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the walls are closing in . . .



Surround (a.k.a. Chase)


After Combat, Surround was one of the original nine carts that I remember playing most fondly as a 12-13 year old. I remember getting the game cheaply (about $10) at JC Penny's on 69th street in Upper Darby, PA. (Most likely, just before, or maybe even during, the "crash", but here in 1977 we don't know anything about that, do we?)


The game variant that my friends and I seemed to laugh the most during was the one where you can turn off your "trail" and go faster and faster up down or across a wrap-around-screen. Eventually, one of us would veer off and try to leave a trail across the others path, hoping they'd be too zoned out to notice.


There are many arcade versions of the Surround game-type, some of which had options for up to four players. Atari's Surround was for two players at the most, but also included a one-player version for practicing.


For those of you who don't know. In Surround, each player starts off with a square in the middle part of the screen. When gameplay starts, the square moves forward, leaving behind it a square to mark its passage. You can't stop your square from making another square behind it so you keep moving in any direction where a new square has not been drawn. Eventually the screen is very full of "trail" from you and your opponent's square. You have to outlast your opponent by not slamming into a trail and trapping them so that they do. "Surround"-ing them with your trail is a good strategy as it leaves them with an area from which they cannot escape while they continue to leave a space-filling trail.


My son and I have been having a ball with this, and this is one of those games I will choose to keep for nostalgia reasons as well as for fun.


Oh, I almost forgot to list the next entry. Next Entry: Air-Sea Battle.



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I liked the one where you move faster and faster and faster. Particularly as I was playing against the computer and this doesn't stress it not even a bit. Still, I won. :D

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