by TOM ZARBOCK
In honor of the Halloween season, Antic presents one of the strangest arcade games we have ever published. Join the Vampire Rats as they stalk each other (and any innnocent passers-by) in the midnight barnyard. The program for this two-player BASIC game works on all Atari computers of any memory size, with disk or cassette.
This barnyard isn't big enough for Count Ratula and Vampirodent. So they are fighting a duel to the death. Only one mighty Vampire Rat can survive to become. . .Transylvania's King for a Day!
To enlist in this supernatural free-for-all, type: in Listing 1. Check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. After the Grade-B horror movie title screen appears, press the joystick button to start the game.
Pushing the joystick forwud makes your vampire advance. Moving the stick to the right or left pivots the vampire like an early videogame tank. To turn and move simultaneously, hold down the joystick button as you manipulate the stick. The ominous sound effects for each action are definitely worthy of a cheap monster movie.
Vampire Rats cannot move backwards. Pulling back on the joystick causes the rat to jump forward. A jumping rat moves faster and can leap over obstacles--but each jump costs the rat some extra "blood energy."
Blood energy levels for both rats are displayed with red bars at the opposite sides of the screen. Vampire Rats slowly lose blood as time passes-- unless they can replenish their supply from some of the randomly appearing victims--or from each other.
When blood level becomes dangerously low, the rat darkens in warning. Zero blood level loses the game.
Vampire Rats cannot move onto a spot that is already occupied, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous. In order to drain an opponent or victim, Vampire Rats must simply be:
(1) Right next to them.
(2) Pointed forward at them.
Draining is automatic and does not require pressing the joystick button. Each successful attack is accompanied by a sizzling zap sound.
Good luck, Children of the Night. Don't bump into any garlic wreaths.
Tom Zarbock is a business administration major from San Juan Capistrano, in Southern California.
Listing: VAMPRAT.BAS Download