Hustle is a very important game as it originated all snake-type games, like the one found on Nokia cellphones... The only difference is that Hustle lacks the growing tail feature, which will be implemented in later versions (on micro computers?).
Hustle itself was inspired by Blockade and Comotion released both in 1976 by Gremlin too. Hustle was designed to implement a 1 player concept from its parents.
from the user manual:
"HUSTLE is a 1 or 2 player video game which challenges players' reaction time as they attempt to build up a high score. The object of the game is to maneuver a moving arrow into targets which appear randomly on the screen. Each arrow is accompanied by a tail, which can be used to block the opponent from scoring targets.
TARGETS : The targets appear randomly on the playfield. The position of a target, the value of a target, the time a target stays on the screen, and the time before a target appears are all unpredictable : There are never more than two targets on the screen at any time.
To add to the unpredictability, some targets appear with a value of ???. These are mystery targets, and can have a value from -900 points to +900 points. Players go after the mystery targets at their own risk since the only way to determine whether or not a mystery target is positive or negative is to hit the target. Whenever a target is scored, the game pauses while the appropriate player's score is tallied. Two distinctive sounds accompany the scoring, depending on whether the target score is positive or negative. All non-mystery targets (which are all positive), and all mystery targets (which have positive values) are scored with an attention-getting warble sound. All mystery targets which prove to be negative are scored with a distinctive penalty sound.
CRASHES : A crash (accompanied by a loud boom sound) occurs whenever a player hits anything other than a target. The three obstacles a player might hit are one of the screen boundaries, the other player's tail, or his own tail. Whenever a crash occurs, the opponent scores 400 points PLUS all target values on the screen. If any mystery targets are on the screen during a crash, their values are revealed, and they are awarded to the opponent. All mystery targets whose values are revealed as the result of a crash are scored positive for the opponent.
GAME SPEED : The game begins with the players moving at a moderate pace. Every time a target is scored, the pace picks up slightly. After ten targets have been scored without a crash, the pace stays at a maximum rate. Whenever a crash occurs, the pace reverts to its initial moderate value, and increases with each score, as before.
TAIL LENGTH : Whenever a crash occurs, both players' tails grow longer. The game plays quite differently as it progresses. At the beginning of a game, both players have short tails and are highly maneuverable. At this stage the game is a "foot race" to score the targets. As players crash and tails get longer, a blocking strategy is added to the race for the targets. This constantly changing nature of the game is designed to provide long-lasting appeal, and insure a long earning history.
SINGLE PLAYER : HUSTLE has been designed to be just as exciting for one player as it is for two. A single player plays against himself, and not against the computer.
The single player game is initiated by simply pressing the ONE PLAYER START button instead of the TWO PLAYER START button after inserting a coin. The controls for one player are located on the right side of the control panel. The game plays the same as for two players, with these exceptions : 1. There is a single arrow and tail, instead of two. 2. Crashes are scored as PENALTY points, with the same score as in the two player game. That is, a crash scores 400 plus all on-screen targets into the PENALTY score. 3. At the end of the game, the PENALTY points are subtracted from the player's score.
The object of the single player game is to rack up as many points as possible. The game action is the same as the two player game, with the lengthening tail and the accelerating pace."