Brie. Roquefort. Camembert. Gouda. Edam. Gorgonzola. Parmesan. Cheddar.
June 16, 2007 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Ratmaze 2 is a flash game by PixelJam. You are a RAT. Start ACTING LIKE ONE. You noble mission: to EAT ALL CHEESE. Your universe consists of an ATARI MAZE. Your soundtrack is COOL PCM MUSIC. Eating cheese awards MORE TIME. DON'T FORGET THE CRUMBS! Eating FRUIT speeds you up. Eat LETTERS for SECRET BONUS. Some walls are FAKE. Get ALL THE CHEESE for AWESOME BONUS ROUND. Solve bonus round for COSMIC CHEESE BONUS.
PixelJam also made Gamma Bros., previously seen. This post brought to you by the Committee for the Preservation of Williams-style Arcade Instruction Screens.
posted by JHarris (35 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by furtive at 3:37 PM on June 16, 2007

- Turn on scrolling, off by default, on the options menu. It really, really helps.
- The pool table puzzle, once in a while, glitches and becomes unsolvable. Reload the page if this happens.
- Purposely being cryptic here.... the 'Z' puzzle can be solved more than one way; my advice is to pick the easier one to avoid a potential bug.
- You don't need all the letters to reach the bonus round. You can't get all the letters without finding a secret room, but it's not really -that- hard to find.
- Please keep trying until you at least see the bonus round, which is really quite amazing to behold.
- If you need help, Independent Gaming has pieced together a map of the maze.
posted by JHarris at 3:37 PM on June 16, 2007

furtive: Heh, sorry about the blink, the intent was to preserve the over-the-top effects of the Robotron instruction screens... but unfortunately, Firefox doesn't yet support kickass color cycling effects.
posted by JHarris at 3:38 PM on June 16, 2007

posted by furtive at 3:39 PM on June 16, 2007

That was fun for like two minutes.
posted by delmoi at 3:51 PM on June 16, 2007

Where is the M?
posted by empath at 3:52 PM on June 16, 2007

69/72, four letters. Funnish, but not fun enough to try a second time.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:59 PM on June 16, 2007

empath: check down from the start room....
posted by JHarris at 4:00 PM on June 16, 2007

oh man, i recommend NOT playing with scrolling on. It takes all the fun out of it. Makes it all too easy.
posted by empath at 4:00 PM on June 16, 2007

Where is the M?

The criminals and the police teamed up to catch him for murdering young girls.
posted by Falconetti at 4:04 PM on June 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

empath, the game is actually quite difficult to completely win at even with scrolling on. It involves finding all the cheese in time, getting all the letters, then clearing the bonus round AND solving one more puzzle while there under a quite strict time limit. You'll know you've done everything if the game's actually told you "You ate all the cheese." Doing it all is worth a score of over 50,000 easy. My high score is 56,280, the highest score on the vanity board is almost 60,000.

Oh, and it seems there is a bug that sometimes you don't enter the bonus round if you have all the cheese. Pixeljam's said in a comment somewhere he's fixed it, but it hasn't gone up on the site yet.
posted by JHarris at 4:09 PM on June 16, 2007

The music is my favorite part. The rest kicks ass as well, but not as much as the music.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:10 PM on June 16, 2007

jharris. I tried twice with scrolling off and couldn't finish it. I turned scrolling on and finished it with over 100 seconds left-- the letters and cheese and all.
posted by empath at 4:24 PM on June 16, 2007

Didn't run into any bugs.
It was great oldschool fun.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:40 PM on June 16, 2007

Bouncing those balls around is in-fucking-furiating. Especially the "Z" ball.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:43 PM on June 16, 2007

empath, I suppose where we differ is in our opinion as to where the -enjoyable- challenge lies.

With the scrolling off, the player has no cues to remind him of where he is relative to the greater maze around him. It is super easy to get disoriented because theres much less of a sense of continuity, you can't see missed cheese just off screen, and you have no sense of when you're at an edge of the overall map. It is extremely difficult, FRUSTRATING difficult, to get all the cheese that way.

With the scrolling on, I can regularly get the clock over 200 seconds, and usually win with between 140-180 left, and that's without making maps at all. But while the game is easier to win, the player may then settle into the true challenge, path optimization and crumb-eating technique, to get better scores. That's a lot more fun, to me at least.

Further, winning more often allows the player to reach the bonus round more often, and getting those damn balls into the holes there is challenge enough.
posted by JHarris at 4:45 PM on June 16, 2007

I'd gotten all the letters but with a minute left on the clock i was down to 71 out of 71 cheese, and I couldn't find the last morsel. Fun, but for me, anticlimactic, and not worth doing again.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:23 PM on June 16, 2007

Love this game, but I want to know what music you've heard on your computer recently that wasn't PCM.
posted by neustile at 5:23 PM on June 16, 2007

posted by mattoxic at 5:36 PM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

So, JHarris, if you posted about Fran Drescher, would you make the front page bleat gratingly at us to give us an idea of what we'd get if we followed the link?
posted by gurple at 6:13 PM on June 16, 2007

posted by Citizen Premier at 8:08 PM on June 16, 2007

Fun game. They should write more new Atari games.
posted by fungible at 8:42 PM on June 16, 2007

This was excellent.
posted by blacklite at 10:14 PM on June 16, 2007

I beat the game, never having turned scrolling on.

Fun game. They should write more new Atari games.

This game would actually be pretty complex for an Atari, I think.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 PM on June 16, 2007

posted by 517 at 11:07 PM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I blew in the cartridge but I kept getting a blinking screen. I think I need a new unit.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 1:42 AM on June 17, 2007

Hm. Didn't know the blink usage on the front page would annoy everyone. Sorry I did it, I will endeavor to not go flashing in public in the future.
posted by JHarris at 3:30 AM on June 17, 2007

Like a rat
In a maze
My path before me lies
And the pattern never alters
The rat dies

--Simon and Garfunkel, "Patterns"
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:19 AM on June 17, 2007

I don't think the 2600 would be even close to powerful enough to run that game. They had 4k cartridges and 256 bytes of RAM. Not kbytes, BYTES.

With a bank-switched catridge (that is, one that has more than 4k but swaps in different pieces), they might be able to implement some of that game, but the whole thing? Not likely.

You could probably implement something pretty close to that on a Commodore 64, although with the very slow disk drive, you'd have to fit everything into 64k. Probably doable, but it would be painful.
posted by Malor at 7:33 AM on June 17, 2007

posted by zouhair at 9:24 AM on June 17, 2007

That speed run preview was crazy. Using the tomatos to boost about in a continuous cheese eating frenzy? Wow.

I don't know why, but a game about eating cheese appeals to me. I can't find the M.
posted by Mister Cheese at 1:05 PM on June 17, 2007

Mister Cheese, go straight down from the start room (regardless of what you see on screen) to find the M.

One more thing I've discovered: there are quite a few secret passages! Of course the only way to get into the 'M' room is to find one (there are two I've seen, up and down from it), but there's some more as well. There's one you have to find to get one of the 'A's, but down and left from it a bit there's another that makes it easier to get some cheese fast. In the "mini-maze" part of the board there's a secret passage to the left of the bottom-right-most of the three cheeses. And the biggest one of all, the long path with the multiple cheeses along it in the bottom-right of the entire maze has a secret passage at the end that connects with the bottom-left, potentially saving lots of time.
posted by JHarris at 1:11 PM on June 17, 2007

Ah, thanks for the info, JHarris. I took a look at the pixeljam website last night and beat Gamma Bros (made my fingers numb). Now I'll work the cheese.
posted by Mister Cheese at 9:36 PM on June 17, 2007

posted by Sparx at 11:43 PM on June 17, 2007

Malor: It is definitely doable on a C64, and without much squeezing either. Note that most of each screen is either floor or solid-color wall. Instead of storing the data for each screen in memory, a canny programmer would create it procedurally, or at least compress it. And there's only 49 screens really. Not that hard.
posted by JHarris at 3:10 AM on June 18, 2007

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