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GAME TIP: Use button 1 to retract the anteaters tongue.

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Reviews (0-9 / A-M)


982 (1 Player)




Overview and game play

Anteater is an original maze game displayed within a static game area for 1 player designed and programmed by Chris Oberth. One coin is required for 3 anteaters and the player controls an anteaters’ tongue by using the joystick movements of up, down, left and right though the various levels of an anthill to consume whatever is available inside. Each level starts with a large anteater walking into position atop an anthill that the player can see with the sun shining to signify that it is day-time. Within the anthill, there is a maze like structure containing various items for the anteater to consume: ant larvae, 10 points; ant, 100 points; worm, 200 points; queen ant, 1000 points. The player will also be rewarded an extra anteater every 20,000 points and an ants multiplied by worms bonus after each life is lost. The player is able to stretch the anteaters tongue quite far but must be careful not to allow the tongue to be touched by an ant at any part except the tip of the tongue because the anteater will loose a life. Fortunately, the player can retract the anteaters tongue quickly in stages by pressing button 1 repeatedly.

Not all items and animals can be consumed in the same way and animals that are more difficult to eat therefore have a higher points value to compensate the player for his/her effort. Ant larvae and ants can be eaten upon contact with the tip of the anteaters tongue. Worms can be eaten as long as the tip on the anteaters tongue does not touch the worms’ head. Queen ants can be eaten upon contact with the tip of the anteaters’ tongue, but because they are positioned far away from the player they are worth more than worms as they are not easy to eat. A side effect of eating a queen ant is that all ants on the screen will be killed and the player can then continue to gobble up ant larvae unhindered for a short period of time. The level is over when all the ant larvae have been eaten and it is important for the player to try and finish the level as soon as possible as darkness replaces the sun after some time to show its’ night time and a spider crawls into the anthill. The player must avoid touching the spider completely because the anteater will loose a life.



Anteater has an unusual concept for a game, but it’s nevertheless fun to play.



Anteater was released in 1982, and has graphics that are about average for games produced then. The backgrounds do not scroll, but are drawn well enough for players to identify what boundaries s/he must operate within and to represent the scene. A pleasing feature is that as time passes, the sun moves across to the sky to be replaced later by a starry night scene. The characters in anteater are basic in their design, but can still be identified by their simple animations and movements around the maze.




For an early 80’s game, anteaters’ music is actually quite good. The music sounds like it is being played on an electronic keyboard and is advanced when compared to the beeps and simplistic music of the time. However, the music is only introductory and after it has played there are only in-game sound effects to represent the on-screen action and these sound effects are about average for the game’s release year.



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