The only game that lets you run over pigs with a paintbrush

Amidar was released onto the coin-op arcade machine market in 1982 by arcade machine developer Stern and licensed by Konami. It was a rather weird genetic mutation between the two classics Pac-Man and Qix. In glorious 32 colours, Amidar presented itself as a product by a gamedesigner with a serious cannabis habit:

In the first stage you steer a gorilla along a grid, trying to avoid 5 native hunters with a slight Papua New Guinea flavour to them, thanks to the prominent bone which keeps their hairdo together. While avoiding the hunters, who move along the grid in a strictly predetermined pattern (changing direction 90 degrees at every crossing) you gobble up, pac-man like, small pills cluttering your path. When you clear all corner boxes, the colour of the hunters changes and you are allowed to hunt them for 30 seconds, before they change back to their normal self.

If you complete the first stage, a bonus stage will appear, in which you have to drop a pig on a house that then wriggles along the boxes to maybe reach a bunch of bananas on the bottom, giving you 5000 points (I know this sentence doesn't make a lot of sense, but then so doesn't the game).

The next stage sees you in the role of a paintbrush, trying to colour in adjacent boxes by rolling around their perimeter, simultaneously avoiding a herd of pigs, moving along the already known "amidar - movement", changing their direction 90 degrees at every corner. This really looks like Qix on LSD. After completing this level, you start again as the pac-man turned gorilla, just with more hunters. And so on.

So, what makes this game so addictive? Well, there's the music, which is just utterly brillant, then there's the predictability of your enemies, which makes the game a bit easier to manage. Then there's the LSD factor, oh, and did I mention the music? These days it runs on MAME and there are still some arcade machines available, costing ca 800 US dollar.

All in all a forgotten but great game from the period that taste forgot.

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