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Horses for Windows running in Windows 95
Horses for Windows running in Windows 3.1. Four different difficulty levels exist in this game: Easy, Medium, Hard, and CATastrophe

Horses for Windows is a horse racing strategy game written for Win16. Depending on the health and happiness of the player's and computer's horses, one horse wins a race while the other loses, though ties are possible. Between races, the player and the computer buy horse supplies from a shared store, giving priority to the player and leaving the computer with the leftovers. The objective of the game is thus to earn enough money through race betting to buy most or all supplies in the store on every round, leaving the computer's horse unhealthy and unhappy.

Horses was inspired by a horse racing program that Robert "Bobby" Zoller, a friend in high school, wrote on a TI-81 graphing calculator. That game used dots to represent the horses as they moved across the screen. Horses for Windows applied that same concept with graphics and added the shared store to make it a strategy game.


Screen Shots

The main game play screen, which lets the player place a bet for the race. A bet of zero dollars is permitted, but a negative bet is not allowed
The shop. Although you can buy more than one horse, only one is used in the race, and at least one is required to race
The icons added by the installer in the Windows Program Manager
The program's "about" screen


To facilitate easy cheating, I wrote a saved game editor that enables users to adjust the attributes of their horse as well as the computer's horse, the supply levels at the shared shop, and the odds of winning the next race.

The Horses for Windows saved game editor

Prom Edition

In 1997, I adapted Horses for Windows to have a prom theme, which primarily affects the shared store. Instead of feed, horses, and stables, the store sells roses, tickets, and hotel rooms.

The main screen in Horses for Windows Prom Edition using Wine on Novell openSUSE 10.2
The race in Horses for Windows Prom Edition using Wine on Novell openSUSE 10.2