is working on a party game that focuses on miscommunication. Players will sketch and guess silly drawings and words.
A new board game coming from The Op to Amico is Blank Slate. This party game allows families to get in sync with one another as they attempt to fill in the blank with just one word to complete the phrase. When players guess the same word, they receive extra points.
An original exclusive game, Finnigan Fox is an adventure-platformer. It uses the Amico’s unique controls as you go on a journey with the fox.
Bomb Squad is a puzzler that has players diffusing bombs before time runs out. This game first appeared on the original Intellivision.
Searching for diamonds, gems, and gold is the object of this adventure game. Players have to weigh strategy and risks as they strive to come out on top.
Intellivision Monster Spades
From Concrete Software (it claims to be the creators of top-played golf, bowling, and fishing games in the world), this is a card game where you pick your favorite monster.
Developed by Stainless Games with Mike Montgomery, one of the founders of Bitmap Brothers, Liar’s Dice is based on the well-known dice game. It uses the Amico controller screens for secrecy.
What happens when you combine games like Star Castle, Rocket League, and Asteroids? You get an exclusive Amico game called Space Strike.
This revamp of the 1982 video game classic brings the arcade into the home as players pilot a heavily armed lunar buggy and battle aliens. The game has single-player, co-op, and versus modes. Revealed during the Amico Special Event, a complete demo level is now available to play in the Amico Club app.
Working closely with the Knievel family, the developers of this exclusive version of the daredevil adventure will add the famous Skyrocket X-2 Snake Canyon jump as well as more unlockables, animations, audio, levels, and of course, crashes.
A game from the original Intellivision console and one of the platform’s best-sellers, Astrosmash is a classic arcade style game where players face off against asteroids, meteors, and invading enemies. This exclusive Amico game is included with every console. It has single-player, co-op, and versus modes.
Intellivision ACL Cornhole
With over 100 unlockables as well as single-player, team, versus, and arcade modes, Cornhole uses Amico’s motion controls to bring cornhole tossing to the living room. Aimed at large groups, Cornhole is included as a pack-in game with every Amico console.
As one of the most successful arcade games of all time, Missile Command challenges players and teammates to protect defenseless cities from a virtually endless hail of ballistic missiles. This exclusive Amico version uses the controller screen and includes co-op and versus modes.
Developed by Choice Provisions, the team behind the fantastic Bit Trip game series, Breakout is a brand-new exclusive take on an old Atari classic. Utilizing the Amico touch screen and motion controls, this retro title adds music-based rhythm to the mix in a modern style.
Intellivision Battle Tanks
This game puts players in the driver’s seat of a tank. Players unite to take down the enemy. Aside from single-player, co-op, versus, and capture-the-flag modes are also available.
Overhead racing is the backbone of this Amico game. It will have 10 tracks with three circuits each and 14 unlockable vehicles.
[Updated 12:34 p.m. on 8/6/20 with Doug TenNapel’s comments].
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