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Kool-Aid Man Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 10%
Kool-Aid Man
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  • Review Score:

  • D-
Anyone who had frequented this site would probably have read my review of Kool-Aid Man on the Atari 2600; if you haven't, do so now. The biggest issue with that one was a clear lack of effort. That was the kind of nonsense that led to the 1983 video game crash. The Intellivision version of Kool-Aid Man did have more effort put into it than its Atari brother; however, it still sucked the big one.

Like the Atari version, the Intellivision version of Kool-Aid Man was initially a freebie a kid could get by turning in some proofs of purchase from cans of Kool-Aid. It also saw a retail release later. Both feature the crazy-looking anthropomorphic pitcher in battle with the Thirsties. However, that is where the similarities end.

Kool-Aid Man (Intellivision)Click For the Full Picture Archive

In this one, rather than just controlling a pitcher floating around a void with a bunch of cherries and a nondescript mass of baby blue at the bottom, you are actually in a well-rendered three-dimensional house. There are identifiable objects in the house. The Thirsties actually look like the do on the box art. In fact, the visual of the Kool-Aid Man bursting through the wall is Sega CD-quality animation. The only things that don't look so hot are the kids you control; they look more like Oompa Loompas mixed with the Whos from The Grinch. Even the sound is quite pleasing. Aesthetically, this version is first-rate.

When you're done gawking at the visuals, it's time to start playing, and that's where the trouble starts. Each stage has two phases to complete within a ten-minute time limit. The first stage involves taking the pair of weird-looking children on a search through the house to find the components for making Kool-Aid and bring them to the sink, dodging the Thirsties all the way. If the Thirsties touch one of the kids, that kid is frozen in place. If they get both kids, the game is over. That's right; you only get one chance. Dodging the Thirsties is even more problematic since the kids move PAINFULLY slow. The first phase takes the most time and sucks every second.

Kool-Aid Man (Intellivision)Click For the Full Picture Archive

If all of the components are brought to the sink, than the Kool-Aid Man appears, and phase two begins. The goal of phase two is to chase down and tag the Thirsties with the demonic-looking pitcher (like in the Atari version). The chase is mindless but enjoyable. It's also over WAY too quickly. I estimate that the average player would get half a minute of fun with the Kool-Aid Man for every five or six minutes of tedium with the Valium-overdosed kids.

The clear appearance of effort forces me to give a slightly higher score to the Intellivision version, but don't take that to mean I endorse it. Kool-Aid Man on the Intellivision looks better than its Atari brother, but it still sucks as an actual game. Both versions are crap, but this one is crap with a pretty little bow on it. If you want to have real fun with the Kool-Aid Man, just mix a pitcher and hope he bursts through one of your walls.
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