The Vectrex console was a unique gaming system that stood out in the 80s for its built-in screen and vector graphics. Today, it’s a beloved piece of gaming history, with enthusiasts and collectors seeking out rare and valuable games to add to their collections.
The rarity scale is a system used to measure the scarcity of a game based on the number of copies produced and the number of surviving copies. In the case of Vectrex games, some of the rarest games are those that were produced in small quantities, were not widely distributed, or were never released at all.
Some examples of rare Vectrex games include:
- Spike’s Water Balloons: Only 20 copies were produced.
- Bedlam: Only 125 copies were produced.
- Polar Rescue: Only 500 copies were produced.
Prototype games are early versions of a game that were created for testing purposes or demonstration, usually not intended for release. For collectors, prototype games are highly sought after due to their rarity and historical significance.
Some examples of prototype games for the Vectrex console include:
- Color Space Wars: A version of the game that was created before the final release.
- Minestorm 2: A sequel to the popular game Minestorm that was never officially released.
- Dark Tower: A game that was only produced as a prototype and never released.
Homebrew games are games developed independently by hobbyists or enthusiasts for the Vectrex console. While not officially licensed, many of these games are of high quality and are sought after by collectors.
Some examples of homebrew games for the Vectrex console include:
- Vector Pilot: A space shooter game with impressive graphics and sound.
- Protector/YASI: A game that combines elements of Defender and Missile Command.
- Thrust: A remake of the classic game that was released on multiple platforms.
Limited Edition Games
Limited edition games are special versions of a game that were produced in limited quantities, usually with unique packaging or additional content. These games are highly sought after by collectors for their rarity and the added value they bring to a collection.
Some examples of limited edition games for the Vectrex console include:
- Clean Sweep: A game that was only available as a prize for a contest held by GCE.
- Spike: A game that was only available through a mail-in offer from GCE.
- Star Hawk: A game that was only available through a special offer from Milton Bradley.
Unreleased games are games that were never officially released for the Vectrex console, but exist as prototypes or demos. These games are highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and the historical significance they hold.
Some examples of unreleased games for the Vectrex console include:
- Melody Master: A game that was never officially released, but exists as a prototype.
- Solar Quest II: A sequel to the popular game Solar Quest that was never officially released.
- Art Master: A game that was never officially released, but exists as a prototype.
Complete in Box (CIB) Games
Complete in box (CIB) games are rare Vectrex games that are still in their original packaging with all the original accessories. These games are highly sought after by collectors for their rarity and the added value they bring to a collection.
Some examples of rare Vectrex games that are CIB include:
- Dark Tower: A game that was only produced as a prototype and is extremely rare in CIB form.
- Mr. Boston: A game that was only available as a promotional item and is extremely rare in CIB form.
- Scramble: A game that was not widely distributed and is extremely rare in CIB form.
Reproduction games are copies of rare games that have been produced illegally, often with lower quality materials than the original. While reproduction games are sometimes produced to meet demand from collectors, they are generally frowned upon in the collecting community due to their lack of authenticity.
Collectors should be cautious when purchasing rare Vectrex games and should only buy from reputable sellers to ensure the authenticity of the game.
The authenticity of a rare Vectrex game can greatly affect its value. Collectors should be aware of common methods used to determine authenticity, such as comparing the label and cartridge to known authentic examples, and examining the internal components of the cartridge.
Authenticity can also be determined through grading, which is the process of evaluating the condition of a rare game, often using a standardized system, to determine its value.
Rarity guides are online or print resources that provide information on the rarity and value of rare games. For Vectrex collectors, rarity guides can be helpful in determining the value of a game and in finding rare games to add to a collection.
Some popular rarity guides used by Vectrex collectors include:
- The Video Game Price Guide
- The Collector’s Guide to Vectrex
- The Definitive Guide to Vectrex Games
Rare and valuable Vectrex games hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts. From prototype games to limited edition releases, these games offer a glimpse into the history of the Vectrex console and the early days of video gaming.
Collectors should be cautious when purchasing rare Vectrex games and should be aware of the risks associated with reproduction games. By using resources such as rarity guides and grading systems, collectors can ensure the authenticity of their games and add valuable pieces to their collections.
What is the most rare and valuable Vectrex game?
The most rare and valuable Vectrex game is Spike’s Water Balloons, with only 20 copies produced. It is highly sought after by collectors and can fetch prices upwards of $5,000.
How can I tell if a Vectrex game is authentic?
Authenticity can be determined by examining the label and cartridge for inconsistencies and comparing it to known authentic examples. It can also be determined through grading, which evaluates the condition of the game to determine its value.
Can I play reproduction Vectrex games on my console?
Yes, reproduction Vectrex games can be played on a Vectrex console. However, collectors should be aware that reproduction games are not authentic and are generally frowned upon in the collecting community.
Are there any rare Vectrex games that were released outside of the United States?
Yes, there are several rare Vectrex games that were released exclusively in other countries, such as Fortress of Narzod (released only in Europe) and Pole Position (released only in Japan).
Can I find rare Vectrex games at retro gaming stores or online marketplaces?
It is possible to find rare Vectrex games at retro gaming stores or online marketplaces, but collectors should be cautious and only buy from reputable sellers to ensure the authenticity of the game. It is also recommended to use resources such as rarity guides to determine the value of a game before purchasing.
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