Space Spartans

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Follow this link for info about the review system. 1 = Terrible, 5 = Awesome!

Mattel's entry in the Star Raiders clone craze. Or... Space Battle 1.5.

Space SpartansGraphics: 3
Sound: 3
Replay Value: 3
Notes: 1-player game; requires Intellivoice
Screen Shots

Space Spartans is a decent game. The voices are actually quite good, with the sexy female computer voice somewhat reminiscent of the original Star Trek TV series, the mechanical status report, and the sinister voice you hear at the end of the game. "The battle is over." Is it just me, or does that guy sound a bit like Yul Brynner?

Gameplay is much like any of the other Star Raiders clones out there, but perhaps it's a bit easier to control the ship's systems than the various third-party VCS clones (e.g. Activision's Starmaster and Imagic's Star Voyager). This game's overlay content is clearly much like the Atari VCS's Video Touch Pad controller overlay included with the Atari 2600 version of Star Raiders. You have full control over your ship's resources - Impulse Drive, Hyperdrive, Shields, Battle Computer, Tracking Computer, and Repair assignments. And, true to their word, Mattel made the voices essential to gameplay - don't bother trying to play without the Intellivoice unit.

The game is broken into two main screens - the star map strategy mode and the combat screen. The starmap is nicely done, but the combat screen is really not much more than a scrolling Space Battle screen with a fixed cursor and different aliens. They tried to have a 3-D look to the aliens, with them appearing small and growing larger - charging toward you, for example. The effect falls flat, mainly because you don't have a starfield effect, i.e. the stars are 'flat' and you don't seem to advance through them. The sound is adequate, the voices well-done. It's worth a good rousing play once in awhile, but it's definitely a middle-of-the-pack game in terms of long-term replay value.




ROM No ROM variants have been identified.
Box So far, four variations have been found.
Manual Four variants have been identified.
Overlays Two different overlay variations are known to exist.
Label To date, three labels have been recorded.
Easter Eggs No Easter Eggs have been found.




A total of four Space Spartans box variants have been documented.

Image Vendor Part Number Year Origin Description
Space Spartans Box (Mattel Electronics 3416-0910) Mattel Electronics 3416-0910 1982 U.S.A. Trayless pocket; no part number on top; © Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne, CA on bottom; does NOT have the Mattel Running Man logo and 'authenticity' comment
Image not available. Mattel Electronics 3416-0910-G1 1982 U.S.A. Trayless pocket; no part number on top; © Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne, CA on bottom; DOES have the Mattel Running Man logo and 'authenticity' comment
Image not available. Mattel Electronics 3416-0910-G1 1982 Hong Kong Plastic tray; no part number on top; © Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne, CA on bottom; DOES have the Mattel Running Man logo and 'authenticity' comment
Space Spartans Box (Mattel Electronics 3416-0810) Mattel Electronics 3416-0810 1982 Hong Kong French-Canadian; plastic tray; English copyright data on top flap; French copyright data on bottom flap; © Mattel Canada Inc., Toronto, Canada; English game name on spine, French on opposite end

There are at least three versions of the Space Spartans box. Two of these are subtly different, and I have a theory as to the origin of the differences. First, you'll see the images of the back side of the box. Can you spot the differences between the two on the right? Special credit to humblejack for reporting about those two variants, and for donating the original box.

Original Release (USA)

Original release (USA)

Revised Release (Hong Kong, rev. G1)

Revised release
(Hong Kong - rev. G1)

French-Canadian Box Back

French-Canadian box back

The difference is the appearance of the Mattel 'Running Men' logo on the G1 revision. In my experience, the G1 version is much more common. The working theory is that Space Spartans was originally coming on the scene around the same time that Imagic (and others) started producing Intellivision games, in 1982. After that time, I suspect that the Mattel 'Running Men' logo, which intones that only Mattel's cartridges offered the best performance and by implication, compatibility and games for the system. In other words:

"Don't get those games from those non-Mattel companies!"

Finally, the French-Canadian version put information on the top and bottom flaps (not pictured) as well as the game title on the 'open' side of the box.

French-Canadian Release (spine)




A total of four Space Spartans manual variants have been documented.

Image Vendor Part Number Year Origin Description
Space Spartans Manual (Mattel Electronics 3416-0920) Mattel Electronics 3416-0920 1982 U.S.A.  
Space Spartans Manual (Mattel Electronics 3416-0920) Mattel Electronics 3416-0920 1982 Hong Kong  
Space Spartans Manual (Mattel Electronics 3416-0720) Mattel Electronics 3416-0720 1982 Hong Kong French-Canadian
Space Spartans Manual (Mattel Electronics 3416-0920) Mattel Electronics 3416-0920 1982 Italy Black and white Italian release, reported by Spadafermo51

On a humorous note, it seems that perhaps the game was too easy when they first documented it. After all, the instructions referred to the Space Spartan cartridge. Guess perhaps they added more aliens to make the game harder. ;-)

Instructions Error




A total of two Space Spartans overlay variants have been documented.

Image Vendor Part Number Year Origin Description
Space Spartans Overlay (Mattel Electronics 3416-4289) Mattel Electronics 3416-4289 1981 U.S.A.  
Image not available. Intellivision Productions N/A None   Part of the standard 10 overlay set from the 2014 Intellivision Flashback; copyright information has been removed




A total of three Space Spartans label variants have been documented.

Image Vendor Part Number Year Origin Description
Space Spartans Label (Mattel Electronics) Mattel Electronics N/A 1982 U.S.A. Origin lower center-right; © M.I. 1982 lower right; ™ upper right; smaller label, rounded corners
Space Spartans Label (Mattel Electronics) Mattel Electronics N/A 1981 U.S.A. Origin lower center-right; © M.I. 1981 lower right; ™ upper right; larger label, rounded corners, larger font for game name; font for ™ is smaller
Space Spartans Label (Mattel Electronics) Mattel Electronics N/A 1981 Hong Kong Origin lower center-right; © M.I. 1981 lower right; ™ upper right; larger label, rounded corners, larger font for game name; font for ™ is smaller




Title Screen Title screen for Space Spartans.
Starmap This is where you first get to hear one of the most recognizable soundbites of the classic era: Hello Commander. Computer reporting. Also, you do your long-range planning here.
Space Battle! No, er, Battle the Aliens in Space! Fight the good fight! Starfield scrolls as you guide your ship to destroy enemy fighters.




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