Anteater

Congratulations! Your long wait to experience the life of an anteater firsthand has finally come to an end. But before you get to all those crazy aardvark parties you've read about, with the hookers and the blow, you've got to eat...

Gameplay: You've found an anthill that's filled with ant larvae, perfect for sating your hunger. But sucking up larvae is fraught with peril! The anthill is swarming with ants, fire ants, centipedes, and worms who want to kill you, and before you go nosing around in the ground, here's a quick lesson in anteater anatomy: Your tongue can reach all the way to the bottom of the ant colony, and you can snap it right back into your mouth with the touch of a button, but it's very sensitive. You can eat ants with the tip, but if they touch any other part of it, you die. Worms pass harmlessly through it, but if the tip touches their head, you die. (To eat them, you have to sneak up on them from behind.) When the sun sets, a spider shows up, and the only way to get rid of it is to eat one of the tasty queen ants at the very bottom of the anthill, which will clear all the bugs from the screen. If the spider touches the tip of your tongue, you die. (Bet you didn't see that coming.) When you eat all the larvae, you'll move on to a new—and more difficult—anthill.

Could be mistaken for: Oil's Well, or an evening drinking absinthe with John Byner.

Kids today might not like it because: When their anteater dies, he collapses in a psychologically scarring heap at the top of the screen.

Kids today might like it because: Everyone loves the "ants times worms" bonus, which awards points using MIT's popular "ants times worms" formula.

Enduring contribution to gaming history: In spite of Tago Electronics' promise to "employ an advertising firm to keep our games in the forefront," Anteater never became an arcade mainstay, but it was successfully ported to the Commodore 64 as Ardy The Aardvark. It was also ported to the Atari 2600 (though that version was never released) and TI-99/4A in 1983.

 

Wil Wheaton is Rick James, bitch!

 

Images courtesy of the International Arcade Museum and the Killer List Of Video Games.