Head On [Model 822-0001]

Arcade Video game published 42 years ago by Gremlin Ind, Inc.

Head On [Model 822-0001] screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME.

Head On © 1979 Gremlin Ind.

Head On is a 2-Dimensional maze racing game. You control your car through the maze to pick up the dots while at the same time avoiding the car, or cars, that are constantly trying to ram you. Successfully get through one maze and many more await you. This is good practice for freeway driving in the big city.


BOARd # 822-0001
Game ID : 163-167/192-193

Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 1.93356 Mhz)

Players : 1
Buttons : 1
Buttons : 1 (ACCELERATION)


Released during April 1979. Head On was another in a short line of arcade games made by the partnership of Sega and Gremlin. Although Gremlin eventually went out of business, Sega continued to produce arcade games. Other notable games produced by this partnership include "Deep Scan", "Astro Blaster", and "Frogger". The game Head On is reputed to be the first game in which the player must eat all of the dots in order to progress to the next level (One year before "Pac-Man", Head On was the first 'eat-the-dots'-style game). The game itself didn't do that great but it did help establish Sega as an arcade machine maker. Other games that came out didn't really allow this game to go far. "Asteroids" and "Space Invaders", to name a couple, were still the big money makers.

Chris Ayra holds the official record for this game with 300,000 points.

A bootleg was made by Sidam under the same name.
A bootleg of this game is known as "Super Crash".


Dots : 5 points. There are 140 dots per maze to clear giving you 700 points per maze.


* When you start the game, your car will be located in the open space in the middle of the bottom of the screen in lane one. The jam car will be located in the middle left of the screen in lane one. On the higher levels, they will progress through lanes one, two, and/or three. As you progress through the levels, the number or speed of the jam cars increases. Here is the breakdown :
Level 1 : One Slow Jam Car
Level 2 : One Fast Jam Car
Level 3 : Two Slow Jam Cars
Level 4 : Two Fast Jam Cars
Level 5 : Three Slow Jam Cars
Level 6 and beyond : Three Fast Jam Cars

* Always be aware of where the Jam Car(s) is/are located. They can only make one lane change at a time but that lane change may be into your lane.

* The faster you go, the fewer lanes you can cross. At full acceleration, you will only be able to change one lane at a time. In the earlier levels, this will be fine since you will only be dealing with one car. In the multiple Jam Car levels, this can be a very bad thing. Decelerate (take your finger off the accelerate button) to go across multiple lanes.

* The Jam Car(s) always travel in a clockwise motion while you travel in a counterclockwise motion. Remember that so that you don't get confused when there are multiple cars in the maze. Also, the color of the Jam Car is red while yours is white.

* Don't try to get all the dots on one of the lanes. You need to anticipate where your next move is well before you enter the lane change area since you cannot change lanes at any other time. Sometimes, on the earlier levels, it is best to do a staggered type dot pickup where you do lane one, change to lane two, to lane three, lane four, lane five, then back to lane one. If you time it right, the Jam Car or Cars will still be in the maze.

* Don't let the speed of the Jam Car(s) throw you. Just plan to be out of your lane and in the lane change area before them. If both cars enter at the same time, you run a big risk of a collision.

* Since the game isn't timed, take your time planning on how you will take care of the dots. Don't take chances since you will have to restart the level if your car gets destroyed.


1. Head On (1979)
2. Head On 2 (1979)


Nintendo Game Boy (1990)
[JP] Sega Saturn (Feb. 28, 1997) "Sega Memorial Selection Vol.1 [Model GS-9135]"
[JP] Sony PS2 (Dec. 22, 2005) "Sega Memorial Selection [Sega Ages 2500 Vol.23] [Model SLPM-62709]"

Commodore C64 (1982)
Apple II
VTech Laser-VZ "Crash"

Mobile phones (2001)


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc