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Make Trax

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Make Trax
North American flyer
Developer(s)Alpha Denshi
Mode(s)1-2 players alternating turns

Make Trax, originally released in Japan as Crush Roller (クラッシュローラー, Kurasshu Rōrā), is a 1981 maze game[4] developed by Alpha Denshi and published as an arcade video game by Kural Samno Electric in Japan.[5] It was licensed in Europe to Exidy, which released it under its original title Crush Roller,[3] and in North America to Williams Electronics, who released it as Make Trax.


The goal is to paint the entire maze green.

The player controls a paintbrush, reddish-orange in color, and must paint the entire maze in order to advance to the next stage. Two fish — one yellow, the other light blue — emerge from separate aquariums to pursue the paintbrush around the board, and if either of the fish succeeds in making contact with the paintbrush, the player loses one of three lives (four if the player has attained a certain score, generally set at 10,000 points) — after which the paintbrush disappears momentarily, then over the next approximately eight seconds is replaced by what appears to be an reddish-orange cowboy hat with an arrow shot through it, while the machine plays the chorus of the "Twelfth Street Rag", a hit song by Pee Wee Hunt in 1948.

The player may use two "rollers" to attack the fish. They are located on overpasses, one vertical in its orientation, the other horizontal. To use them, the player positions the paintbrush on its forward end, waits for either or both of the fish to approach, then pushes the paintbrush along the roller, attacking the fish. The fish is removed from the maze for a few seconds, then returns to one of the aquariums and resumes its pursuit of the paintbrush. Killing fish in this manner scores bonus points.

The fish initially are dumb, but as time goes on they get "smarter" learning to avoid the roller when the paintbrush nears it, and develop strategies to trap the player between them.

A third character, appearing to be an animal, rolling tire, or invisible man depending on the level, may enter the maze and leave tracks that must be painted over in order for the board to be completed. The player can limit the damage by running over the figure, which not only stops further tracks from being left but also awards the player a score, which progressively increases as more boards are cleared.


In Japan, Crush Roller was the ninth highest-grossing arcade game of 1981.[6]


ADK remade the game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color which was released worldwide by SNK under its original name Crush Roller in 1999.[7] The game mechanics are largely the same as its arcade counterpart, though the level design was adapted to fit the smaller screen size. Graphics and sound were also improved thanks to the more powerful hardware. This version was later re-released as part of the Windows port of Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 in 2021.

A clone called Brush Roller for the Famicom/NES was programmed in 1990 by Hwang Shinwei and published by RCM Group.[citation needed] This game was later hacked by NTDEC to make Bookyman, which was released on the Caltron 6-in-1 and the Asder 20-in-1. [citation needed] It replaced the title screen, some of the graphics, and revamped the sound and music. It also fixed the bugs that cause music temporary stops when the roller died or crush enemy and eliminated corrupted sprites at left maze scoreboard when completed stage which are replaced by some hollow squares. The original NTDEC release and Asder version retained the original sounds from Brush Roller, despite the Asder version released a year later.

A "speed-up" modification named Make Trax Turbo allows the paintbrush to move faster (but not the fish).[8]


  1. ^ "Manufacturers Equipment". Cash Box. United States. 5 February 1983. p. 35.
  2. ^ Akagi, Masumi (October 13, 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971–2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971–2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. p. 17. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  3. ^ a b "Video Game Flyers: Crush Roller, Exidy, Inc. (EU)". The Arcade Flyer Archive. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  4. ^ Thorpe, Nick (24 February 2017). "Make Trax". Retro Gamer. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Overseas Readers Column - Mfg. and Licensing System for Video "Crush Roller" Unveiled". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 176. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 November 1981. p. 34.
  6. ^ ""Donkey Kong" No.1 Of '81 — Game Machine's Survey Of "The Year's Best Three AM Machines" —" (PDF). Game Machine. No. 182. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 February 1982. p. 30.
  7. ^ "Crush Roller for Neo Geo Pocket Color". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Make Trax Turbo". Arcadecollecting.com. Retrieved 2012-03-16.

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