Screwball Scramble

Screwball ScrambleScrewball Scramble is a obstacle course game in which a player must get a 1cm ball bearing around an obstacle course using various buttons, dials and levers that affect that part of the course.

Originally released in 1980 by TOMY, the game has been released under various other names including Run Yourself Ragged and Tricky Golf.

While the game was aimed at children (5 and above) it was also fun for adults to play. The unit as we remember was green, however, nowadays they appear to available in blue as you can see.

The course was broken down into distinct sections:

Tilting Walkway

This part of the course was fairly easy and required the player to press a button to tilt the parts of the walkway your ball bearing was on, the aim was to get it from one end to the other.

Magnetic Crane

By using a dial you would use the magnetic crane to pickup the ball bearing and move it to the next part of the course which are the parallel bars.

Parallel Bars

Two metal rods on which the ball sits, by moving the rods apart with a lever the ball can be made to roll along the rods, if successful the ball would roll to the end of the rods and onto the unstable table.

Unstable Table

A flat table with a border around it and various pegs in the middle, the player must tilt the table with a lever in order to get the ball onto the ramp at the end and avoid falling off.


To climb the ramp the player must press a button to successfully jump to higher levels and then finally through a hoop.


After going through the hoop the ball goes into the blind maze, the player must use then lever to guide the ball through the maze by tilting it. The cover of the maze was removable to make it easier for younger children.

Rocket Shape Platform

Once through the maze the ball goes onto the rocket shaped platform which is moved using the same dial as the crane, from here you put the ball into the catapult.


Hitting the button activated the catapult and fires the ball towards the bell, when the bell rings the game is over.

Screwball Scramble

One of the best things about Screwball Scramble was the fact that it didn’t require any batteries. Many similar-style games that were released around this time needed batteries and would cost a fortune to run.

If you are thinking you would like to have a go on Screwball Scramble then your luck is in. Screwball Scramble is still in production today and still easily available.

Nothing But Nostalgia