Marble Madness

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Marble Madness is an arcade video game designed by Mark Cerny and published by Atari Games in 1984. The player uses a trackball to guide an onscreen marble through six obstacle-filled courses within a time limit. Marble Madness was Atari's first game to use the Atari System 1 hardware and to be programmed in the C programming language. It was also one of the first games to use true stereo sound; previous games used either monaural sound or simulated stereo.

Cerny drew inspiration from miniature golf, Racing Games, and artwork by M. C. Escher. He applied a minimalist approach in designing the appearance of the game's courses and enemies.

Marble Madness was commercially successful. The game was ported to numerous platforms and inspired the development of other games.

Tropes used in Marble Madness include:
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Implemented this in two player games, and only advances it when the players go through the track. If one player moved quickly enough and the second player lagged behind, the slow player is teleported forward and loses 5 seconds.
  • Gravity Screw: The Silly Stage, where you must guide the marble from the bottom of the course to the top, rolling it uphill with the same ease the marble would normally roll downhill.
  • Isometric Projection: Made the game possible for the illusion of 3D.