Screen Rodeo

I have a soft spot in my heart for this little game I wrote back in December 1995 on my old Mac LC using unadorned Think C. The entire program is less than 32 kilobytes large. (By way of comparsion, Microsoft Office X is 200,780 kilobytes. And a good deal less fun.)

From the readme file:

. . . Screen Rodeo was inspired by the Atari 2600 masterpiece, Surround! Your playing piece, an elegantly-colored blip, emits a trail composed of some lethal substance (possibly molten rock or cigarette smoke.) You are free to roam the playing field using the displayed keyboard controls, with one important restriction.

Like the nurse shark, you may never stop moving.

That means you must not collide with your opponent's trail, your own trail, or the playing field perimeter. These obstacles will bring you to an immediate, and irrevocable, halt.

To win, you must force your opponent into just such a catastrophe. A dramatic illustration of the cruel language of Rodeo.

You don't need a friend handy to play Screen Rodeo, but it helps. The computer can be summoned to fill in for either or both of the players by selecting Options from the Game menu.

Unfortunately, in this initial release of Screen Rodeo, the computer is very, very stupid. Chances are, the computer will not provide you with the seasoned Screen Rodeo opposition you require.

Oh, and one more thing. The screen from time to time is peppered with round things called Voodoo Oranges. Thanks to our irresponsible Food and Drug Administration, you may eat as many of these morsels as you like without getting fat. In fact, each time you scarf one down, your opponent will gain weight. This will result in a less-maneuverable, and quite possibly angry, opponent.

The effect is cumulative and I have on occasion gotten my brother to be pretty huge.

To begin a game, or to re-start an abandoned one, select New from the Game menu. You may also quit at any time by making the appropriate selection from the same menu.

If you plan on keeping this game, please consider donating to the Save the Manatee Club at 500 N Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751. Save the Manatee Club is a non-profit organization (endorsed by Florida superstar Jimmy Buffet) that co-ordinates rescue and lobbying efforts on behalf of manateekind. Last year many of the salad-loving marine mammals were wiped out by a fierce outbreak of Red Tide. Scientists aren't certain what causes Red Tide, but many suspect it may result from an ecological imbalance introduced by (you guessed it) us.

Let us waste no further time! Here is Screen Rodeo, ready for the downloading. I have yet to find a Mac it will not run on. (UPDATE: Although it does require Mac OS X 10.4 or earlier)

Dave Horlick