Codex Gamicus

Rattler Race is a puzzle video game, created in 1991 by Christopher Lee Fraley, based largely on the 1970s game simply called Snake. It was distributed with the Microsoft Entertainment Pack,[1] which was included with early Microsoft Windows systems. The player takes on the role of a hungry snake, who must eat all the apples in each level, whilst avoiding the hazards.[2]


There are 30 levels of increasing difficulty.[3] The player can begin at any level by using the level selection window, which shows a simple preview of the layout. When the level is created, a timer is started and apples appear in random places. When all the apples are eaten, the player's snake exits through a hole to complete the level.[4] Four factors affect the difficulty of each level.

Enemy snakes make navigating around the level harder, because running into them will kill the player's snake.[4] The player can select the number of enemy snakes, from zero to three.[3] If an enemy snake reaches the open exit hole before the player, the hole closes and the level restarts.

Walls will kill the snake, if it runs into them. Careful planning of routes (to avoid running into walls) is necessary at higher levels when the snake has grown in size.[2]

Bouncing balls are lethal if they hit the head of a snake. They will harmlessly bounce off the bodies of the snakes and walls of the levels. The player can select the number of balls that appear in the game, from zero to three.[2]

Timer freezes appear sporadically, which will temporarily pause the timer to allow the player to get more points.[3]


The score can be increased by completing levels and eating apples. The player can also gain points by trapping and killing an enemy snake, which is done by forcing the enemy snake into a dead end. The enemy snakes can reduce the players score by eating the apples.[2]

Gold apples will randomly appear, which are worth more points than regular apples. However, if an enemy snake eats a gold apple, the player loses more points. If the player has selected enemy snakes, balls or both to appear in the level, additional points are rewarded for some actions.[2]

If the timer is active, the player gets more points for eating apples and completing the level.[2]

The player begins with three lives.[4] An extra life is given each time the player gets to a score ending in 50, such as 50, 250 or 550.[3]

Difficulty level[]

The player can select a difficulty level from Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced to Expert.[3] This determines the speed of the game and affects the amounts of points gained from certain actions.[3] The game's settings are stored in the following file: C:\Windows\EntPack.ini (Entertainment Pack). One nice feature is being able to change the size of the playing screen by changing the value of "Size" to "1".


  1. About window of Rattler Race, Christopher Lee Frarley, 1991
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Help system of Rattler Race, Christopher Lee Frarley, 1991
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Rattlesnakes eat apples? I don't know....but this is a fun game" - Review at GameFAQs, Retro, 2001
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Not the baby's toy..." - Review at GameFAQs, Shady, 2002

External Links[]