Before getting into this month's featured software, Collision Course in E.B. from WaveMakers, I have a couple of announcements to pass along. First of all, thanks for all the reader response. I appreciate hearing from you and I will answer your extended memory questions to the best of my ability. Secondly, in response to the requests for reviews of specific items, I can only do them as I receive them. Finally, those of you who have written to Perkins Engineering recently and haven't gotten the answers you expected due to illness, please watch this column in the next couple of issues. I am expecting to hear from John Perkins soon and will then be able to provide the information you need (see page 22 of this issue).
Collision Course in E.B. is one of those few game programs that might best be described as a "classic" for our system. It is fashioned after the coin-op, Head On. Practically every computer or game system boasts of at least one version of this game.
The cassette is packaged in the traditional WaveMakers style. The instruction sheet is folded in such a way to display the title and accompanying illustration through the top of the box. The documentation is complete and easy to understand with notes on tape loading and troubleshooting.
The game accommodates from one to four players, chosen by knob #1 at the completion of the load. The gameboard is a rectangular maze of four lanes of dots with lane openings North, South, East, and West. The top of the screen keeps trade of player data. "Pit road" where the remaining cars are parked is just below the scoreboard. The infield displays the number of the current screen or level. At the very bottom is the all important fuel gauge. Each player is given five cars at the beginning of the game. A bonus car is awarded for earning 1000 points. Your car moves through the maze in a clockwise direction picking up dots for points by passing over them. A computer controlled car is on the track moving in a counter-clockwise direction.
The object is to clear the track of all the dots in order to go on to the next screen. You must avoid collision with the computer car by changing lanes. This is accomplished by steering with the joystick at the lane openings. When changing lanes, care must be taken not to collide with the walls. Your car may move one or two lanes at the openings depending on the length of time the joystick is held. The fuel supply is constantly being depleted as you drive. Increasing speed also increases fuel consumption. Each player's turn continues until a crash occurs with the computer car or a wall, or the fuel gauge reaches empty. Checkered flags appear occasionally on the track. Passing over one of these flags will add to both your fuel supply and your point total.
When a crash occurs at any location on the screen, your car spins wildly amid a burst of circular shock waves. A tow truck will come on to the track from the left side. The truck will go to the location of the wrecked cat, pick it And tow it off the left side of the screen. When a screen is completed, the tow truck will also make an appearance. Bonus points are awarded for completion of a screen. The bonus begins at 50 and increments by 25 points per level. The tow truck tows the bonus points across the screen.
The game is fairly easy to play in the first four levels. Patterns can be established to clear the dots. Beginning with level five, you can throw away any patterns you've been using and start over! Road blocks appear at the bottom of the screen and travel upwards as the game progresses. Hitting one of these results in a crash. If you finally master level five, you will find the road blocks on six moving much faster. The game does not allow boredom! The farther you go the more challenge it offers.
Collision Course in E.B. is a game for nearly everyone. It features full color and sound effects along with playability that is addictive (betcha can't play it just once!) and challenging. The E.B. version has everything that the A.B. tape has (read Game Player, Vol. 5, issue 9) and much more. The recommendations from here are that it is a "must" addition to your game software collection. The program runs in a 4k or larger system.
As can be seen from the screen pictures included, I have achieved four color representation in my screen dump to printer routine. Now, any screen in BASIC can easily be printed.
A S.A.S.E. will insure an answer to your letters. Any products using or creating external memory on the Bally system that you have for sale and would like to have appear in this space should be sent with full documentation. It should be sent to me in the exact format that a customer would receive it. If the item is software and there is a specific screen that you would like to have illustrated, let me know and I will try to get it to paper.