Saturday, June 12, 2010

Retro Game of the Day! Amidar

Retro Game of the Day! Amidar

Amidar by Konami, originally released in the arcades in 1981.

A strange and complicated game, in some ways, Amidar has a very trippy-sounding setup - depending on the level you're on, the layer either controls a bushman-avoiding gorilla who must collect coconuts, or a pig-avoiding paint roller who must paint adjacent squares. Each level type plays like a rough conceptual mix of Pac-Man and Qix, in a certain way.

The game takes a lot of its design inspiration from a Japanese lottery system (called "Amidakuji" or "Ghost Leg" - thanks wikipedia!) although the whole pig/paint roller/ape/bushmen thing seems unique to this game.

It's a basic "avoid and collect," taking queues from the aforementioned Pac-Man (encircle corner boxes and your pig foes will temporarily turn into chickens you can eat!) Also, you have 3 "jumps" you can use, which will force your enemies to bounce up momentarily allowing you safe passage underneath.

A strange game, with a strange box and kind of an interesting name, Amidar has been lost to the ages yet still remains a bit of fun to pick up and play even now. An interesting sample from a time when game developers were trying to mash-up different game development concepts, add in a little wacky shtick, and see what would come out.

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