Recommended Gaming: MAME GP32
Amidar was fairly common in arcades back in the day. Like Gyruss, it was a game you heard before you saw, with a catchy wee tune playing. First introduced by Konami in 1981, Amidar is a quirky beast, the player appearing as either a gorilla or paint roller. In pursuit through the playfield are pigs or tribesmen ('Amidars'), with a single differently-coloured pig or tribesman ('Tracer') circling the playfield border.
Your only defense is a jump button, which uniquely causes the enemies to jump instead of you! You can thus escape under them, but can only use jump 3 times on each level.
The objective is to fill all the boxes in the gridded playfield. In odd numbered levels (1,3,5 etc) this is fairly easy, as you consume the dots surrounding the boxes in any direction or order. But on the evenly (2,4,6 etc) numbered levels you have to 'paint' a constant line around a box to fill it, and can only start 'painting' from an already filled box. Hard to describe, you'll just have to boot it up to see what I mean.
There is a little secret to the game too: when you've filled all 4 corner boxes the enemies will change colour and you can chase them down pac-man style. Just watch out they don't change back.
Amidar is a game in which you absolutely must watch the attract mode (attract mode appears on games before you insert a coin. Often you'll pick up vital information by watching the attract mode). What appears to be random movement on the part of the enemies is actually a very simple set of rules. They move from left to right, top to bottom, taking every single junction they come to. When they hit a playfield edge they reverse that direction. Watch that attract mode and you'll see what I mean. Once you understand how they move the game becomes far more enjoyable, as real progress can be made. You can literally run straight toward them to within a few pixels securely aware that they are about to turn away anyway. They're not chasing you at all!
Between levels there's a mini-challenge that takes a lot of time to get good at. An Amidar will move across the top of the screen. At the bottom somewhere will be a banana. All you have to do is hit jump when you want the Amidar to start descending. He'll follow his 'Amidar movement' all the way to the bottom. If you got it right (and it's far from easy) he'll get the banana and you'll get a nice bonus.
Amidar is a great little game that becomes very addictive once you've familiarised yourself with it. You'll find Amidar in the 'Classics' folder of GPMame, it runs nicely with sound if you give it frameskip 1.
Reviewed By: Alyinsanfran