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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Old Favourite

While we're on the subject of old computer games, I have to mention Claim Jumper, a cutthroat two-player contest for the Atari 400/800.

One player was the green cowboy; the other, the pink cowboy. The pink cowboy could drop snake eggs, which grew into snakes the green cowboy had to avoid; conversely, the green cowboy carried tumbleweed seeds, which grew into tumbleweeds to foil the pink cowboy.

The object of the game for each player was to get your gold from the assay office to the bank. Of course, your competitor would be shooting at you all the while; if you were hit, you'd wind up in the hospital. If the green cowboy ran into a snake, he'd freeze for a couple of seconds; if the pink cowboy hit a tumbleweed, he too would be frozen.

It was a very simple game, but the anguished cries of rage and frustration it caused were a sight to behold. (My cousin Darwin often went apoplectic.) The game rewarded dirty tricks like lurking outside the hospital and shooting your friend over and over, every time he tried to escape. And the sound effects seemed to mock your predicament; when shot, the computer would squeak "ooo-weee-ooo" cheerfully, for example.

My brother and I played this game so much that eventually the cartridge wore out, and there was much mourning. The link above takes you to the original designer's webpage, and he's very graciously offered the game for free play. Sadly, I haven't been able to get the Atari 800 emulator to work on my PC. Perhaps one day...


Sean Woods said...


I love this game.

You should add a couple of images to this post, I think. Give everyone the full Claim Jumper experience.


Earl J. Woods said...

If only I had Claim Jumper images to post...

Sean Woods said...

Google "Cliff jumper game." An image search will give you what you need.

Sean Woods said...

I think I'm close to getting my Atari 8-bit emulator to work.

Should I prove successful, I shall pass that knowledge onto you (and perhaps my *vast* collection of Atari 8-bit roms.

All these posts are bringing up some nostalgia. Time to fire up Star Raiders...

AllanX said...

Claim Jumper down here is a restaurant my roommates eat at all the time.

I love one-on-one competitive video games. Probably the most fun was Earl's and my Outlaws shootouts over our modems.