Entex was a maker of high end handheld electronic games (their version of Space Invaders called Space invader, was a favorite), both in the LED and VFD display format. Unfortunately,by 1981 the reign of the handheld/tabletop market was winding down thanks to the rising popularity of consoles. Handhelds had reigned supreme in holiday sales from the end of the pong market in 1977 through much of 1980. With Atari’s release of Space Invaders for the 2600 in 1980 however, and Mattel’s release of the 2600’s strongest competitor – the Intellivision – consoles were what kids were asking for.
In an attempt to stay competitive against consoles, the stronger handheld companies attempted to produce handhelds with higher quality graphics or in some cases (such as in Coleco’s 1981 tabletop line) licensed coin-op games and tried to reproduce the experience in a smaller format.
Entex struck back with two radically different talbetop’s in 1982 – the Adventure Vision and Select-A-Game. Why were they radically different? Both were programmable tabletops that used cartridges.
Adventure Vision required no TV hook-up since the screen was built-in, with 6000 led based light locations to create images with more than 20 times the resolution of any table-top game on the market at the time. It used four “D” batteries (not included) and came with a licensed Defender game cartridge. Adventure Vision also featured a full fidelity speaker that produced unrivaled sound effects.
Unfortunately, the declining market had already taken to much of a toll on Entex and the company folded later that same year having only released several cartridges for the Adventure Vision. Today, the machine is extremely rare and is considered among the highlights in a collection among those who own one.
Adventure Vision Cartridge Library: