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Video Game / Amidar

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Amidar is a 1981 Arcade Game by Konami, licensed in the United States by Stern Electronics. It's a cross between Pac-Man, Qix, and a Japanese lot-drawing game called Amidakuji, or "Ghost Leg".

You play either an ape or a paint roller, depending on the level. You run around an Amidakuji board, a grid with regular vertical lines and irregular horizontal lines. You fill in areas of the screen, as in Qix, but the areas are predefined rectangles. Headhunters or pigs wander around, taking every turn as per Amidakuji rules, except for one called the Tracer which patrols the perimeter for a while and then chases you around. Fill in the corner rectangles, and the enemies become killable for a few moments, as in Pac-Man. In between levels is a Bonus Round where you make your way from the top of the screen to a bonus at the bottom, following Amidakuji rules.

It was released for the Atari 2600 by Parker Bros.

Amidar provides examples of:

  • Attract Mode: The game plays a demo of a paint roller level if you leave it alone.
  • Bonus Round: Whenever you beat a level, you're taken to a bonus level where you pick a path at the top of the board and follow it to the bottom to pick up a bonus.
  • Collision Damage: You die when the enemies touch you. If you have invincibility it's the other way around.
  • Endless Game: It's basically two repeating levels, ape and paint roller.
  • Escape Sequence: When the Tracer starts chasing you.
  • Game Level: Alternating between an ape being chased by headhunters, and a paint roller being chased by pigs.
  • Game Over: The game ends when you run out of lives.
  • Ghost Leg Lottery: This is one of the earliest uses of this trope in video games, working in a similar fashion to Qix, but for the fact that each rectangle is predefined and movement is mostly governed by the rules of this lottery type.
  • Instant 180-Degree Turn: Actually instant 90 degree turn. The ape and paint roller turn instantly when you round a corner.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Filling in the corner rectangles.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: No mention is given as to who the ape and headhunters are, who the pigs are and why they're chasing a paint roller, or why a paint roller is rolling around all by itself...
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: You die with one touch from an enemy. Invincibility turns this around.
  • Palette Swap: Normal enemies and the Tracer.
  • Puzzle Game: You can move along the lines as you please, but part of the challenge of the game is figuring out how to avoid the other entities, most of whom follow the rules of the ghost leg.
  • Scoring Points: Fill in squares to score points.
  • Space-Filling Path: The Amidakuji game creates this, you have to fill in the boxes by following a very twisty path, taking every turn.
  • Video-Game Lives: The player starts with three apes/paint rollers.