Happy Trails


Release 1983

Design/Program: Carol Shaw


Dag nab it! That mangy critter Black Bart's robbed the stagecoach from Culver City and all heck's broke loose. Just when you're in hot pursuit, the trail you're ridin' on deadends into the side of the canyon. You've got to figger out another route by moving the puzzle parts to create a new trail, faster than you can say Happy Trails, pardner.


Happy Trails was an original Intellivision game.

PLAYING TIPS: From designer Carol Shaw in the Happy Trails instruction manual:

"To really play well, you'll need three things: patience, practice and planning. Here are some specific pointers that can help you out.

"Use the reverse button to avoid deadends, the black space or Black Bart. But to really take advantage of this feature, use the reverse button to move your hat back and forth over a 'safe' area, while you're busy rearranging the trail.

"Once a trail is cleared, use the speed button to move quickly. By saving time, you'll earn more bonus points and reduce the chances of the Bonus Timer reaching zero.

"As you arrange your trail, keep in mind that you are also arranging Black Bart's trail. Occasionally, you might like to hold Bart hostage by making him walk in a circle, so you can plan your next move."

FUN FACT: This game made a lot of people at Mattel Electronics angry since they felt it was a rip-off of the Konami arcade game Loco-Motion, which Mattel had licensed for Intellivision. To add insult to injury, Activision released Happy Trails before Intellivision Loco-Motion came out. Happy Trails received reviews lauding its originality; Loco-Motion looked like an also-ran.

The unofficial word within Mattel Electronics was that they considered suing but that Mattel and Konami couldn't agree on how to split the legal expenses. In reality, though, few if any lawsuits for design infringement were filed in the pre-crash video game industry. So many games from all of the companies borrowed features from so many other games, it seemed no one wanted to open that can of worms.

FUN FACT: Players who sent a photo to Activision showing a score of 40,000 or more received an "Activision Trailblazers" emblem.