Jump to content
IGNORED

Thunder Castle For Intellivsion (Mattel, 1982) Is highly underrated.


Recommended Posts

Thunder Castle was a game I used to play all the time back in the day. But it had been so long since I played it that I forgot all about it! Eventually I was able to get my second Intellivion to work (and also the intellivision collection also has this game) and started replaying it again remembering some of what I forgot and realizing just how amazing a feat this game is.

 

One of the first thing you'll believe is that it's an adventure game, something that you would have found more on the Intellivision compared to the Atari or the Coleco, but while it is indeed an arcade style game, it's more of a mixture of an pc role-playing game, and intellivion adventure game, and an arcade game.

 

The game has three stage in immense detail that even some coleco game couldn't compare to. If there was a game to show off the Intellivsions 16-bit, higher speed power advantage to the 2600 and to compare favorably to other players this was the game.

 

 

This three stage adventure has a simple objective. To go into the depths of the castle and to defeat the evil demons. Starting first, outside the castle and defeating multiple dragons as the brave hero knight. To fighting off magical wizards inside the castle with the help of a magical mouse companion (among other items) and defeating the demons in the dungeons of the castle.

 

But typical of Mattel, this isn't just a run and bump-into-the-enemy game. You will actually have to look at the playing field and devise a strategy to complete the objective. Such as staying near the mouse as you try and manipulate the wizards movements toward you, so that way you don't end up trapped by the closing and reopening walls, to holding power ups and using them to do things such as freeze everything on screen.

 

The game was also a rare case for console games for having actual game music playing constantly throughout the game, even for powerups (maybe the first of its kind to do so on console) as well as having cutscenes, though limited, also likely a first for a console.

 

thun-04.png

 

It's just truly an amazing game that impresses with its graphics and audio as well as it's gameplay.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anything, I think Thunder Castle is overrated within the community. Lethargic, arduous and not much to the game really at all. David's enhanced Mystic Castle is much, much better - and while the premise is basically the same, is a lot more enjoyable to play.

 

Funny thing about my last copy of Thunder Castle... I couldn't sell it here or on eBay. Re-listed it a few months ($20 or less BIN with free shipping) before I finally donated it and a bunch of commons to the local men's shelter. :lol:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thunder Castle is a very good game and highly recommended. Many find it too difficult. But once you read the Instructions and learn what the magic objects do, it's not hard to leverage the objects and get through all three screens. The rom image is found on all Intellivision Lives compilations and easily found elsewhere.

 

Edit:

Your player speed in Thunder Castle was such that the green enemies were slower than you, the yellow enemies matched your speed, and the red enemies a little faster than you making it fairly challenging. In the modded version you could be faster than all enemies making the game easier.

 

I'd say its more arcade style than an adventure game; the Intellivision does have a few adventure and rpg games.

Edited by mr_me
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Very late responding to this (made this months ago) but I feel like this is probably one of the only overhead Adventure style games from the time period you can put next to Zelda. The other being Alcazar for the ColecoVision.

 

Most if the other Intellivision Adventure style titles are 2600 like in their design or are block/wireframe like. This looks like it could be put up to more advanced pixel games like seen on the Coleco/NES instead of the MS paint style seen with many other Intellivision games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Thundrer Castle (and Mystic Castle, its upgraded version as well) but I think you shouldn't forget how original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (aka Cloudy Mountain), Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Treasure of Tarmin and Tower of Doom are, three pure gems Adventure style

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I keep meaning to make a custom overlay that has a list of what the magic items are as a reference. I like the game a lot, but I never had it back in the day and I fire it up so sporadically I have to re-remember what everything does every time I play. :)

 

IMHO it's rated about right, which is pretty highly. Whether it's gotten enough recognition or not is certainly debatable, but that's probably true for most 'late int he lifecycle" releases that didn't see widespread distribution.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/intellivision/thunder-castle/mobyrank

 

 

 

it's more of a mixture of an pc role-playing game, and intellivion adventure game, and an arcade game
What? It's an arcade game, pure and simple. It doesn't have anything to do with RPGs or adventure games, let alone PC RPGs. There are no stats, no abilities, no levels, no puzzles.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I keep meaning to make a custom overlay that has a list of what the magic items are as a reference. I like the game a lot, but I never had it back in the day and I fire it up so sporadically I have to re-remember what everything does every time I play. :)

 

IMHO it's rated about right, which is pretty highly. Whether it's gotten enough recognition or not is certainly debatable, but that's probably true for most 'late int he lifecycle" releases that didn't see widespread distribution.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/intellivision/thunder-castle/mobyrank

 

 

 

What? It's an arcade game, pure and simple. It doesn't have anything to do with RPGs or adventure games, let alone PC RPGs. There are no stats, no abilities, no levels, no puzzles.

 

 

There are abilities and puzzles though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember the first time I saw this game was on the Intellivision episode of Icons on G4. Anyone else remember that show? I couldn't believe the Intellivision could produce that kind of music and elaborate visuals. It was one of the first games I hunted down when I got my first Intellivision. It is a bit arduous to play these days, but still very enjoyable. I also agree that Mystic Castle has made it irrelevant, but the game still has it's place near the top of the heap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember the first time I saw this game was on the Intellivision episode of Icons on G4. Anyone else remember that show? I couldn't believe the Intellivision could produce that kind of music and elaborate visuals. It was one of the first games I hunted down when I got my first Intellivision. It is a bit arduous to play these days, but still very enjoyable. I also agree that Mystic Castle has made it irrelevant, but the game still has it's place near the top of the heap.

 

I think its the one Intellvision game that can sit next to a Coleco/NES game and possibly stand next to them. The game that really separates it from the 2600 with the soundtrack and the visuals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I think its the one Intellvision game that can sit next to a Coleco/NES game and possibly stand next to them. The game that really separates it from the 2600 with the soundtrack and the visuals.

 

Tower of Doom, Hover Force, and Chip Shot Golf are also very nice examples of games that can stand next to the Coleco and NES.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The NES does have 4x the pixels, 20x graphics RAM, but displays fewer background colours than Intellivision. The biggest limitation for a programmer is cartridge rom space and time. Programmers were forced to reuse fewer graphic patterns to save space. Similarly, music has to not only be shorter or non-existent but less dynamic. And they had to spend a lot of their time compressing their code to fit cartridges. For example, the programmer of Atari Adventure obviously had graphics very low on his priorities even though the Atari had more colours than Intellivision or the NES. Thunder Castle being a simple arcade style game could have more resources put into audio-visuals. In 1982 cartridge ROM space was still restricted but it quickly opened up after that.

 

Adventure (Atari VCS), 1980, 2kB, action-adventure
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1982, 6k, action-adventure
Treasure of Tarmin, 1983, 8k, RPG
Thunder Castle, 1983, 16k, arcade
Tower of Doom, 1984, 24k, RPG
Alcazar (coleco vision), 1985, 16kB, action-adventure
Zelda (NES), 1986, 128kB, action-adventure

 

There's more to these games than graphics. One thing Zelda lacks compared to the Intellivision games is an element of randomness. Randomness gives the Intellivision games high replay value, essentially a different game everytime you play. I wonder if Nintendo made their games like this on purpose to sell more cartridges.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...