Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Intellivision SPACE BATTLE Video Game Cartridge (1979)

In 1979, Intellivision released a video game cartridge called Space Battle. Produced by APh Technological Consulting for Mattel, the game was pretty typical for its time, with the player tasked with shooting enemy spaceships out of the sky with a targeting crosshair sight. The ships were vaguely pancake-shaped, sported twin laser cannons, and often employed a distinctive "flipping" maneuver in order to evade the player's shots.

Not unlike a certain popular television spaceship, in fact....

Legend has it that Mattel, having the license for the Battlestar Galactica toys, assumed that their license included video games, and put their team to work creating a Galactica game cartridge. Well, supposedly it turned out that they didn't have those rights after all, so they quickly had the game altered to remove text references to the television series and changed the name. I don't know that this story is true, but it has a reasonable ring of verisimilitude, considering the timing and the company involved.

Of course, it may also have been that they did have the rights, but as the show wasn't renewed after its first and only season, Mattel decided to simply change the name and not pay Universal the licensing fee.

I like the package art. Those ships certainly resemble thinly-disguised Vipers and Cylon Raiders, don't they?


  1. Man I loved that game. so many hours wasted...

  2. That was a pretty good game. You didn't mention the tactical aspect of flying your "fleets" around before you got to the shoot 'em up. Kind of ahead of its time.

  3. I played the heck out of this game. Loved it! All the more because I was a Battlestar fan.

    Intellivision also had a game called Star Strike that included a trench run just like the Death Star.

  4. Loved this game. Still have it!

    Anybody watch the old show "TV POW"?
    They had a version of Intellivision Space Battle on that, and kids called in and yelled POW over the phone to fire at the ships.

    And the Galactica connection/rumor is true, it was mentioned on the official Intellivision website as being accurate, if I recall.

  5. I remember this game well, having watched others play it on TV back in the day. Literally...

    The game was part of the "TV PIX" package, where kids would call in to WPIX-TV in New York during the afternoon and say "PIX" every time a target opportunity would present itself. Hit the Cylo- er, space shop enough times, you get a prize, usually a t-shirt.

    While trying to find a YouTube clip of game play, I came across the Wikipedia article below; I wasn't aware that the format started in LA and got picked up by so many other outlets:

  6. Of course Intellivision's "Space Battle" was pretty much a knock of Atari's successful "Star Raiders"... which had alien spaceships that looked suspiciously like TIE-Fighters!