Emulated in MAME ! [Console] Atari 2600 Cartridge
Steeplechase © 1980 Sears
The object of Steeplechase is to be the first player to advance your horse to the right side of the screen display. Each horse gallops at a given speed from left to right. While the horse gallops, hurdles of different sizes approach the horse from right to left. Your task is to jump and clear the hurdles, and get your horse to the right side first.
As you are jumping each hurdle, your horse actually has no motion from left to right. Whenever you hit a hurdle your horse loses some horizontal position (distance) while it falls to the ground and gets up. The higher you jump your horse, the easier it is to clear all hurdles. However, the more time it takes to clear the hurdles, and the more time it takes to reach the right side of the screen.
The height of a jump can be set by adjusting your height indicator bar. There are four height settings. Each horse has its own height indicator bar.
The speed of the race starts off slow, and increases when the leading horse:
(1) gets about one-third of the way across the screen, and,
(2) again when the leading horse gets two-thirds of the way across.
A game ends automatically when the game clock reaches 3:00 and none of the horses have made it to the right side.
NOTE: All six games can be played by one, two, three, or four players.
Games 1,2,3: The spacing between the hurdles in these games is 'uniform', meaning that the distance between all hurdles is the same, enabling you to establish a rhythm.
In Game 1 the computer horse or horse's racing ability is poor. In Game 2 the computer horse's ability is good, and in Game 3 it is excellent.
Games 4,5,6: In these games the spacing between the hurdles is "random" meaning that the hurdles come at you with varying distances between them.
In Game 4, the computer horse's racing ability is poor, good for Game 5, and excellent in Game 6.
At first, it may be difficult to focus your attention both on the horse, AND on the height indicator bar. You may have a tendency to keep your eye on your horse toward the left side of the screen, rather than on the bar on the right side. To eliminate this problem when first playing STEEPLECHASE, set the height indicator bar to its highest position and leave it there for the entire race. This allows you to get the knack of jumping hurdles without having to worry about the bar.
Later, when you feel more comfortable about jumping, you can switch your attention to the height indicator bar. Naturally there is more than one method you can use to control your horse and the bar. You may develop a winning method of your own.
One method is to quickly change your concentration from the horse to the bar and back to the horse. The trick here is not to linger too long and the bar and miss the hurdle. Another method you might try is to keep your attention mainly on your horse and you your peripheral vision to adjust the bar. This method can be especially helpful once you are used to adjusting the controller to move the bar.