Grasspin, Arcade

Grasspin is a 1983 arcade game created by British developer Ashby Computers and Graphics Ltd. A.C.G., as they were known, were the team behind the famous Ultimate Play the Game brand and this is one of the games they made before launching Ultimate.

This is basically a maze game where you can push walls to change the layout of the maze between vertical and horizontal corridors. The aim of the game is to collect all the lettered flags, before the chasing enemies can catch you. There are also life preservers available which are really ammunition for a quick getaway. Red walls will also start appearing on higher mazes and these will lose you a life if you push them.

Grasspin has a screen that scrolls slightly left and right to reveal a river on either side of the maze. If you have a life preserver in your possession you can jump into the rivers and float downstream to escape anything chasing you, which is a neat touch. Beware, though: if there’s an enemy at the bottom of the river, waiting for you, it’s not a good idea to jump in.

As the levels increase the enemies begin to follow you more closely and it becomes quite easy to scupper yourself by pushing walls at the wrong time, or by even trapping yourself into a corner with an enemy hovering just outside (in which case: you’re basically doomed).

While Grasspin in not particularly original (it’s similar in many ways to the 1981 arcade game Lady Bug) it is at least challenging and fun for a short while. When you get your head around what to do it is possible to employ strategies to trap enemies and stop them from catching you.

Like the other three early A.C.G. arcade games (Blue Print, Saturn, and Dingo) Grasspin is a very simple game and doesn’t have much variety. If you don’t expect too much from it you might just enjoy playing it.

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