Space Dodge'm (Windows)

Space Dodge'm Windows The splash window.

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Description

Space Dodge'm (sic!) is a shareware conversion of the game of Dodgem, a very simple yet complex game invented 1972 by mathematics student Colin Vout. The name originates from the fact that you'll often have to "dodge" around the pieces of your opponent to advance your own.

This conversion places Vout's abstract board game in a science fiction setting with an added time limit, playing in a space station which is about make fatal contact with an asteroid. Your goal is to evacuate all your shuttles or landers in time, while preventing your opponent to do the same before you.

The game is played on a simple square board, with players taking turns moving one token to a neighboring square at each turn. It is not allowed to move onto an occupied square or backwards, only in the direction of the evacuation pads (up for shuttles, right for landers) or sideways. That's it. The amazing thing is that these primitive rules produce quite a devilish game, where you have to try to block your enemy pieces, while taking care not to be blocked yourself. (Another slight modification has been taken: you are not allowed move in a way to make your opponent unable to move; in the original game, an immobile player won.)

The game allows you to select the board size (from 3x3 to 8x8) and the time limit before being hit by the asteroid, which gets bigger and bigger with each second the game is played. You can also set the the AI difficulty and turn music and sound effect on or off.

Screenshots

Space Dodge'm Windows The option menu.
Space Dodge'm Windows Ka-BOOM! Think quicker!
Space Dodge'm Windows The splash window.
Space Dodge'm Windows A typical game situation. Note the asteroid getting bigger every second...

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Trivia

Dodgem is an example for a game with very simple rules for which no perfect winning strategy is known, except for the simplest 3x3 case, where the first player always wins if playing carefully. This strategy fails for 4x4 and 5x5 boards (and probably bigger all bigger boards) as it leads to an endless game where both players prevent the other from winning.

Related Web Sites

  • Dodgem 1979 BASIC Listing (Scans of the Dodgem listing in David Ahl's 1979 classic book More BASIC Computer Games.)
  • Official home page (The Space Dodge'm page on the author P.S. Neeley's home page, where you can download the fully playable shareware version.)
General Error (4359) added Space Dodge'm (Windows) on Oct 17, 2006