Mazeman is the main game for Round 6 of the Astrocade High Score Club. Round 6 will last two weeks. The round ends on Sunday, May 1'st at 8pm MST.
"Mazeman" is a maze game, but it's not exactly a "Pac-Man" clone (like the officially unreleased, yet much more common, Muncher). This very rare third-party game was released by Dave Carson in 1984, but it was not programmed by him. Mike White, in the Bally/Astrocade Game Cartridge and Hardware FAQ wrote, "The programmer of this cartridge wanted to remain anonymous for fear of legal troubles." While on a phone call with Mike, in about 2001, he told me that the Mazeman was programmed by a man for his kids. To this day, I'm not sure who created Mazeman-- which is a shame, as it plays very well and is quite fun.
I'd be surprised if more than a handful of people have this original cartridge. That doesn't mean it can't be played on original hardware. I think all of the Astrocade multicarts have the game. If you don't have one of those, then Mazeman can be played in the Astrocade emulator in MAME.
On a side note, I consider Mazeman an early example of a homebrew game for a videogame console. Yeah, that's right: the Bally Arcade had homebrew cartridges back in the 80s. Isn't that cool?!?
From the Mazeman advertisement (above): "MAZEMAN is unlike any "gobble game" you have ever seen! Each time you clear a screen, you find yourself beginning a different maze. There are 12 completely different mazes, each requiring changes in tactics."
The Mazeman cartridge ROM image (called "mazeman.bin" -- not the prototype version of the game, called ""mazemanp.bin") is part of this archive:
There is no proper manual for Mazeman, but the one created by Mike White, when he distributed the cartridge to me, is here:
Here is a review of Mazeman from NIAGARA B.U.G. BULLETIN, 2, no. 5 (June 1984): 22.
Here a video of the prototype version of "Mazeman:"
"Mazeman" play settings for the Astrocade High Score Club are:
# of Pacmen - 5
Skill Level - 5
As usual, 10 points can be earned this round (excluding bonus points):
"Mazeman" Bonus Points
There are two ways to score bonus points in "Mazeman:"
1) Complete all 12 Mazes - The FIRST person to complete all 12 mazes will get a bonus point.
2) Highest Score for One "Pacman" - The person who scores the highest using only one life will get a bonus point.
"Candy Man" (BASIC Bonus Game)
I have not yet decided on the BASIC bonus game for this round. There are a few maze games written for AstroBASIC. Among them are: Nap Cap by New Image Pack Rat by WaveMakers I think that there might be others too. I've played these and they're usually (always?) quite slow. Can anyone suggest a fun BASIC bonus game that would compliment Mazeman for this round?
(If we can't find a bonus game that sounds interesting, then I'll choose one in the next couple of days-- maybe even just one of the above two games.)
Paul Thacker suggested a great BASIC bonus game: L&M Software's 1983 AstroBASIC game, Candy Man. This fun game actually has a highly regarded cartridge sequel that will be a main game in a future round.
Here is some information about Candy Man:
Candy Man advertisement:
A review of Candy Man appear in The Game Player, #4 in ARCADIAN 5, no. 3 (January 14, 1983): 50. Search for "Candy Man" here:
Here are the instructions for Candy Man and River City Gambler: (which appeared on side 2 of the original tape):
Fred Olivas scored 31,780 points on Candy Man, as reported in the Scoreboard of "The Game Player, #11" in ARCADIAN 5, no. 11 (September 28, 1983): 165. That will be a pretty-tough score to beat-- and it's part of this round's possible bonus points.
The AstroBASIC version of Candy Man has a rather amusing animated loading/title screen, which is worth seeing-- so that is the preferred version to play (if you can manage it).
"Candy Man" Bonus Points
- Playing Candy Man - Just for playing Candy Man, you get a bonus point.
- Candy Man High Score - You can earn another bonus point if you get the highest score for this game.
- Video of Candy Man - To continue to promote Astrocade BASIC programs, a bonus point will be awarded to the first person to upload a video of Candy Man containing a full game, plus the game's loading screen (which means that you'll have to load the tape version of the game). No one was able to make a video of the BASIC bonus game in the last round. Hopefully someone can make one for this round.
- Beating 31,780 Points - Anyone who can beat Fred Olivas' 1983 high score on Candy Man will get a bonus point.
Candy Man is available as a "BASICart" (a BASIC program that has been converted to run as a cartridge). A BASICart can run under Astrocade emulation in MAME. Be sure to play Candy Man ("candyman.bin") and not the sequel, Ms. Candyman. Candy Man can be load into AstroBASIC and played on real hardware using this file:
Please post all of your scores for both games here. Scores posted on the Bally Alley discussion group will no longer be accepted. If you post a video score, then please note the score obtained in the video-- as this makes it easier for me to keep track of all the scores.
You'll likely be pleasantly surprised by the quality of Mazeman, but be aware that this game features no sounds at all (no music, no sound effects-- nothing)-- but it makes up for it by being a fun and fast-paced game that isn't available for any other system.
Edited by ballyalley, Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:29 PM.