Rockola Eyes Arcade Game Strategy

Steps for Mastering One of the Best 1982 Maze Games You Never Heard Of

The Mentor

The Hardware

  • Buy the BitKit FPGA which has a 100% accurate recreation of the game – CraftyMech.com

The Attitude

  • Much like Pacman, you might find a repeatable pattern but the brilliance of the game is going off the beaten path and trying to “freestyle” yourself to success.
  • These Eyeball enemies are tough as nails, and not easy to predict.  An exhilarating challenge that’ll have you saying, just one more game…dammit….just one more game…..$#@$%!!!!   But keep at it and you’ll have the game of your life and be hooked.

Freestyle Strategies

Starting a Maze

Getting out of the starting position is a big part of the challenge.

On Maze 1 to 5, you can use a stutter step to the left to trick the eyeball enemy at the top to move down the right side column, while you sneak up the left!

On Maze 6 to 8, you can use a stutter step to the right to trick the eyeball enemy at the top to move down the left side column, while you fight your way to the top from the right side of the maze.

Olly Olly Oxen Free

Be aware of the 4 “safe” zones which might help you regroup before taking your next moves.

  • The longer you stay in a safe zone, the more sure your death will be.
  • Use these areas wisely and with economy.

Divide and Conquer

Use the 4 quadrants of the maze to draw enemies to one quadrant while you sneak over to the adjoining quadrant.

  • Herding the enemies to “group up” while chasing you in circles around the outer part of the maze is a key part of staying a step ahead of them.
  • Maintaining clever offense, rather than fighting your way out of a tight spot on the defense.

Juke and Jive

Use the stair step staggers in the maze to quickly out-maneuver enemy shots.

Why the F did you go there?!

Be aware of the most dangerous corridors.  The length of the sections will keep you in a tunnel long enough for the enemies to shoot you down like a dog in the street.

  • Running into this area at the beginning of a maze is almost a sure death.  If you are going to die, do so honorably, not like a frightened noob chasing their tail.
  • There are times where this area of the maze is beneficial, but it’ll involve the enemies being closer to the corners of the maze so they can’t take a long shot at you.

Go on, take the shot.  Do you know who I am?!

Economize your enemy kills.

  • Every time you shoot an enemy it will come back moving much faster than before.
  • Killing an enemy, means it might regenerate right when you are needing to escape on the outside perimeter of the maze.
  • The enemy is a master of regenerating at just the wrong time!
  • There is always Offense and Defense in an 8-bit arcade game.  You’ll discover that enemies respawn from the spot where they were positioned at start of the maze. This can be beneficial if you kill an enemy that came from the right side of screen, as you sneak down the left side of the maze.

Shoot for the Edges

  • Time your shots to kill enemies before they reach the corridor you are in.
  • They can’t shoot at you if they aren’t in your corridor.
  • If you wait until they are in your corridor, they’ll have time to shoot at you.

Rapid Fire

  • Time your rapid fire shots to efficiently clear out as many dots in a row as possible.
  • The more dots you get, the less running around you’ll have to do later.
  • Technical Note- You might find a personal preference for a leaf switch button since you can “preload” the switch to fire quickly.
    • It is possible to tighten up some microswitches so they activate very quickly.  See example HERE to learn more.

Double Back Fake-out

  • It is possible to trap all enemies on the opposite side of a wall in any of the 4 “safe” spots.
  • You could stay here indefinitely and earn 50 points per second.
  • Or you could trick the enemy to move north, while you head south to finish the maze!


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