1983 : Ardy the Aadvark (C64)

Jay Ford // Datamost

posted 10-2017 // author: raam0

This is part of 1 of "a tale of two f#$%@ing aardvarks," joint-review. For the other counterpart review/spotlight, see Aardvark (1986, Bug-Byte) file: 1987-aardvark.html in @CODEX. Both these games crawl up my skin, put antz in my pantz, yet worm their way into my playtime on occasion, regardless of just how completely aggravating and frustating they may be... and nevertheless both should ideally be attempted in virginal tandem. By end your nerves may be frazzled like mine, with nightmares of flicking aarvark tongues surely to follow in your dreams. This first version of 'Aardvark' was released in 1983 by Datamost (Jay Ford). It is the simpler albeit more playable version of the game as the balance I think between predator and prey lie pretty much --- in balance. It has a charm graphically aligned with very Atari 2600-like graphics possibly, but also more polished leaning definitely into classic "1983 C64" gaming territory notably in feel, sound and dynamics. It is historically interesting and a true 1983 c64 experience.

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The premise: you are an aardvark named Ardy who must clear ant tunnels of their egg sacs (?), eating any BUNNY shaped-and-sized mongo-ants on the way before they bite your elongated tongue, which inarguably blows away and puts to shame Gene Simmons' cattle mouth appendage. Also BEWARE the worms, lest they crawl up your nose! Be sure to press-and hold "fire" to super-rewind, akin to a tape measure, your tunneling tongue! Beware the KISS of the spider: for I have not discovered a way to destroy or avoid them, once stung - goodbye. I actually managed to clear a level or two first way round this game and can see with deft skill, once acquired, much chance of improving and progression --- more than I can say for the brutal 1987 second version. This 1983 original classic is still frustrating but surely more playable off-the-bat, and maybe more "beginner"-level! Mandatory to check out the Bug-Byte 1986 release or the cracked versions, of it, perhaps. This game was also ported to the Apple II and Atari 8-bit. PS. As I mentioned in the 1987 Aardvark review, this game, [#WISHLIST], deserves a modern re-make, maybe fine-tuning + expansion - for various emulator platforms!

Triva/History:

  • The original was an arcade game called Anteater ("The Anteater" in Britain; "Ameisenbär" in Germany) and was designed by Chris Oberth and released in 1982 by Tago Electronics.
  • The game was ported to the Atari 2600 by Mattel in 1983 but never published.
  • Datamost's port Ardy The Aardvark (1983), which is almost identical, was written for the Apple II by Anteater's creator Chris Oberth (d.2012).
  • Conversions for Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit family were made by Jay Ford.
  • Bug-Byte's Aardvark clone was released in 1986.

Updated Instructions (relating to original release):

  • The player can only eat ants with the tip of the anteater's tongue. If an ant bites the tongue at any other location, then the player loses a life.
  • Pressing the second button will quickly retract the anteater's tongue.
  • Worms will not harm the anteater unless eaten head first, in which case the player loses a life. Worms can be safely eaten from behind.
  • Eating queen ants at the very bottom of the nest will temporarily clear all ants and worms from the screen.
  • Once the sun has traveled across the screen and night falls, a spider will appear. The spider climbs down the anteater's tongue, taking a life if it touches the tip.
  • The object is to eat all of the larvae before time runs out, clearing the screen.
  • Each larva is worth 10 points.
  • Each ant is worth 100 points, while eating a worm is worth 200 and multiplies the score from eating ants by 1x (Ex. eating 5 ants +2 worms = 500 x 2 = 1000).
  • Queen ants are worth 1,000.


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