Back in July of 2009 I had posted this to Game Design Concepts Forum for the game design course I was taking at the time.
We had to take an older video game and translate the rules to be a board game. I didn’t post it here as it is a very simple game. It could also be done with laying tiles into a gridded board.
What has caused me to revisit it though was the new Tron movie and some other games that people have made with light cycles. Using the diecast lightcycles as models and acetate sheets as the trails, this makes it much more visibly interesting. I’m going to have to look at this again with that in mind.
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Players: 1 or 2
There were 2 main versions of the games (trap or bite) with 16 variations of these on the cartridge. You (and up to 1 other) could control a head that would either create a trail that you would use to block your opponent’s trail to force them into a collision [very similar to the lightcycles in Tron] or in the bite version would try and nibble away at the opponent’s tail. In addition to the two trails that could be player-controlled, there were also an optional two trails that were computer controlled.
I will do the trap version.
The game board is 37 squares across by 21 squares down. In the prototype this is very easily drawn out on a piece of paper and photocopied for the trap games.
In trap games, the trails are represented by marking in the squares with colored pens (crayons/markers) in the variants where the trails remain after a collision. In the variants were the trails disappear after collisions, you could use erasable pencils (or marking in letters for the different-colored trails and erasing the appropriate ones.) Alternatively, you can draw the grid on a dry-erase board and use dry-erase markers for the trails.
You would also need a 6-sided dice.
The four starting spots are as follows:
The green trail starts 19 in and 5 down. This is optional and game controlled.
The red trail starts 6 in and 11 down. This can be a player controlled trail.
The blue trail starts 32 in and 11 down. This can be a player controlled trail.
The yellow trail starts 19 in and 33 down. This is optional and game controlled.
The basic rules:
1. Each turn fill in a new square attached to the end of your line. (You may not wrap around off end side to the other).
2. If there are no squares for you to add to the end of your line you have a collision and your game ends.
3. If two trails want to enter the same square – both trails roll a dice – with the higher roll getting to add that square first. A tie would mean that both trails have a collision with each other.
4. The last trail still able to play wins.
The game controlled lines always move in a straight line if possible. If doing so would cause a collision, then they move to a random non-colliding space. If they have no valid spaces in which to move, then they have a collision.
The starting direction is decided by rolling d6. If diagonal lines are allowed, then a second roll is needed - 1-3 diagonal, 4-6 non-diagonal. If diagonal then roll again - 1 up left, 2 up right, 3 down right, 4 down left, 5-6 roll again. If non-diagonal then roll again - 1 up, 2 right, 3 down, 4 left, 5-6 roll again.
The variant rules:
Players – the red and blue lines are always in play. The variant would allow all four lines to play. [In a board game version – all 4 lines could be player-controlled.]
Movement – all lines only move to adjacent horizontal or vertical spaces. The variant would allow diagonal moves.
Trails – normally the trails remain after collisions. The variant causes the trails to be erased after the trail has a collision.
Obstacles – Obstacles are 2x2 square boxes that are placed on the board. Trails may not move through obstacles. Normally there are no obstacles on the board. The variant allows 5-8 [4+1/2(d6)] obstacles to be placed on the board.