As of today, December 22, 2017, the first season of the Arcadia High Score Club is wrapping up. The first two rounds were played on the Arcadia Yahoo Group. During season 3 of the Arcadia HSC, the rules were posted to both the Atari Age forums and the Yahoo group. The current round (round 7) gives everyone a chance to catch-up on games they haven't played yet or games that they would like to play again for a higher score. Here is a link to the catch-up round rules:
It has become important for non-Yahoo group members to be able to see the rules for the first two rounds, so I'm posting them again here on the AtariAge forums. The following rules for the first round's game, Cat Trax, were originally posted on October 2, 2017 at 8:50pm to the Yahoo group. If you're a Yahoo groups member, then you can read the rules here:
Here is the original post:
Season 1, Round 1 of the Arcadia 2001/MPT-03 High Score Club will last about one week. This round ends on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 10pm MST (aka Monday, 2am GMT). The game being played this round is Emerson's cartridge #1, Cat Trax, a maze game similar to Pac-Man.
Here is a screenshot of Cat Trax being played in the WinArcadia emulator:
Here is the box for Cat Trax:
Here is the cartridge for the Emerson version of Cat Trax:
Here is the keypad overlay for Cat Trax:
Cat Trax - Quick-Play Rules
Play Cat Trax on real hardware (PAL, NTSC, and any Arcadia family systems) or use the WinArcadia or MAME emulator.
Visit the Emerson Arcadia 2001 Central website for cartridge images and Arcadia emulators:
Here is a direct link to the Arcadia 2001 ROM images ("CatTrax.bin" is the filename for Cat Trax):
Post pictures of your high scores here. Play using the default settings Game 1 (warp and gates available) and Option 1 (three tunnel exits on each side of the screen). Remember, fire button "warps" you to random location in maze. You can open gates using any of keys in left-most column (1, 4, 7) and you can close gates using any keys in right-most column (3, 6, 9). For those that don't want more details, then you're set to play-- for more information (including how to earn bonus points), then read on...
Cat Trax - General Overview
I'm using Ward Shrake's "Director's Cut" of his Arcadia 2001 section of the Digital Press Collector's Guide 7 (published in August 2002) for most of the information that is in this section.
Cat Trax is a 4KB cartridge released in 1982 in a long case. It uses the left-side controller. The game is by "UA Limited." This game was intended to be the Arcadia 2001 console group's legalized version of Pac-Man. It was not the first version made; Crazy Gobbler was apparently written before Cat Trax. The November 1982 Electronic Games had a positive review of this game, in which they note that it was barely finished at that time.
Cat Trax is one of three games known to have been ported over to the Atari 2600 VCS console by "UA Limited" in 1983. (See also Funky Fish and Pleiades).
Cat Trax - Manual
High quality scans of Cat Trax box, manual, cartridge and keypad overlays are here:
For complete information about this game, visit the above link. I've included the important points form the manual here:
In Cat Trax, three dogs chase a cat around a maze. In this game, you have the ability to somewhat control the maze by opening and closing gates using the keypad on the Arcadia's controller. You can also turn the tables on the dog by turning into a dogcatcher.
Object of the Game
1. The game is about 3 Dogs chasing after a Cat.
2. There are 4 different games plus 8 additional options which make a total of 32 possible play combinations. Games and options will be described later in more details.
3. The purpose of this game is to score as many points as possible.
4. Points are achieved when the Cat eats the Catnip (Dots), apple, fish and Dogs themselves, (see VI. Scoring)
5. Each game can be run with 3 Cats continuously.
6. Initially the Cat will be chased by the Dogs. However, it can turn the tables by eating a fish appears randomly in the middle of the screen for a certain period. Then the Cat will change into a Dog Catching Truck and a countdown timing will appear inside the upper past of the doghouse. Within the countdown period, the Dogs can be caught by the Dog Catching Truck and they will be sent back to stay in the doghouse automatically until the countdown timing is finished.
7. When the Cat eats a fish at the first frame, the countdown timing unit will start from 5.0 (actual timing is about 30 seconds). However, if the Cat succeeds to clean up all Catnip (Dots), a second frame will be continued. At this second frame, the countdown timing unit for the Dog Catching Truck starts from 4.0 (actual timing is about 25 seconds). In the third frame, the countdown timing unit for the Dog Catching Truck starts from 3.0 (actual timing is about 20 seconds). And from the forth frame onward, the countdown timing unit will always start from 2.0 (actual timing is about 15 seconds) until the game is over.
8. The apples and fish will appear at random. When eaten by the Cat you get additional points (See VI. Scoring). They will then reappear at random at a later time.
9. You have 3 Cats to run for each game. After all Cats being eaten by the Dogs, the game is over. The highest score will store in the computer memory and appear on the top right of the screen. If it is not the highest, then it will disappear when the Start button on the console is being pressed.
Cat Trax Gameplay Options
We will be play using the default settings:
Game 1 - Warp and gates available
Option 1 - Three tunnel exits on each side of the screen.
Cat Trax (Scoring):
We are playing for the highest score. 10 points are awarded for first place, 9 for second, 8 for third, etc. If more than ten people play, then I'll figure something out...
There are a couple of ways to earn bonus points.
Cat Trax - Video Review - (1 Point) - Although I found examples of gameplay footage for this cartridge, I couldn't find any reviews. Anyone who makes a video review of Cat Trax will get a bonus point.
Cat Trax - Documenting Bugs - (1 Point) - Arcadia games can be flaky. If anyone find any problems, and documents them, then you'll earn one bonus point. Just in case there are dozens of bugs, you can only earn one bonus point no matter how matter bugs are found.
I asked if anyone wanted to compete in an Arcadia 2001 High Score Club, and a few people answered the call. Think of this first round as an experiment. We'll Play Cat Trax for a week and post pictures of our scores as the week progresses. You don't have to be a great game player (or even a good one) to participate; this is just a fun way to get us to play our Arcadia/MPT-03 game consoles-- which is what they're for, right?
I hope that this round gets people who love to talk about the Arcadia console family, but don't play it much to grab their (possibly) dust-covered old friend, plug it in and play a few rounds. For those who don't have a real console, or who don't own this particular game, then play along with us using emulation.
Have a fun first round, everyone!