Codex Gamicus

Also known as Ronen's Game Cart, Vaboom!/Vectrace is a bit of an unusual homebrew entry, as there aren't a lot of racing games for the system as it is, as far as Vectrace goes. And it might also seem to be a bit unusual for another Kaboom! clone to be made for the Vectrex as well. So this odd pairing of games actually makes this cartridge stand out a bit.



  • Move paddles left and right—joystick or D-pad
  • Start round—buttons one or four (Note: the onscreen prompt will tell you to press button number four in order to start a new round, but actually button one will also work)

Vaboom! can also work with a modified Atari 2600 Driving Controller.

  • Move paddles left and right—turn dial left and right
  • Start round—press button


Like with Kaboom!, it is the player's job to catch all of the bombs "the man" (as he is called in this version) at the top of the screen drops down. Unlike with Kaboom! though, the game starts off faster, and if the player misses a bomb, the action keeps right on going, with a paddle being lost, unlike how it will stop with the original before starting over at the previous round. But like the original though, the game will pause in between every successful round. If the player loses all of their paddles the game will end.

Occasionally a bomb will go flying back up the screen towards the man and may even hit him. If this happens, one of the 10 bricks that is supporting the bridge the man is standing on will disappear, and if he is hit 10 times, the bridge will fall and the player will enter a bonus round where the bombs fall very fast, but are worth three times as many points than during a regular round, and if the player misses a bomb during this round it won't count against them.

The man may also drop an occasional diamond that is worth a lot of points if caught, or an X that will cause the player to lose a paddle if caught. However, if the player catches a heart, that will replace a paddle.


  • Catch a bomb: 10
  • Catch a bomb, bonus round: 30
  • Catch a heart: 50 + paddle
  • Catch a diamond: 100



  • Move left and right—move joystick or D-pad left or right
  • Speed up—move joystick or D-pad up
  • Slow down—move joystick or D-pad down

This game will also work with a modified Atari 2600 Driving Controller.

  • Move left and right—turn dial left and right
  • Speed up—press button


The player has a certain amount of time to pass a certain amount of cars during a race before time runs out or the player destroys their car. If the player doesn't occasionally increase their speed their car will slow down by itself. The race takes place on a three lane road and the other cars tend to overlap with each other, making the passing of the cars difficult at times.

The player's speed, car's "shape", score, high score, and time is displayed on the screen.

Whenever the player strikes a car, the "shape" goes down, which, if it reaches zero, the player loses one of their five cars and they will have to start the race over. The player starts with a "shape" of 10 with each race.

Cars needed to pass/time in order to proceed[]

  • Level 1: 45 seconds/35 cars
  • Level 2: 35 seconds/65 cars
  • Level 3: 25 seconds/30 cars


Passing a car: 10 points

Passing the new cars in round 3: 30 points


  • This cartridge was originally available through the Vectrex Carts website until John Dondzila took it over from Mark Shaker and has been available from his Classic Game Creations site ever since.
  • Creator Ronen Habot's feedback from people when they heard he was doing another Kaboom! clone resulted with them pointing out that there was already a Kaboom! homebrew for the Vectrex (Spike's Water Balloons, off of the All Good Things and Vectopia releases). But the two games play a bit differently.
  • Due to a bug, Vaboom! will crash at level 19, which the man will stop dropping bombs, only dropping hearts, diamonds, and Xs.
  • The slanted messages that come up during the games are hard to read, even on emulators they are hard, if not impossible to make out (unless this was fixed on later emulators, as this was tested on an older version of ParaJVE).
  • Originally Habot had offered on his web site that whoever made it to the end on Vectrace could send in a photo of the win screen and he would put it up on his site. However, only one score has ever gone up, his site hasn't been updated in many years and e-mails sent there will come bouncing back.


Ronen Habot's Vectrex page