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Arcade Video game published 42 years ago by Tago Electronics

Listed in MAME

Anteater screenshot

Anteater © 1982 Tago Electronics

Anteater is an abstract maze game in which the player controls an anteater that elongates its tongue through maze-like anthills eating ants and ant larvae. The object of the game is to eat all of the larvae - represented as round dots - before the timer runs out. Once all larvae have been eaten, play moves onto the next stage.

Players can only eat ants with the tip of the anteater's tongue, if an ant touches any other part of the tongue, the anteater is bitten and a player life is lost. As well as the ants, worms also roam the stages, worms will not harm the anteater upon contact with the extended tongue but if the head of the worm touches the tongue's tip, the player loses a life. Worms can be safely eaten from behind.

Large queen ants are situated at the bottom of the nest and eating these will temporarily clear all insects from the screen.

Anteater has a short day-night cycle represented by a moving Sun at the top of 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 reaches the tongue's tip. The spider can only be killed by eating a queen ant.


Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)
Sound CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 1.78975 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) General Instrument AY8910 (@ 1.78975 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Vertical
Video resolution : 224 x 256 pixels
Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz
Palette colors : 99

Players : 2
Control : 4-way joystick
Buttons : 1


Freddie Morrish holds the record for this game with 219,320 points on October 9, 1983.

Anteater is known in UK as "The Anteater" and in Germany as "Ameisenbaer".

Larvae 10 points.
Ant 100 points bonus.
Worm 200 points.
Queen Ant 1,000 points.

* Ants can be killed by moving directly into them, but watch out for your tongue above when you are in the lower part of the anthill. Ants can only be killed by the tip of your tongue, and if they hit the extended part you lose a life.

* Worms cannot be killed head-on, but cause no damage when they hit your extended tongue. You should move down below a worm or wait for it to pass, and then move in to eat it from behind.

* Spiders can only be killed by eating a Queen Ant. This will destroy all insects on the level, removing any imminent danger. Spiders move across the top tunnel of the screen until they reach the middle, and then walk down your tongue, until they reach the tip which causes you to lose a life.

* Try to save eating the Queen Ants for as long as possible, until absolutely necessary to save you from a life-threatening situation.

* Worms often appear at the same time as ants, and this will make killing them difficult. Also, you have to be careful the ants do not hit the tongue. You must move the the row below them and cut round behind them, as eat them both before the ant makes contact with the extended part of the tongue.


Designed and programmed by: Chris Oberth


Atari 2600 (1983)

Commodore C64 (1986, "Aardvark")


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.
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