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Some thoughts on the Intellivision Amico VIP Pre-Order Announcement Gameplay Trailer

I recently, the same day I'm writing this, made a video giving my thoughts on the games shown for the Intellivision Amico. Seeing as I'm more of a writer than a video creator, I figured I'd put my thoughts down in writing as well. First off, I suggest you listen to my 3 hour interview with Intellivision Entertainment CEO and President Tommy Tallarico. You can find it here. Okay, now that we are on the same page let's talk about the VIP Pre-Order Announcement Gameplay Trailer, my quick reaction video is below.
Okay, I am going to talk about all 23 games shown one at a time. I will be using pictures of all the games to demonstrate a few points. Still shots don't give the full picture of each game so I urge you to watch my trailer reaction video to see just how much of a mess these games look. Before that, I must say that this trailer was able to inspire almost 20,000 pre-orders for the console. I never imagined so many boomers were online and looking for a new video game console. Please note, not all the names are finalized I am simply using them for easy reference.

Ecco inspired dolphin game

I'm going to be 100% honest and say I thought Ecco was a shitty game. Very good looking, fun to swim around at the beginning, but very boring. I had this on the Genesis when it first came out and I probably only played it for a grand total of 3 hours. Figuring I was too young to understand it, I tried playing the game again on the Sega Genesis collection for PS4 and again I grew bored of the game very quickly. I imagine the same thing would happen with this game.
That said, the "Ecco" game on Amico sounds like, according to Tommy Tallarico, a 4 player dolphin version of The Lost Vikings. Each dolphin will have its own unique attributes and puzzle solving abilities. The game itself is most likely the Little Blue, a proposed mobile prequel to the failed kickstarter game The Big Blue. Both games come from the mind of Ecco creator Ed Annunziata. I included a picture of the Big Blue, the 2nd dolphin picture, and you can see the same sort of blue pearl/ball object next to the Big Blue's dolphin as is next to the Amico dolphin game's dolphin.


As I said in the video, the art style in this game looks like a cheap 1990 educational game you would find on the school computer. It looks like it's trying to have a drawing aesthetic but it looks like it was actually drawn by a child instead of just giving that impression. The money counter, that presumably reduces the longer you take to crack the safe, looks like it was made in MS Paint and placed 1 layer above the dollar bill symbol. Very unpolished and not something I would have used to hype people on the system.


This looks like every generic pool game that has ever been made. There is nothing on the screen besides the pool table so I have no idea if this game has any onscreen cues to let you know whether you are solids or stripes, how many balls you have sunk, if you need to call your pocket, or who is "winning." The trailer didn't even feature a pool cue so there is no way to know if this is played with motion controls, onscreen avatars, or touchscreen actions. Another game I would have left out of the video.

Nitro Derby

This was one of the stand out games on the trailer. A fun looking racing game with polished graphics and a art style that didn't appear to be a mish mash of ideas. While note a system seller, I could see myself picking this game up day one if I owned an Amico or it was available on other platforms. Unfortunately, there is a bit of controversy around this game. First off, when Tommy Tallarico teased the game on the AtariAge forums the file was labeled "Auto Racing." This led some to believe it was a retro re-imagined version of that classic Intellivision game.

However, it was discovered the game was actually Nitro Derby by ChickenWaffle. The story doesn't end there, as there was banners for a company called CenterTec in the Nitro Derby footage. I contacted CenterTec, sending them the Nitro Derby screenshot and asking about this game my kid played at their facility. In the email I received, posted above, I was told more about Nitro Derby. Now as you can see from that email CenterTec is of the belief that Nitro Derby will be coming to their facility first. This is in startk contrast to what I was told by Tommy Tallarico during our 3 hour interview. According to him, Nitro Derby is an Amico exclusive and the CenterTec staff is wrong. As ChickenWaffle partnered with CenterTec to create Nitro Derby, I find it hard to believe they are mistaken unless Tommy bought the game's rights from them after they had already sent out that email. What ever the case is, I'm going to be keeping a close eye on the situation.

Shark! Shark!

From the footage shown this looks to be a 4 player retro re-imagined version of the classic Shark! Shark! game from Intellivision. Aside from the updated graphics and multiplayer mode, there doesn't seem to be much to this game. With games like Feeding Frenzy, Hungry Shark World, and the numerous "shark" games on Newgrounds adding so much to the genre this game seems like something that should have been released 20 years ago. Probably good for a few games while you wait for your new PS5 game to download.


It's cornhole. Not much to say about it really. Seems like a standard recreation of the game, with unlockable boards, locations, and a simultaneous 4 player mode tacked on. Apparently the game uses motion controls but I don't see this being the Amico equivalent of Wii Bowling despite the growing popularity of the sport. I mean, for $20 you can build a cornhole set and play in your backyard or garage like a normal person.


Take the classic game of Breakout, turn it sideways, add scrolling toward a goal and the ability to put "English" on the ball and you got Amico's version of the game. This looks like the perfect game to play on the subway on the way home from work but not something I'd find myself wanting to play at home in front of a TV.

Astro Smash

I got mixed feeling about this one. The background art is so fucking pretty, it's like a painting, but the stuff in the foreground looks like ass. The two styles clash and makes it seem like it's one game slapped on top of another. The missiles look like rockets from 60's sci fi while the newly designed "laser cannons" look like 80's style science fiction, again a clash of styles in my opinion. In the footage shown the rockets didn't even "fire" from the laser turrets as you can clearly see them being created behind the turrets. One of them even getting stuck on screen before firing upward. Hell, the wheels on the turrets didn't even spin. I know, early footage, but this is bad even for an alpha build. Not something I would have shown to build hype.

Side Swipers

I love the look of this game! The background is subtle and detailed while the orange track draws your eyes right to it. As a concept a 4 player car smashing game with traps seems like a winner but I fear it is the kind of game that will lead to some kids being ganged up on. Whether this is because the kid is better at gaming or just the easy target for bullying, I can see this leading to lots of rage quitting. That said, it would be a fun game to play with a group of drunk adults looking to just fuck around until the rain delay on the baseball game clears up. 

Battle Tanks

This looks like a generic overhead tank game. The original Battle Tanks was part of a game called Triple Action that also featured Biplanes and Car Racing so it will be interesting to see if this is a full fledged stand alone game or part of a 3 in 1 cart like the original. As part of a 3 in 1 cart I could see this game having some value but nothing shown in the trailer looks like something I would buy on its own.


Dyna Blaster, 2 words not 1 like the BBG Dynablaster, was the European name of the Bomberman franchise for the first 3 games in the series. (Little known fact, the main character for Lode Runner is the same character as Bomberman.) In 2016 BBG Enterttainment GMBH released a game called Dynablaster and tried to market it as a continuation of the Bomberman series. This same company is behind the development of the Amico Dynablaster game so I expect it to share some similarities with the 2016 game. A game whose trailer can be seen just below.

If Dynablaster can capture the same feel as the current Bomberman games then Amico could have a hit on their hands. That said, it will always be looked at as a Bomberman clone unless they can do something drastic to shake up the Bomberman formula. Certainly this is a game you should keep your eye on.


This was just embarrassing. First off, Pong isn't the most exciting game but it is also one of the hardest to screw up. Leave it up to Tommy Tallarico to make Pong an exciting fuck up! The sports mode shown off looks like clip art slapped on top of a Pong game. It was ridiculous and really puts things into perspective if this is the result of months of game development.

Back Talk Party

One of the games we know very little about, this is some kind of voice recording game. From the name I am guessing it is an edutainment speech game that has you repeating words or phrases. I could be wrong. Nothing in the trailer reveled anything and I have 0 clue why it was included besides trying to pad out the game count.

Missile Command

This looked like a multiplayer Missile Command with lots of colors and flashy explosions. It's a classic game and I expect it to be a fun time waster but nothing that draws people to the system. Atari released a Missile Command mobile game that looks a lot closer to classic Missile Command but somehow less fun than the original. This is a solid entry in the retro re-imagined line of Amico games but not overly impressive.

Evel Knievel

This is a mobile game that is being ported and expanded upon for the Amico. Despite being acquired around 8 months ago and, according to Tommy Tallarico, being playable on the Amico the footage used in the trailer was from the mobile game's release. Now, I spoke to a developer at BarnStorm Games and he confirmed that they game will be expanded on the Amico but he refused to talk about the multiplayer mode. Looks like a simpler Trials type of game that the kids would like, despite featuring a daredevil they never heard about before grandpa bought then this game.

Dice Demo

We saw a demo of the dice being sent from the controller to the screen. Nothing too exciting. Im a bit curious how the dice outcome will be determined. Most games use a RNG set-up that has decided the outcome before the dice even stopped moving but it would be cool if the Amico's dice actually functioned like real dice. THAT would be a game changer and the only reason serious board gamers would consider playing a board game on the Amico as opposed to a traditional board game set up. If the dice use RNG, well this will be nothing more than a fancy gimmick for kids.


There was so much Skiing shown but none of it was really exciting. Looks like a standard old school downhill skiing game that you can find on mobile devices of Newgrounds. Being the game that had the most screen time in the trailer I assume it is the closest to completion. Nothing special about this game from what was shown and, like so many games shown, seems like a neat time waster between more important tasks.


The blink and you missed it game in the trailer, I have no idea what the gameplay is going to be or why 1 second of footage was included. Seems like this was another game added to pad the game count of games shown in the trailer.

Emoji Charades

Another mobile game being ported to the Amico with extra content that also used previously released footage, this game has 0 appeal to me. I'm not a kid or a fan of emojis so this game is in no way something I would even consider but others might like it and find it appealing. My only concern about a game like this, as with all quiz type video games, is there will come a time when you just know all the answers with little effort. As Amico has a no DLC policy, it will be interesting to see if they can put enough content into this game to hold that moment off until a sequel can be released.


The best looking game featured in this trailer, I would have loved to see more of it in action. From my understanding it will feature classic Asteroids action as well as new boss fights. The only thing that has me leery about this game is the length. From my understanding games on the Amico will be in the 5 hour range, so there won't be much to do after beating the game except going for a higher score. While that appeals to me, I don't see it having a broad appeal among the target audience for the console. This would be a no brainer, day 1 buy if it was on another platform.

Cloudy Mountain

This game had a very RPG Maker look and feel to it, despite Tommy Tallarico saying it wasn't made in RPG Maker. It looks like an update of the classic Intellivision game and is said to have a 4 player mode, but I think it may be too close to the original version to stand out. Nothing looked interesting and I can see people with no attachment to the classic game passing this one up. With the amount of dungeon crawlers that have come out in the last 5 years I am a bit sad to see this game bringing nothing interesting to a genre that has seen a slight resurgence.

Moon Patrol

This is another game that just looks like ass. The 4 player mode, of each person controlling a different aspect of the vehicle, seems interesting but it isn't something that will be putting butts in seats. I'm sure you are seeing a pattern but this game doesn't excite me in the least. Seems to be something to get the retro crowd into the console with a few bells and whistles to sucker some new players into trying it. I've seen and played better games on Nerwgrounds.

Night Stalker

Not related to the serial killer Richard Ramirez, this is another retro re-imagined title for the Amico. A lot more busy than the classic version, I don't really like the art direction in this one. The moving walls and flashy colors really seem annoying and I could see people complaining of motion sickness or having a migraine from playing too long. Seems to play like the classic game, there really in't anything noteworthy here.

Overall Thoughts
I really wasn't impressed by much in this trailer. Dynablaster could be interesting depending on what they do to shake up the genre. Asteroids and Nitro Derby look the best and would sell quickly on other platforms. As previously stated, the dice functions of the controller have a chance to be a real game changer IF they are able to get them to ac like real dice. Any use of RNG for dice results will turn away avid board gamers. Everything else looked like bargin bin trash that I would find free on the internet pre-2000.