Mark Plays… Anteater (Arcade) & Ardy the Aardvark (C64)
After playing Oil’s Well it was pointed out to me that there’s an arcade game called Anteater that seems to have been the inspiration for Oil’s Well and I was encouraged to check it out. Well I did, and I found out there’s also a port of this game on the C64 itself which I will also try out in this video.
Mind you I wasn’t using the second button that protects my tongue from the worms in this gameplay video so it could have been quite a bit better.
A N T E A T E R
Developed by Stern Electronics, designed by
Chris Oberth, released in 1982.
Though the arcade game was not a hit, it spawned a number of direct clones (Oil’s well) for home computers, some of which
became better known than the original.
The player controls an anteater that elongates his tongue through maze-like anthills eating ants. The player can only eat ants with the tip of the anteater’s tongue. If an ant bites the tongue at any other location, then the player loses a life. Pressing the second button will quickly retract the anteater’s tongue. Worms will not harm the anteater unless eaten head first, in which case the player loses a
life. Worms can be safely eaten from behind. Eating queen ants at the very bottom of the nest will temporarily clear all ants and
worms from the screen. Once the sun has traveled across the screen and night falls, a spider will appear. The spider climbs down
the anteater’s tongue, taking a life if it touches the tip. The object is to eat all of the larvae before time runs out, clearing the screen. Each larva is worth 10 points. Each ant is worth 100 points, while eating a worm is worth 200 and multiplies the score from eating ants by 1x (Ex. eating 5 ants +2 worms = 500 x 2 = 1000). Queen ants are worth 1,000.
PORTS & CLONES:
The game was ported to the Atari 2600 by Mattel in 1983 but never published.No official ports were released but Datamost’s
Ardy The Aardvark (1983), which is almost identical, was written for the Apple II by Anteater creator Chris Oberth. That game was
converted to the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit family by Jay Ford. A similarly named clone is Bug-Byte’s Aardvark (1986).
Other games that closely resemble Anteater while changing the setting are Sierra’s Oil’s Well (1983; itself cloned as Pipeline
Run for the C64 in 1990 and Oilmania for the Atari ST in 1991), Jack the Digger (1986) for the Atari 8-bit family, and Blue
Ribbon’s Diamond Mine (1984) and Diamond Mine II (1985).
K-Byte’s K-Razy Antiks (1982) for the Atari 8-bit looks similar with an anteater at the top of an anthill maze, but in the player takes the role of an ant defending the anthill from enemy ants and occasionally the anteater. A game called Ant Eater (1983) was
released by Romox for the VIC-20, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, and the Atari 8-bit family but this more closely resembles Dig
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