I remembered about this game because free indie games posted a quite similar game to this. But it isn't as fun as Chain reaction is!
First things first though, the game's description, straight from the readme:
The object of Chain Reaction is to be
the only person left with atoms on
the board at the end of the game.
How do you do it? Dead easy....
When it's your turn, point the mouse
at a cell and click either button.
You can only play in an empty cell,
or a cell owned by you.
Each cell can only hold a certain
number of atoms before reaching
critical mass and exploding. This
depends on where the cell is. A
corner cell will explode with two
atoms in it, an edge cell will
explode with three atoms in it, and
all other cells explode with four
atoms in them. To aid your memory, a
warning sounds when you have placed
the maximum safe number of atoms in a
When a cell explodes, it fires an
atom into each cell next to it.
These cells are captured. If the
captured cells are now at critical
mass, they will explode as well.
This can lead to quite lengthy chain
(yay, I can't find how to switch to a monospaced font, this was actually written for a 40-column text mode, as such is the ST's low resolution mode with a 8x8 font)
Now then, regarding that fun factor I mentioned above. Chain reaction supports from 2 up to 6 players in the same game. Each player can be either a human or AI and while this doesn't sound to exciting in theory, it adds massive depth to the game. For starters the AI isn't stupid and usually can make the right choice, which is to wreak as much havoc as possible in the form of more explosions (emphasis on "usually" - it can make wrong choices!). Couple that with the fact that this game is very dynamic, i.e. every player's status on the board can change on a single turn and you end up with situations where you're dominating most of the board and next turn you're left with one atom or completely wiped out! I really can't put to words what goes inside your head when you've played this a couple of times, it has to be experienced!
I was never a big fan of multiplayer games (partly because I couldn't find too many people to agree to play games on a computer ;)), but this game really holds a special place in my memories. Recommended!
P.S. originally the game is really fussy about how you run it because it wants to run from the root directory of a floppy. Because I wanted to take a snapshot of the game in action AND didn't want to mess around with floppy images, I briefly donned my D-Bug cap and patched the program for hard drives. This is the version I'm offering for download here - enjoy!