Amidar Review

Developer: Parker Bros. Publisher: Parker Bros.
Release Date: 1982 Also On: None

Let’s discuss math for a minute. Start with Pac-Man. Take away the things that need to be collected and replace them with squares that need to be filled. Take away Pac-man and replace him with a short fat thing that has the ability to change the color of platforms he passes over, filling those platforms in when all sides have had their color changed. Take away the ghosts and replace them with five (yes, five) other creatures that chase around the aforementioned creature. The result of our manipulations would bring us to the game Amidar. Unlike Lock ‘n Chase, which made relatively little effort to hide its origin, Amidar, to the untrained eye, may look like an original idea, and indeed very well could be taken as one. However, to the trained observer, it is obvious that this game is really an effort to mask its creator’s true objective, a Pac-man clone.

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Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not at all. It isn’t the fact that Amidar is a Pac-man clone that makes it average at best. It is rather the lack of defenses and the insane difficulty. I’m not kidding. After having been away from the other Pac-man type titles for these many years that I had and still have, I could at least clear one stage in each before I completely lost, even the first time I went back to the game. In this, after many efforts, I was able to change the color of maybe a fifth of the stage. Perhaps it is just that my strategy continuously led me into the enemies’ pattern over and over, but I think the added difficulty comes from the fact that there are less places to go in this game and more enemies chasing you.

Anyway, like I said, the objective of this game is to run over every piece of ground in the level to change its color from an orange color to purple. When you have completely changed the color around an area, the area will be filled in with purple bars through the black background. The graphics in this game, as you can guess, are nothing to write home about, nor is the sound, but both do as good a job as could reasonably be expected of a third-party title in 1982.

As with any game, the game’s origins are irrelevant. What is important is whether the game is fun, and this game, while being sufficiently different to have almost totally lost the Pac-man charm, has a certain charm all its own that makes this game worth playing, especially if you are one of those Atari 2600 gamers who craves a challenge. If you are a fan of Pac-man clones you won’t necessarily like this game on that account since this title is significantly different, but if you are a fan of a game that is reasonably entertaining but also very challenging, Amidar comes recommended.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 6.5
Written by Martin Review Guide

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