Chase the Chuck Wagon, released in 1983, is a promotional video game for the Atari 2600. The game is centered around a dog named Chuckie, who must navigate through four different maze designs to reach the opening beneath the chuckwagon. Players have a limited time of 60 or 30 seconds per maze, depending on the difficulty setting.
In each maze, Chuckie faces two obstacles: the dog catcher and a bouncing object (such as a bone). If the dog catcher touches Chuckie, the player loses one life. The bouncing object moves freely across the maze, ignoring the walls. If it touches Chuckie, he is momentarily frozen, making it more challenging to complete the maze within the time limit or avoid the dog catcher.
Upon successfully completing a maze, a reward screen appears where a dog dish drops from the chuckwagon. The player must use the joystick to orient Chuckie left or right to face the dish and press the fire button at the right moment to stop the dish horizontally, allowing Chuckie to eat and earn an additional 100 points. If the player misses, no points are awarded, and the game advances to the next maze screen.
The game starts with three Chuckies, and lives are lost when time runs out on a maze or upon contact with the dog catcher. The game ends when all Chuckies are exhausted. Despite its promotional nature, Chase the Chuck Wagon offers an entertaining gameplay experience that tests players’ reflexes and timing skills.