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Hustle is a port of the 1977 Sega/Gremlin arcade game [1] of the same name. It was published by Milton Bradley for the TI-99/4A home computer system. It was released on Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module cartridge during the first quarter of 1981. It was programmed by Elaine Henshon and Bob Harris and originally sold for $24.95 as part # PHM 3034.

Hustle Manual Front Cover
Hustle Manual (Front Cover) [2][3]
Publisher(s) Milton Bradley
Original Retail Price $24.95
Programmer(s) Elaine Henshon & Bob Harris
Part# PHM 3034
Format(s) Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module
Release 1981 (1st Quarter)
Genre(s) Action


Hustle is either a 1- or 2-player game where the player(s) control snakes around the field trying to avoid running into the opposing player and the end of their own snake. Each game lasts for 90 seconds. Periodically during the game, targets will appear with an attached point value. Players should aim for these targets to increase his/her scores. There are three options for the targets during the game: 1. targets that don't change value, 2. countdown targets where the points decrease over time, and 3. and finally a count-up target where the value slowly increases over time.

There are also 3 skill levels to choose from which alter the speed and the intelligence of the computer player during the game. During 2-player gameplay, crashing into the opposing player awards them 400 points. Occasionally, targets will display with a question mark instead of a point value. Sometimes, these will award your opponent points instead of you.

Advertising Blurbs

Front Cover of Manual

A challenging game of coordination and quick thinking! Score points by outmaneuvering your opponent or the computer.

Back Cover of Manual

The games in the Hustle module challenge your ability to make split-second decisions and maneuver a "snake" on the playing area. Try to outscore the computer in a one-player game or your opponent in a two-player game.

Hustle module activities include:

  • Hustle - Hustle is a one- or two-player game. You score points if your snake reaches a target box first. The three versions of Hustle are Normal, Countdown, and Countup.
  • Snakefight - You score all points displayed in the playing area if your snake hits the opponent's snake. Be careful! If you hit a target box your opponent scores the points. The three versions of this two-player game are Normal, Countdown, and Countup.
  • Blockade - In this two-player game, you score points by making your opponent crash before you do!

Activities in the module are designed to work with the optional Wired Remote Controllers. These units provide added flexibility in playing the games.

Triton Catalog - Spring 1984

This speedy challenge requires fast, fast, fast reflexes and hand-eye coordination. Direct a snake-like object to hit targets. But you've got to avoid not only your opponent, but the edge of the screen - and even yourself! For ages 10 and up. (Wired Remote Controllers recommended.)

Fun Fact

Hustle is a port of the Taito/Gremlin arcade game by the same name. The game is almost an exact replica of the arcade version.[4]

For unknown reasons, Elaine Henshon stopped working on Hustle. Bob Harris picked up the project and completed it.[5]



If you like a fast-moving game with plenty of action, then the Hustle Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module is for you! You and your opponent direct "snakes" in a small playing area. Developed for Texas Instruments by the Milton Bradley Company, the object of Hustle is to outmaneuver your opponent and score the most points.

With the Hustle module plugged into your computer, you can:

  • Play a one-player game with the computer as your opponent. There are three versions of Hustle - Normal, Countdown, and Countup. Each may be played on one of three levels of difficulty.
  • Challenge a friend to a two-player game. Choose a version of Hustle or Snakefight, or play a third one - Blockade.

The module automatically keeps score for you, while colorful graphics and computer music add to the fun.

Certain keys on both sides of the keyboard are designed as directional keys. Movement on the screen can also be controlled by the Wired Remote Controllers or from the keyboard. With the controllers. you simply move the lever in the direction you want your snake to go. The snakes cannot be moved diagonally.

Getting Started

After you select the module, the Players selection list appears. Press 1 for a one-player game or 2 for a two-player game.

If you haven't played Hustle before, you can see a short demonstration of the features in this module. Just wait a few seconds without pressing any key and a sample of Hustle begins.

When you finish looking at the demonstration, press any key to return to the Players selection list. (The computer returns to the Players selection list automatically, if you wait for the specified playing time to run out.) You are now ready to try a game for yourself.

If you press 1 while the Players selection list is shown, you can choose one of three versions of Hustle, or press AID for help. If you press 2 for a two-player game, Hustle, Snakefight, and Blockade are available, plus the option to press AID for help.


If you press AID when any selection list is displayed, the module shows you which keys move the snakes. Player 1, the blue snake, moves by pressing ↑ (E), ← (S), → (D), and ↓ (X). Player 2, the white snake, moves by pressing I (up), J (left), K (right), and M (down). The display also indicates that you can maneuver the snakes with the optional Wired Remote Controllers by moving the controller lever in the direction you want your snake to go. Note: In one-player games, the computer is the white snake, and pressing I, J, K, and M has no effect on the arrow.

When you finish looking at the display, press any key to return to the selection list.

One-Player Games

When you select a one-player game, the display shows you the versions of Hustle available.

The one-player Hustle games are Normal, Countdown, and Countup. The difference in the three games is based on the points shown in the target boxes, orange-bordered rectangles that appear at random in the playing area.

  • Normal - In a Normal game of Hustle, the points in the target boxes stay the same as long as they are displayed. If a snake does not reach a target box after a random length of time, the box disappears and no points are added to either score.
  • Countdown - In Countdown Hustle all target boxes are worth 900 points when they appear. Then they start "counting down" 100 points at a time. The sooner a snake reaches a box, the more points the player receives. But hurry! When a target box reaches 100, it disappears in the next second.
  • Countup - In Countup Hustle all target boxes are worth 100 points when they appear. Then they start "counting up" 100 points at a time. The longer it takes a snake to reach a box, the more points the player receives. Don't delay too long! When a target box counts up to 900 points, it disappears in the next second.

Sometimes a target box appears with three question marks instead of a number. This is a "mystery box." Until a snake reaches the box, you don't know how many points the box is worth or which player scores the points. When a snake hits the box. points replace the question marks. If the target box turns different colors when a snake hits it, the opposing player gets the points instead of the player that hits it.

Each time you or your opponent crashes and a new round starts, the snakes become longer.

Press 1, 2, or 3 to choose the game you want to play. The display then shows the Skill Level selection list. To return to a previous selection list, press BACK.

Two-Player Games

For a two-player game, press 2 while the Players selection list is displayed. A selection list showing the three types of two-player games then appears.

  • Hustle - If you press 1 to select Hustle, the program displays the three versions of the game. Normal, Countdown, and Countup are played as in one-player games, except that you're now playing against another player instead of the computer. Press 1, 2, or 3 to select the version of Hustle you want to play.
  • Snakefight - If you press 2 to select Snakefight, the program displays the three versions of the game: Normal, Countdown, and Countup. The points appear in the target boxes just as in Hustle but are scored differently. If you hit a target box, the points in the box are added to your opponent's score.. If you hit your opponent, you score all the points on the display. Mystery box points are also scored in the opposite manner. Press 1, 2, or 3 to select the version of Snakefight you want to play.
  • Blockade - Press 3 to select Blockade. In this game, you try to force your opponent to crash into a border or either snake. No target boxes appear on the display. Instead, you score 100 points each time your opponent crashes. The snakes grow longer as they move through the playing area. Therefore, one player must eventually crash. After each crash, the playing area clears, the countdown starts, and a new round begins with the snakes moving more quickly.

Press 1, 2, or 3 to select the game you want to play. Note: For information on moving the snakes, press AID or see the "Help" section in this manual. To return to a previous selection list, press BACK.

Skill Level

After you select the game you want to play, the module asks you to choose the skill level - Novice, Amateur, or Hustler. In all games, the level you pick determines the length of the countdown before the game starts, the initial and eventual maximum speed of the snake, and the number of segments the snake increases after each crash. Also, the more target boxes the snakes hit, the more quickly the snakes move.

Press 1, 2, or 3 to choose the skill level. The playing area then appears, the countdown starts, and the game begins.

Playing the Game

Once you select the game and skill level, the playing area appears and the countdown begins. The playing time is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

As soon as the countdown starts, you may press an arrow or direction key (or move the lever on your controller) to choose the direction in which you want the snake to move. When the countdown ends, the square turns into a snake and moves in the direction you have indicated. Notice that you don't need to hold down the key to keep the snake moving in a direction. It keeps moving the same way until you press a key to change the direction.

Be careful not to run into a wall or your own trail as you move your snake through the playing area. If you do, the module makes a "crashing" noise. Your opponent then scores all the points shown on the boxes (including the mystery boxes), and a new round begins.

End of Game

When the playing time runs out, the snakes stop moving, and the player with the most points wins.

Press REDO to play another game with the same options. If you wish to play a game with different options, press BEGIN, and the module returns to the Players selection list. If you don't press any key, the module automatically returns to the Players selection list. To end a session with the module, press QUIT to return to the master title screen.



External links