Roto-Wrench HTML5

ROTO-WRENCH HTML5 is a conversion of an original single-player game created for the Atari 8-bit computer.


The main game play mechanic is maneuvering the player through an ever-changing basement maze of intersecting gray pipes. The primary adversary is "leaky" blue pipes that appear at random intersections throughout the maze. The player is required to continually "repair" leaky pipes while avoid being "crushed" at intersections by gray pipes. To complete a level the player must close three valves located at the top of the maze using a red wrench located at the bottom of the maze. If the player takes too long to close all three valves, "water pressure" will eventually force each valve open again. The game ends when the number of reserve player lives is exhausted or when too many blue pipes appear on the screen at one time.


  1. Use the leaky blue pipes to your advantage, leaving them in key access areas to be "repaired" later.
  2. Use the alleyway often, but be careful not to get trapped on the other side.
  3. Stay clear of pipe intersections because a pipe can land on you at any time.
  4. Don't rely solely on Roto-Warp to improve your position in the basement.


Every aspect of the original game design is preserved including:

  • original graphic and sound assets
  • custom Atari style font
  • player control mechanics
  • play field layout and behaviors
  • dynamic and timed events
  • title screen scrolling text

Porting a game from one platform to another entails:

  • extracting and/or reproducing the original graphic and audio assets
  • scouring the original source code to glean insight about how the game works
  • playing the original game to replicate subtle game nuances and mechanics
  • lots of patience to get the look, feel and spirit of the original game just right


Sometimes while converting a game certain design compromises are required for technical reasons. For example the original title screen in ROTO-WRENCH featured multi-colored scrolling text. The multi-colored text was deemed too time-consuming to reproduce so a single color was used instead. In addition the original bonus play sound was too long and memory intensive and was therefore replaced with a a shorter repeating alarm sound.

A residual benefit when converting a game is discovering and fixing design flaws, run-time errors or other anomalies. For instance the original ROTO-WRENCH had 8 predefined play field locations for warping. However the code responsible for choosing a random location always excluded the last possible location. This was subsequently fixed in ROTO-WRENCH HTML5.