Crazy Painter

written by Matthew Reed

Title:Crazy Painter
Author:Robert Pappas
Publisher:Cornsoft Group
Compatibility:Model I and III, disk and tape
Crazy Painter advertisement

Cornsoft Group advertisement from the November 1982 issue of 80 Micro

Crazy Painter qualifies as one of the few completely unique TRS-80 games. It was written by Robert Pappas, author of the TRS-80 games Frogger and Bounceoids. Crazy Painter was released by the Cornsoft Group in 1982. In addition to the TRS-80 version, the Cornsoft Group also released a version of Crazy Painter in 1983, written by Charles Guy, for the TRS-80 Color Computer. But there was no connection to the 1983 BBC Micro game named Crazy Painter, which was sold by Superior Software.

The goal in Crazy Painter is to completely fill the screen using a paint roller. This is a lot harder than it sounds because various obstacles, including roaming dogs and snakes, show up to ruin what you have already painted and hinder your efforts. Unlike most other arcade style games at the time, Crazy Painter is completely non-violent (unless you consider painting to be violent).

To help explain the game, Crazy Painter has three pages of detailed (and animated) instructions. One nice feature is the ability to select from ten skill levels, and for each player in a two player game to have a different skill level.

Title screen in Crazy Painter

Title screen

Instructions page #1 in Crazy Painter

Instructions page #1

Here is a description of Crazy Painter from the documentation:

Suddenly everyone’s a critic in this frenzied game of paintus interruptus. As you rush to paint the screen, a mischievous puppy leaves tracks on your wet paint, you are chased by a snake while WILD and CRAZY PAINT EATERS lick up your hard work, all intent on stopping your progress. If that doesn’t make you want to throw down your paintbrush, wait until you hit a volatile turpentine bucket. Once you’ve sidestepped these obstacles, enter the EXCLUSIVE CHALLENGE STAGE! Here you must stop a barrage of CRAZY PAINTER characters until time runs out. CRAZY PAINTER presents a unique challenge that will keep your whole family slap happy for hours.

Start of screen in Crazy Painter

Start of screen

Screen mostly filled in Crazy Painter

Screen mostly filled (notice dog at top)

Whenever a level is finished in Crazy Painter (after the screen is completely painted), a challenge screen appears. Each challenge screen is different and they become more difficult as the game progresses. The challenge screens help to break up the action and allow the player to build up points.

One important point to remember is that a completely painted screen isn’t automatically recognized: you need to press the SPACEBAR or the joystick FIRE button to register completion.

Bonus for completed screen in Crazy Painter

Bonus for completed screen

Challenge round in Crazy Painter

Challenge round

I have always liked Crazy Painter because it is such a change of pace from other games. Owen Linzmayer in Creative Computing described Crazy Painter as a “very professional program designed with user-friendliness in mind” and wrote that “Crazy Painter brightens up a TRS-80 software library just as a fresh coat of paint brings new life to a drab room.”

Crazy Painter was discontinued along with the rest of the Cornsoft Group games in 1983. But the game had a second life a few years later when Roy Soltoff of MISOSYS included Crazy Painter as part of a MISOSYS Cornsoft Group games collection.

Categories: Arcade Games


Augusto Cesar Righetto says:

Congratulations on your work to rescue the memory of the golden years of the TRS-80.

I follow all of your posts via RSS.

Robert Pappas says:

Hey, does anyone have screenshots of Bounceoids? I have the old media, but no running TRS-80s anymore.