Loco-Motion (video game)

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Loco-Motion
The player moves tiles to guide the locomotive along the track.
A screenshot from the original arcade version of the game.
Developer(s) Konami
Distributor(s) Centuri/Konami
Platform(s) Arcade game
Release
Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Standard upright
CPU 1x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
Sound 2x AY-3-8910 (mono) @ 1.789772 MHz
Display Vertically oriented, 224 × 256, 96 palette colors

Loco-Motion (also known as Guttang Gottong) is an arcade puzzle game developed by Konami in 1982 and licensed to Centuri. In Loco-Motion, the player builds a path for their unstoppable locomotive by moving tracks which will allow it to pick up passengers.

Description[edit]

Loco-Motion is basically an updated version of a sliding block puzzle game in which the player can move tiles horizontally or vertically within a rectangular frame that contains one empty square. The tiles are sections of railroad track and the player must use them to construct a path for a locomotive that never stops moving. Laid out around the edges of the frame are several stations with passengers that must be picked up.

The player uses a joystick to slide a piece of the track into the vacant square and can use a button to accelerate the locomotive. However, it is always in motion and cannot be stopped. The player must avoid running into a dead-end barricade, a barrier at the playfield edge or the edge of the empty square; doing so costs one life. As the player moves the pieces of track around, the route the locomotive will take is highlighted in yellow up to any dead end.

A countdown timer occasionally appears on a station. If passengers are waiting there and the player picks them up before the countdown reaches zero, the remaining amount is added to the score as bonus points. If not, the passengers send a "Crazy Train" onto the tracks and the player must avoid crashing into it. If a countdown timer at an unoccupied station reaches zero, the station is destroyed and becomes a pair of barrier squares. Crazy Trains can be crashed into each other to destroy them but doing so creates a new pair of dead ends or destroys a station if the collision happens within it.

On higher levels, there are special pieces of track that have one entrance and three different exits. The player cannot choose which exit the locomotive takes from these as it is picked randomly. Bonus points are awarded each time the locomotive crosses one of these pieces of track.

A level is cleared when there are no more passengers to pick up, and the player then moves onto the next level which is a different layout, bigger or smaller with more dead ends. Also, the bonus stations appear more frequently and, on later levels, one or more Crazy Trains will be on screen at the outset.

If the player creates a closed loop of track and rides on it for several seconds, a "Loop Sweeper" appears which moves around the loop behind it. If the Sweeper reaches the locomotive, the player loses a life. Sweepers can be crashed into each other or into Crazy Trains to destroy them with the same consequences as above.

An extra life is awarded at 10,000 points.

Scoring[edit]

Action Score
Travelling across bonus lines (lines which connect at junction) 150 points
Picking up passengers at each railroad stop 100 points
Crossing each block of train track to reach railroad stops 10 points per block
Completing a level without any stations being destroyed ("Perfect Clear") 5,000 points
Completing a level after some stations are destroyed ("Clear") 1,000 points

Bonus station points are randomly determined, with a beginning high of 2,470 points.

Ports and clones[edit]

Locomotion was ported to Intellivision and the Tomy Tutor. Meanwhile, Activision was working on a game called Happy Trails with strikingly similar gameplay. Happy Trails was released prior to Locomotion and saw great reviews, forcing Intellivision to release Locomotion at a reduced price.[2]

The MSX saw a port from Konami themselves under the name Crazy Train.[3]

M-network also made a prototype[4] for the Atari 2600 video game system. However, on July 5, 1983, the release of the game was cancelled for unknown reasons.[5]

Confuzion (1985) for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 is similar in design to Loco-Motion.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Loco-Motion at GameFAQs
  2. ^ Loco-Motion at IntellivisionLives.com
  3. ^ Crazy Train at Generation-MSX
  4. ^ Loco-Motion from AtariProtos.com
  5. ^ M Network Atari 2600 Titles: Loco-Motion at IntellivisionLives.com

External links[edit]