Retronauts Pocket 22 and the joy of superfluous keypads

retronauts 22 pocket cover

Hi everyone, sorry this episode is a little late. I’ve had a busy week, not least of all because Bob just came aboard full time at USgamer, and I’ve been trying to whip him into shape. Dude is recalcitrance personified.

This latest Pocket episode revisits a topic that I’d actually forgotten we covered at all — the ColecoVision. But someone told me we did one of those, back in the olden times. After doing 150 of these shows, they start to blend together. In any case, I’m confident that this exploration of the ColecoVision is far more entertaining than any supposed forays into this topic that may or may not have happened once long ago.

We’ve already covered the NES and Atari 2600, and if I have my druthers this episode is simply another checkmark in our journey to jabbering about every classic 8-bit console. Stay tuned.

Retronauts Pocket 22 direct download | SoundCloudRSS feed
And this is our obligatory spot where we beg for iTunes reviews.

21 thoughts on “Retronauts Pocket 22 and the joy of superfluous keypads

  1. Oh the Colecovision. My brother won one when he was probably 7 or 8, which means I was about 3 or 4. I really only have one memory of this console…but it is strong. Congo Bongo. I remember watching my brother Joe and his cooler older friend JP playing this game. Its weird which memories stick with you. Out of all of the nostalgia I have for various games, few moments have actually stuck with me so vividly. This is one of them.

  2. I’m happy to leave in the past are the keypad controllers Coleco and Mattel included with their consoles. I remember how uncomfortable and unnecessarily frustrating they made the games on those systems. The success of the NES and the comfortable layout of the controller thankfully put those telephone designs to bed for good.

  3. Fun little episode. Also found it to be pretty informative as another person who is clueless about the Coleco’. Will haveta’ look up images of the huge computer module. Thanks.

  4. Another great episode, guys! Keep up the great work. Hey, what are the chances that you’ll do an episode on the best and worst of last gen consoles (XB360, PS3, Wii). You know, seeing as how the gaming community has moved on and now last gen is slowly creeping into “retro” territory?

  5. Lots of great moments in this episode, loved it. Though I was surprised the music was from a completely unrelated game (a great one, but not a Colecovision game for sure)

  6. You guys admit on the show you have limited knowledge and zero nostalgia for pre-1985 video games. These episodes would benefit greatly with a guest host who has these things for golden-age video games. Kudos for your willingness to take up these alien subjects.

  7. We are running low on episodes. Are we going to see kickstarter #2 soon? I can’t handle an interruption in episodes!

  8. Moderate-time listener, first time caller. Enjoyed the Colecovision episode a lot, I played a lot of it at a friend’s house back in the mid-80’s. I’m bummed Tarzan didn’t get a shout out though.

    BTW, one module that was in the works but cancelled was a laserdisc player – Coleco payed $2 million for the rights to Dragon’s Lair, and were planning on doing an LD based version before it was scrapped – they did manage to release a pretty crappy port on Adam though.

  9. Excellent stuff, guys. I’d also like to mention that the system also had quite possibly the only first-party trackball controllers. The accessory was well-built and a must for Slither and Atari’s Centipede port.

    I also would like to shoutout my favorite game for the system: an excellent port of the Stern arcade classic Frenzy. It’s a great game worth of hours of gameplay.

    Finally, what did the music in the interlude and end come from. It is some excellent stuff!

    • The music’s from the Japanese version of Castlevania III (Akumajou Densetsu). I didn’t bother to mention it because I’ve used it before….

  10. I think one reason there’s not that much to say about the CV is that it leaned SO heavily on arcade and computer ports. Probably eighty to ninety percent of the games originated on a different platform, where they’re better remembered. Donkey Kong nostalgia is centered on the arcades, what nostalgia there is for the Activision games is all on the 2600.

    (And for the record the Atari 2600 has the same processor as the NES. The latter just had more RAM and more subprocessors.)

  11. I just looked up pictures of the Adam and it looks pretty similar to the Appler IIe, just replacing the cassette drives with 5.25″ floppies. Those things were huge, too

  12. Don’t feel bad about not knowing how the controls worked in Zaxxon Jeremy. I don’t know how many times I crashed into that wall before I figured it out.

    I may be in the minority here but I didn’t hate the keypad controller. I haven’t touched it since I was a kid and I don’t remember ever using the keys (I either didn’t have any games that used them, or I just didn’t know how to use them), but I liked gripping the controller with one hand and moving the joystick with the other. My childhood memories could be betraying me though.

    I wish I still had my Coleco. I had the Atari adapter for it and I loved it till my dad decided to throw it out without telling me. :/

    Congrats on the job Bob!

  13. I had a Colecovision for a year or two back when I was about 5-6 years old. I don’t know how I acquired it, but one weekend when I went to my dad’s he had it as if it was always there. Probably picked it up from a garage sale or found and fixed one out of a dumpster.

    Only games I remember playing were BurgerTime, Donkey Kong, and Miner 2049er. It was a lot better than playing games on my Atari 2600, but I was too young and no rental places existed nearby where I could rent Coleco games.

    Then, one weekend when I went to my dad’s I found that we no longer had a Colecovision. He gave it to one of my friends/neighbors. (He was a good friend that lived next door and I was only around every other weekend).

    Then my friend moved and my dad moved and my time with the Colecovision came to an end. Thanks dad.

  14. The ColecoVision was the only system I had as a kid, but I had no idea about Expansion Module #1! This information would have been good to know as a kid… There were a lot of games I would see in the store that I would get excited about and want to buy, only to be disappointed when it turned out they were only for the Atari 2600, which we didn’t have.

    And I don’t know if my dad was a Coleco loyalist or what, but, one day out of the blue, he came home one day with an ADAM he’d bought from Toys “R” Us that he was going to use as his PC. And I remember specifically that it wasn’t the Expansion Module; it was the gigantic ADAM itself. Along with Buck Rogers, we also bought the cassette tape version of Dragon’s Lair, which, I actually thought was pretty fun. Although, you are not kidding about those load times. Sometimes you would have to wait at least a minute or more between stages. I thought the music and sound effects were amazing at the time, though:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSinFyg6Y5Q

    Regarding that ADAM computer: my dad *still* used it as his PC, daisy chain printer and all, until about 1994, when it finally died an honorable death.

  15. Colecovision games have some pretty good versions of classical pieces: Simple Gifts and Pastoral Symphony in Smurf, Funeral March of a Marionette in Pepper II, and The Rite of Spring in Frenzy, e.g.

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