AUTHOR:Ronald Meadows
9748 Cozycroft Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
(213) 709-1202

CRAZY MAZEY is a car-chase game in which you drive a “…highly maneuverable mean-machine” through a series of mazes collecting money and avoiding collisions with killer cars. The killer cars will attempt to crash into you as you make your way around the maze. Sometimes they will parallel your movement, other times they will dash towards you. The patterns are fairly easy to figure out and knowledge of them will come in handy. To collect all the money (represented by ‘$’ signs) on a level and then exit that level, you will need to neutralize the killer cars. There are two ways to accomplish this: 1) Run them into a dead end; or 2) Cause them to crash into one another. The major challenge of the game involves carrying out these two tasks.

A killer car will tend to parallel your movement. You can use this fact to cause the car to run into dead ends. As long as you do not move to the “unblocked” side of a dead-ended killer car, it will remain there. Causing killer cars to collide with one another involves making use of their other tendency, which is to move toward you when you are on a straight line with them and not moving parallel to their most recent path. There are many ways to use this technique. With one car following you and another heading straight for you, you can wait until the last second before you turn out of the way. Many times the two cars will crash head-on. You can also use the layout of the maze to force cars to crash into each other.

There are nineteen levels in the game. Each level has the same number of cars as the level number. Level nineteen has nineteen cars to avoid! Even at slow speed the higher levels are very difficult. The game can be played at a variety of speeds from ‘1’ (very fast) to ‘7’ (very slow). If you like HEAD-ON you will find CRAZY MAZEY even more enjoyable.

Daniel Hockman

AUTHOR:James D. Spain
PUBLISHER:Avant-Garde Creations
P.O. Box 30160
Eugene, OR 97403
(503) 345-3043

The information printed on the game jacket bills LAZERMAZE (LM) as a “unique arcade action game” and in this case, the advertising is true. There is no other game on the market like this game. The game is based on the fiction of futuristic ‘champion combat’. As in the ancient days of the Greeks and in the biblical story of David and Goliath, LM postulates two warriors competing in one-to-one combat, each representing one of the opposing parties.

The game jacket also claims that LM is a game for sharp eyes and quick wits. This is a fair statement since LM involves rapidly surveying a maze of mirrors on the screen, figuring out the path of a lazer beam through that maze, determining the exit point of the beam, and entering the location into the computer. The more quickly the job is accomplished. the more points you get. The alien is placed at the exit point you select and will be vaporized by your exiting lazer beam if you have correctly called the exit point. If you place the alien at the wrong point and the beam misses him, he will lob a bomb over the maze of mirrors, destroying you. The only real effect of this is that you get zero points for that particular shot.

The rules are stored on disk and are handled nicely. Rather than the usual printed rules or text version of the rules on the computer screen found in most games, the instructions for LAZERMAZE, as well as other Avant-Garde games, are in the form of a tutorial in which the gamer is actually walked through part of a game.

Good eyesight and quick thinking are rewarded. The field of mirrors is fairly easy to “read” on a 13” monitor but is somewhat more difficult on a smaller screen such is often used with personal computers. However, the difficulty is not prohibitive. The faster your eyes can trace the path of the beam, the better your score will be. After the completion of a round you may, if your score is high enough, go to another round with more mirrors. More mirrors means more difficult paths. The highest level. Master’s, places 70 mirrors on the field. Some of the pathways at the Master’s level remind me of my old days in college registration lines — bounce here, there, and everywhere, hopefully coming out at the correct exit.

There are not many strategies in the game that will help increase your score. The game is dominated by quick thinking and reflexes, rather than strategies. However, there are a couple of points to keep in mind when playing. First, hit the numbers quickly but avoid the problem of striking the keys too quickly in succession. The second stroke may not register if it follows the first keystroke too closely. The result is that your first key is entered and the computer buzzes you letting you know it is waiting for the second lost keystroke. Second, when you get down to the last couple of shots of a round. the pathways are filled to the point that it is obvious what path a beam will take. You can save a second or two in these final shots by noticing the pathway gaps as well as the exit points of those gaps. Then you can hit the appropriate keys when your figure pops up and the computer requests the next correct pathway.

LM is a different kind of game and for that reason alone is worth looking at. It is a worthy addition to the arcade game field.

Stanley Greenlaw

SYSTEM:Atari 400/800 and
Apple II (both 48K)
Joystick required for Atari
PUBLISHER:Broderbund Software
1938 Fourth St.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 456-6424

SEAFOX is a shooting gallery game with additions. You are in your sub trying to sink enemy ships as they sail back and forth overhead. The upper row is composed of merchant ships. These are your prime targets. The middle row is made up of hospital ships which you want to avoid hitting, and the lower row (which does not appear in level one) is made up of destroyers that can be fired upon but can drop depth charges on you. Your sub can move back-and-forth as well as up-and-down. Horizontal movement allows you to line up your shots on surface ships while avoiding depth charges. Vertical movement allows you to avoid, as well as fire at, enemy submarines.

You can fire torpedoes upward (toward the surface ships) or outward (toward enemy subs and other denizens of the deep). If you hit a hospital ship your torpedo will reverse itself and begin diving toward you. It is easy to avoid these returning torpedoes but, since only one vertical and one horizontal torpedo can be in play at a time, the returning torpedo keeps you from firing for a number of seconds. Enemy subs react to you in a limited sense. If you are above them they climb, if you are below them they dive, all the while traveling across the screen. You can use this fact to your advantage when you are firing a horizontal torpedo at a sub (lead him into the shot).

You have limited fuel and torpedo supplies; therefore, you are dependent upon a trained dolphin who will bring you more supplies. There are two problems with getting supplies. First, the dolphin follows a fairly well-established path. If you are not in position, you will miss your supplies (the dolphin is too fast to chase). If you miss a supply dolphin, one more will pass before you run out of fuel. The first dolphin will come when your fuel is in the 500-700 range. The second dolphin will come when your fuel is around 100. The supply dolphin is preceded by a green sub that travels across the bottom of the screen. When the green sub appears. place yourself about in the center of the underwater zone. From there you should be able to pick off the supplies as the dolphin swims by. The second problem with getting resupplied is the giant clam. Most of the time a giant fast clam (fast clam?) will appear at the same time as the dolphin. It will attempt to eat the supplies. You must get to the supplies first. The clam is also worth points if shot.

Higher levels of the game bring on torpedoes from the enemy subs as well as magnetic mines. The graphics are nice but there are better games in the Broderbund line.

Luther Shaw

NAME:Computer Foreign Exchange
SYSTEM:TRS-80 models I & III, level II
# PLAYERS2 to 4
PUBLISHER:Avalon Hill Microcomputer Games
4517 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214

COMPUTER FOREIGN EXCHANGE (CFE) is a computer version of the Avalon Hill board game of the same name. The rules are the same and it relieves the players of all the bookkeeping required in that version. The game is unusual in two ways: it is available only for the TRS-80 and it does not allow you to play against the computer. You can play solitaire only if you play more than one “hand”.

Each player represents an American business with international assets. Everything in the game is measured in dollars and the winner is the first player to amass a pre-determined amount. Exactly how great an amount is set at the start of the game and is also a way of controlling the length of the game. Every firm will be making money, so the way to get ahead here is through currency exchange. Say you buy 1000 pesos for $100 on Monday. Friday you sell them back and only get $50. Congratulations, you’ve just halved your money! Of course, had you done it the other way ‘round you could have doubled it. If you’re a gambler, you put all you can in a currency you think will go up. If you’re conservative, you spread it around so that losses and gains balance out.

The “world” in Computer Foreign Exchange consists of twenty-four cities in nine foreign countries. All cities are assigned to one of the players at random, so. with three players, each would begin with eight cities containing a sales office. The trading of cities is allowed and collecting all two or three cities in a given country means a player can buy a manufacturing firm in that country which will increase your income. Those who are familiar with the board game will be glad to know that Computer Foreign Exchange allows every option, including borrowing.

As a teaching tool, Computer Foreign Exchange is a first class way to learn about exchange rates, exposure, and hedging. It is a realistic simulation that will provide plenty of examples. Unfortunately, the documentation is a bare minimum both in telling you how to play and teaching you about foreign exchange. Once you learn, the game dulls a little for the same reason most Stock Market games do: the “market” is fluctuating randomly. In real life, the people who get rich at currency exchange don’t guess.

Still and all, this is a decent game and a good program provided you have someone to play with. The price is right and it only takes 16K!

Bob Proctor

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