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Although best-known for making what is possibly the most sought-after cart among classic game collectors in Chase the Chuckwagon, Spectravision was actually one of the few game publishers that had a decent lineup of 2600 titles. And if not for the videogame crash of 1983-84, they may have ended up with among the largest catalog of 2600 games.

Not merely content producing me-too clones like many others, Spectravision sought to establish its identity by innovating rather than imitating. In Mangia, you control a little boy sitting at the table. Beneath the table is a dog and over your shoulder is a window. Every few seconds, your mother approaches from the left side of the screen carrying a huge bowl of pasta which she sets at the table. When she leaves you must decide whether you want to eat the pasta, throw it out the window or feed it to the dog before she returns with another bowl! Other original games include Bumper Bash, a terrific pinball contest where the flippers are controlled by two paddle controllers, and The Challenge of Nexar, a fast-paced first person shooter that requires you to shoot a predefined number of beacons to move on to the next level.

Spectravision offered three games -- Bumper Bash, Gas Hog and Mangia -- exclusively through the Columbia House Record Club, making the aformentioned titles extremely rare today. And as most people know by now, Spectravision partnered with Ralstin Purina in offering Chase the Chuckwagon, a game that was only available via special offer mail order to customers of Purina's products (like Puppy Chow). Finally, Spectravision allegedly made Save the Whales available for play to subscribers of the GameLine service, a modem gaming service by Control Video Corporation. Save the Whales was among the games listed in CVC's Gameline catalog, but nobody has yet to confirm to have ever played the game.

Numerous companies, including Atari themselves, promised computer keyboard add-ons but failed to deliever... except Spectravision. The CompuMate keyboard was only briefly brought to market just before the videogame shake-out, however, making it a rarity among rarities. The CompuMate was more widely availble overseas by a company called Universum, making that version of the computer slightly easier to find (though not by much.)

As was the case of many other companies that canceled games as a result of the changing market climate, Spectravision had big plans to release a large number of titles for the 2600 before they threw in the towel sometime in 1984. Vortex was hyped as the world's first real 3-D video game for the home. Gamers were to put on the special "Spectra-Vision" 3-D glasses and maneuver your shuttle through the meteor showes and repel the Hostile invaders. Sector Alpha was to introduce "Spectra-Sound," adding speech to your 2600 without any additional hardware. Drive 'Em Crazy was a port of a relatively unknown arcade game from Status Games. Vertinko was based on the famous Japanese game of "Pachinko." Protobob was essentially a clone of Surround and the light cycle stage in the coin-op game Tron. Spectravision also announced an official "Romper Room" series of early learning educational programs for the 2600: Do Bee's first alphabet, Romper Room's Countdown to fun and The Street Where You Live.

Note: Spectravision later changed their name to Spectravideo sometime in late 1983, so don't be surprised if some of the labels on your cartridges have the Spectravideo name instead.


  • Bumper Bash
  • Cave-In (not released)
  • Challenge of Nexar, The
  • Chase the Chuckwagon
  • China Syndrome
  • Cross Force
  • Drive 'Em Krazy (not released)
  • Eagle Mountain (not released)
  • Gangster Alley
  • Gas Hog
  • Glactic Tactic (not released)
  • Mangia
  • Master Builder
  • Master Cylinder (not released)
  • Planet Patrol
  • Protobob (not released)
  • Romper Room's Countdown to Fun (not released)
  • Romper Room: Do Bee's First Alphabet (not released)
  • Romper Room: The Street Where You Live (not released)
  • Sector Alpha (Unreleased)
  • Tape Worm
  • Time Escape (not released)
  • Vertinko (not released)
  • Vortex (not released)


  • CompuMate
  • Quick Shot Joystick

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