A sweet arcade
game in which players continually move in one of four directions, leaving a trail. The goal is to trap the other player in such a way as to force him to hit something. Despite its extreme simplicity, it requires lightning reflexes
, a sharp wit
, and intense concentration to predict, react to, and outwit the other player. I wrote a version of Tron in Q-Basic
(a truly evil language, but I had no other option) at my school computer lab, and it spread so widely that many days half the terminals would be running it. It was subsequently banned. While many versions of Tron have all sorts of bells and whistles (I myself added such options as various powerup
s, jumping, and time bombs to my version), the pristine, simple version has its own appeal, though more players can be fun.
A Java version of Tron is available at www.demo.cs.brandeis.edu; they are training the robot player with the genetic algorithm. It is actually pretty good, but I find human players more interesting.