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Anteater on the Atari 2600 published by Mattel

Port of the Stern coin-op of the same name, Anteater is an action game

General Information

Developer - Stephen Tatsumi (Program), Joe King (Graphics), & Patricia Lewis Du Long (Sound/Music)

Publisher - Mattel

Release - 1983

Platform(s) - Atari 2600

Number of Players - 1

Genre - Maze, action

Port of the Stern coin-op of the same name, Anteater is an action game in which you must guide an anteater's tongue through a underground maze trying to eat all the larva while avoiding other deadly insects. Although the well-known arcade/pinball company Stern was the developer of the game, it was actually distributed in the US by little known Tago Electronics. Amazingly both companies are still in business today!

Even though this game stars an anteater, you really only control his tongue as you weave it around the maze. Unfortunately for you only the tip of your tongue is deadly to insects, so you need to watch out and make sure nothing comes into contact with the rest of your tongue. Although your tongue is quite flexible, you unable backtrack over it once start down a tunnel. However you can retract your tongue quickly in case of an emergency, by pressing the fire button. Although you might think you need to eat all the ants to win the game, the goal is actually to clear all the larva in the maze before time runs out. The larva appear as squares in between each layer of the maze unlike the Pac-Man style pellets that lined the tunnels of the arcade game. It’s unknown why this change was made, but it may have been due to the technical limits of the 2600. Oh and did I forget to mention that they turn invisible starting on level 5? Yeah they do that, so watch out.


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