Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 124 / DECEMBER 1990 / PAGE G-36



Here's a challenging and entertaining game that pits you and another player against each other. The object is to see who can be the first to move across a number of squares to the opposing side of the board first without getting electrocuted. The problem is, which squares are wired for you, which for your opponent, and which have no power at all? Play High Voltage! and find out.

Typing It In

High Voltage! is written entirely in BASIC. To avoid typing mistakes, use The Automatic Proofreader to type it in. See "Typing Aids" elsewhere in this section. When you've finished, save the program to disk.

High Voltage! may be played from the keyboard or with a joystick plugged into port 2. After you've loaded and run the program, a presentation screen will appear. Press any key to start the game or press the fire button on the joystick. The computer will take a few seconds to "wire" the board (the board is different every time), and then the game will begin.

Playing the Game

The object of High Voltage! is easy: Get to the opposing side of the board before your opponent does. The red player (player 1) moves from the top of the board to the bottom. The green player (player 2) moves from the bottom to the top.

The starting player is chosen at random by the computer. The player's turn is displayed on the bottom right of the screen. You may start from any of the squares along the top or bottom row, but you may move only on squares that are your color. The problem is that you can't tell what color a square is until you select it by pressing the fire button or hitting Return.

If you accidentally move onto a square with your opponent's color, you get zapped and are returned to your end of the board. You lose control of the game, and it becomes the other player's turn. If you fall on a square that's black (not wired at all), you'll be returned to your previous position and may try again. You may land on up to three black squares, after which control passes to the other player. When you're zapped back to the start, you'll have to retrace your steps. Observation and a good memory will help, as you'll have to remember your steps along the board to be able to retrace them later.

Movement is limited to one position in any of eight directions and is controlled by the cursor keys on the keyboard or the joystick. To move to a square, put the cursor on it and press the fire button or press Return. If it's an invalid move, nothing will happen. Otherwise, you'll see what hides in that position.

The game ends when either player has reached the other side of the board. The computer will reveal the board and announce the winner; you may then play again by pressing any key or the fire button.

If play gets to be too frustrating, you can press f7 at any time to end the current game without there being any winners. The game board and all the squares will then be displayed with the correct path revealed. Play can then be resumed.


High Voltage! requires good memory and careful observation as well as luck. There will always be at least one correct path to the other side of the board, sometimes more. Pay attention to your own moves and try to memorize the moves you're making. Also watch what your opponent reveals. His or her mistakes may help you know the ending positions of your own path on the board.

Watch out for booby traps. Some paths may seem correct for two or three moves, but there will be no way out, making you lose valuable time backtracking.