Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 32 / JANUARY 1983 / PAGE 140

Preppie! For Atari

Mike Kinnamon, Stillwater, OK

Look out, Star Raiders! Move over, Pac-Man! Preppie! is here. It is time to return from patrolling the deep fringes of space and reduce your gluttonous intake of caloric maze candies. Now you can work off those extra pounds and breathe clean fresh air right here on Earth at your local golf course retrieving golf balls.

Preppie!, an arcade game for one or two players, embodies all the arcade game characteristics that take a player beyond mere enjoyment to truly enthusiastic excitement. The author, Russ Wetmore, is to be highly commended for the thoroughness and detail of his programming efforts. This program easily ranks among the best games to appear for the Atari computer to date.

Superb Graphics

Preppie! fully exploits the Atari graphics capabilities. I have seen no other game use as many different colors as this one. The detail given the objects is superb. The golf carts have steering wheels and bumpers. The treads of the bulldozers rotate. The alligators have wrinkled skin and sharp, white teeth. The logs display growth rings and peeling bark. The frog extends his limbs when leaping. Preppie's knees flex when he jumps. He even has the obligatory knit emblem on his shirt. The blades of the lawnmowers rotate. Even the title page and Scoreboard are unique. Add all these details together, and you get a graphics display that commands everyone's attention.

As if graphics weren't enough, there is some fine music as well. As your Preppie moves, a bell rings to indicate passage from one line to the next and increases in your score. Should your Preppie be mauled by a marauding mower or poisoned by the infamous frog, a short funeral march is played. Falling into the water elicits yet another sound, as does retrieving or returning a golf ball from the rough.

Deadly Water Hazards

Enough aesthetics. How do you play Preppie!? The object of the game is to maneuver your Preppie across the fairway and the treacherous river into the rough, retrieving golf balls and returning them safely to the greens. You begin play by selecting one or two players. If two are playing, you have the option of using one or two joysticks. Now press the START key and begin the fun.

You start with three Preppies. Your journey is fraught with many dangers. You must negotiate a path that avoids contact with speeding golf carts, razor-sharp lawnmowers, killer bulldozers, and a poisonous frog. Then you must ford the river using moving boats, logs, and alligators as stepping stones. Should you survive to this point, you will find yourself in the rough, where most of the golf balls will appear. Pick up a golf ball, but be careful you don't fall into a water hole.

Now you must make your way back to the green via the same mobile hazards as before. Upon retrieving all the golf balls on the green, you will be advanced to the next higher level and will increase your score according to the amount of time increments remaining on the timer bar. Should the timer expire before you complete your mission, you lose a Preppie and must repeat the level you are on.

There are ten levels of play in Preppie!. You may start the game at level one or choose a higher level up to nine by pressing the appropriate number on your keyboard before hitting the START key. Each successively higher level increases the speed of the hazards. At certain levels you will be confronted with new hazards or an increase in the number of golf balls, up to four. Level ten can be reached only after you have successfully completed level nine. An extra Preppie is awarded when you reach a score of 8000.

Be sure to take the time to read the short story at the front of the instruction book. It gives you an uproariously entertaining and irreverent view of what a Preppie is.

The most surprising aspect of Preppie! is that Adventure International is the marketer of the program. AI, famous for its excellent text and graphics adventure programs, makes its first excursion into the world of arcade gaming with Preppie!.

The disk version contains a high-resolution picture not found on the tape version at the opening of the game. Disk users are offered a chance to purchase a backup copy for $3.99.

If you are looking for a game that will please all ages, Preppie! is it. I have used this game in my school classrooms with kids ranging in age from five to thirteen, and they all loved to play it. It has replaced Pac-Man as their favorite game. Get Preppie!. It will entertain the kids and impress your friends.


Adventure International
Box 3435
Longwood, FL 32750
16K Tape
32K Disk