Last Updated on November 28, 2023
A beta release for Amico HomeTM is available to try now on Android, putting an Intellivision Amico into your pocket.
If you’d thought all hope was lost for the Intellivision Amico, you might be surprised to learn that the new Amico HomeTM app offers the Amico gaming experience on Android (a version for iPhone and iPad is planned).
The idea behind this app is that you install it on a tablet or any device that can connect to a TV over HDMI (no wireless HDMI support) and play games via the Amico Controller app on your phone. Sounds good, but there’s a catch.
Both available games cost a penny short of £12.
(You can find the main app, controller, and games, on the Intellivision Amico page on Google Play.)
Sure, you might want to revisit Astrosmash or Missile Command, but both titles are available on other platforms, at around the same price point, and don’t require using your phone like a modern Intellivision controller.
Dead horse flogger
The Intellivision Amico is the ultimate vapourware, a project that promised much but failed to deliver anything but disappointment. It makes the Atari VCS launch look competent.
And just when you see the news of Amico HomeTM, potentially a positive step (albeit one that perhaps should have been attempted before a hardware system) you’re left with the prospect of being out of pocket. For a project that has so spectacularly failed again and again and again to demand money for games to play on beta software…
Look, have these guys even heard of demos? Trial versions? Big launches with a limited free play time?
Failure from the jaws of success
The UI on Amico HomeTM might look attractive, boasting a pseudo 1960s iconography, but ultimately this system is on the rocks once more.
Multiple mobile devices is a bit clunky; the lack of an Android TV version is frankly baffling.
Amico HomeTM has essentially been sneaked out. They didn’t bother troubling the usual PR outlets with news, for example, a move that appears to betray a lack of confidence in the concept.
What can the Amico HomeTM do to succeed?
At the very least this dweller of the last chance saloon needs to offer:
- Free games/demo versions
- Android TV support
- On-screen controls for single players
On that last point, sure, the Amico was designed as a modern Intellivision, a family gaming experience. But it’s current lifebuoy is a mobile device that you keep in your pocket. A guaranteed way to build buzz is to enable gamers to play in single player mode, perhaps on the bus or train, and spead the word.
Instead, the Amico HomeTM is locked purely to tablets, with phones as controllers, and a limited library of overpriced games.
Having tried the app, it promises so much, but it’s ultimately empty. The controller app lacks accuracy, there is nothing to do aside from browse some menus… it’s like buying a console with no games. But even a new Xbox will give you some free online games to bring you into the ecosystem.
It seems Intellivision either doesn’t want you, or doesn’t understand that it needs you.
When I first heard about the app, I was hopeful. Having installed it, it seems to me that without immediate revision to the strategy, this is the final Intellivision Amico disaster.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.