Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 5 NO. 7 / APRIL/MAY 1991

Head 'Em Off!

Head For The Skies And Box In Your Opponent


In this high-flying game for two players, you'll need fast reflexes and sharp strategy to successfully navigate the mazes - while trying to box in your opponent with your jet trails. This BASIC game works on all 8-bit Ataris with at least 48K memory. Two joysticks required.

In the not-too-distant future, aerial combat has become the latest craze. In this newest sport, pilots fly jets through elaborate mazes of force fields. As they fly, the jets produce trails of deadly exhaust, and to cross any trail means instant death. The pilot who survives longest wins, and to end the competition quickly pilots try to box in their opponents with their smoke trails - but one wrong turn can mean instant death.

Getting Started
Type in Listing 1, HEADOFF.BAS, check it with TYPO II, and SAVE a copy to disk before you RUN it.

When you first RUN Head 'Em Off, the title screen appears, with the maze level noted at the bottom. To change the level, press [SELECT]. You can select to fly in all seven of the arenas, one per round, or pick a single arena by number. You can return to the title screen at any time during a game by pressing [START].

To play, plug in two joysticks and press [START]. The first maze appears, seen from overhead. The planes start flying immediately, leaving colored trails of smoke behind them, blue for Player one, red for player two. Use your joystick to control the direction of the jet, being careful to avoid the maze walls, boundary lines and smoke trails. Crossing any of these obstacles, or making a 180-degree turn, causes a fatal crash.

The jet that crashes is highlighted, and the other flyer gets a point for the round. In a tie, a coin is tossed to see who wins the round. In any single arena, play continues until one player gets seven points. If ALL arenas were chosen you play one round in each arena. That is the ultimate challenge. Each maze requires a different strategy, in addition to quick reflexes. With the more complex mazes, like arena 3, the player who gets to the center first can usually trap the other. In open arenas, like arena 1, strategy becomes more significant as you try to trap your opponent while leaving yourself room to maneuver.

Now that you know how to play this game, it's time to head for the skies and Head 'Em Off!

Listing on page 92

Lucius Kwok is a student at Central High School in Philadelphia. In his free time, he likes to play handball or role-playing games. This is his first appearance in Antic.