The Secrets of ColecoVision Games

ColecoVision Illusions

Vital Statistics

Manufacturer: Nice Ideas
Distributor: Coleco (originally Mattel)
Game Serial Number: 2621 (Coleco); 7760 (Mattel)
Home Release Date: 1984
Guide No.: ??
Rarity (Based on CV FAQ): Rare
Size: 16k

Game Background

Illusions is a puzzle game involving "Gleebs" that need to combine or separate to solve each board. The first board features an Escher print, and the Gleebs need to combine into one. The second board features a cube illusion, and the Gleebs need to separate. On harder levels, lizard foes will appear and try to undo your progress.

The creator of Illusions was Nice Ideas, a company based in France. They were originally a part of Mattel Electronics, but when the video game crash of 1984 occurred, they were sold to an unknown company. Mattel was not allowed to shutdown Nice Ideas like the rest of Mattel Electronics due to French law. (It is believed Nice Ideas continued making new, unreleased games such as Pizzatime and Masters of the Universe during this time. Please e-mail me if you have copies of these.)

At the time of the shutdown, they had several finished games that were sold to Mattel: Illusions, Burgertime, and Bump 'n Jump. Burgertime and Bump 'n Jump made it to the marketplace under Mattel's label. When Mattel decided to leave the video game business, Coleco bought the rights to all three games. Coleco redesigned Bump 'n Jump for the driving module, took out the "Mattel" welcome screens, and marketed Illusions for the first time. All three games became uncommon to rare under the Coleco label, while the Mattel label is much harder to find.

Illusions, in my opinion, the weirdest and most unique game out for any system. The scenes are really cool, the action can be crazy at times, and the entire experience is memorable.

(Much of the history described here is from ColecoVision FAQ by Joe Huber.)

How To Combine or Split Your Gleebbish Personality

To split or combine/jump, hit your fire button. The computer will remember button presses until the Gleeb finds a split or combine/jump point.

Lizards will start to appear on harder levels. They can be defeated by spilling the bowl of water on them, and then they turn into fish. While the fish is floundering around, the Gleeb can touch it for more time.

First Board (Escher's Stairs Picture):

Try to combine all the Gleebs so they can enter the mirror as one. When you are at stairs, you need to time it right for one to jump off the stairs up to another Gleeb above it. Avoid lizards (fight them off with the water bowl) on higher levels. Every 30 seconds another Gleeb comes out (if you combine all four but do not solve the board, you lose one of them from the combined Gleeb). To finish the board, enter the mirror. You have four minutes to complete the board.

Second Board (Cube Illusion):

We are in the mirror-land! The timer is even backwards!!

At the corners, you can split your Gleebs up. You need to split the one big Gleeb into four components and send them back into the mirror. Gleebs tend to meet up and recombine on mirrored paths, so this is not an easy task. As always, the lizards are out to get you. You have four minutes to complete the puzzle, and a Gleeb will recombine with the main Gleeb every thirty seconds that you wait to solve the board. Once finished, you will be sent back to the original board to combine them back.

Tips: Go with your gut. There is no one right or wrong way to play!

Tricks, Tips, and Easter Eggs

Pause and Music Selection Hit "*" (star) to pause the action and press "#" (pound sign) to turn the music on/off.

Time in a bottle. Don't forget that lizards are vulnerable to water, and once transformed into fish (by the water), they can be touched for additional time on the timer.

Just the four of us. On the "stairs" board, the jump points are typically at the turns of stairs. You will soon find each of these, so experiment. (These are hard to describe in written text.)

Splitting up is hard to do. On the "cube" board, you can split up on the cube's corners. Be careful because the Gleebs will try to follow a mirror path so they can recombine.

The Love Connection. Once a Gleeb is split up into its four components on the "cube" board, pairs of Gleebs may recombine, and some pairs won't. This is one of the nuances of the game.

A Final Thought. This game does not want you to dawdle. Once you combine/split up totally, head directly for the mirror. Otherwise, a lizard or the timer might undo your work.


The information contained here is for informational purposes only. I have no direct financial or other interests in this product other than as a fan of the Coleco era. There is no warranties on accuracy of this document. All trademarks and copyrights of Hasbro, Parker Bros., Coleco, CBS Electronics, Telegames, AtariSoft, Nintendo, Universal, Imagineer, Ocean, Black Pearl/TH*Q, Gottleib, Mylstar Electronics, and any other mentioned companies are acknowledged here. Some scoring and level information has been taken from their respective game manuals and credited as such. Other information has been taken from the ColecoVision FAQ or documented sources and credited as such. All other writings are original work by Norman G. Sippel. ColecoVision Homepage and HTML Mark-Up (C) 1996-1999 Norman G. Sippel. ColecoVision Game Spotlight Original Work (C) 1996-1999 Norman G. Sippel. ColecoVision FAQ (C) 1994, 1995, 1996 Joe Huber and James Carter.