I was leafing through an old copy of CC when I came across a review of a game on the Apple II known as Escape. I immediately recognized it as one I have played in many variations on different machines.

The basic premise is simple, you are located in a field filled with a number of fixed obstacles and a number of enemies. At every move the player moves one space in eight directions, and then the enemies will move one step toward the player. The player attempts to escape by causing the enemies to collide with each other or the playfield obstacles. I recall playing one version in B&W on the Mac that was excellent.

I'd like to write a Wiki article on the topic, so if anyone knows of versions on various early platforms, and especially the name of the Mac version, please reply and I'll try to get as much info as I can.

UPDATES: So far I've talked to Mac Oblesby, Bill Cotter, John McGeachie, Peter Doyle, Chris Walker, Stephen Garland and Art Luehrmann. Bill is the only one that even remembers it. Many on the list pre-date the switch to the GE-635, which is where I think it came from, but Art would have remembered it if anyone was going to. I'm trying to find Tony Dwyer out there, he seemed to be one of the main admins in the early 1970s period.

  • And CC stands for what magazin? – Raffzahn Jun 5 '18 at 23:26
  • @Raffzahn Creative Computing, apparently. – Leo B. Jun 6 '18 at 0:52

There is a game called Escape! for Classic Macintosh that seems to fit your description. As per the linked article, another Mac version is 1984's Daleks.

This answer is a Community Wiki. Feel free to edit & add additional variations of the game for other platforms below this horizontal line.

This Space for Rent

  • Daleks! It was Daleks! Now I have to get it to run. – Maury Markowitz Jun 6 '18 at 1:43

The Wikipedia article about the BSD Unix version of the game (Robots) has a comprehensive list of the versions:

In the Jan-Feb 1976 issue of Creative Computing, a game called Chase was
published that bears a strong resemblance to robots. The author was 
originally listed as "Unknown," with modifications attributed to Bill Cotter.

In 1983, Tim Hartnell and Nathan Butcher wrote a game in BASIC called Robot
Minefield, which involved fleeing from four robots on a small field of 
landmines. The game was more difficult than robots since the player lacked 
the ability to teleport. Moreover, robots could merge into each other 
without being destroyed. In addition, the player could only move in four 
directions (North, South, East, West) while the robots had the ability to 
move diagonally. The game was played in real time; as the player pondered 
his move, the robots would continue converging toward him. This version was 
published in the 1983 Giant Book of Computer Games.

In 1984, Johan Strandberg published a game called Daleks, for the Macintosh.

In May 1985, a very similar game also called robots, written by Allan R. 
Black, was posted to the Usenet newsgroup net.sources.games.

In 1985, Robert Paauwe of Softstar Software developed a derivative called 
Daleks, for DOS.



I found an Integer BASIC version of Robots for the Apple II. It bears the following comment:

100 REM        *** ROBOTS ***

The book, by Creative Computing, is available here. The "Chase" game on page 28 appears to be the inspiration. The article on that page attributes the original version to Mac Oglesby, which the wikipedia article doesn't mention. The book also says the game was modified by Bill Cotter and further improved by Arnold Loveridge.

The version I found uses lo-res graphics, and is played with the joystick in real time (slowly). There was also a IIgs version of Daleks, released as shareware.

  • 1
    Ok, so I tracked down Mac. He does not recall writing it, and only knew about it at all because he had a version on the PET. I'm asking for further details, but it appears More BASIC Games is wrong. – Maury Markowitz Jun 7 '18 at 11:01
  • Nicely done! Sounds like wikipedia's "unknown" is accurate after all. FWIW, he's also mentioned on mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,471426, although it says "Believed to be originally created by", which suggests their information comes from the same book. – fadden Jun 7 '18 at 15:07
  • Ok, I also found Bill Cotter, who is the first of the people to release a version in CC. He ported from another system, either DECUS or DTSS. I looked through the DECUS catalogues for the PDP-8, -10 and -11, but none of them contains either Chase or Escape, so it appears it did come from DTSS, just not Mac. – Maury Markowitz Jun 8 '18 at 11:36

I remember this on the PET computer circ 1978 and IIRC was more polished than the CC version in that it didn't require players to hit carriage return after putting in directions.

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