• Tag Archives Konami
  • Amidar (Atari 2600)

    Source: Video Games – January 1983

    Amidar was released as an arcade game by Konami in 1981. As this was near the height of the popularity of the Atari 2600, it’s unsurprising that it received an Atari 2600 port the following year. While this ad doesn’t specifically mention the Atari 2600, that was the only home system that it was released for at the time.

    This game makes fun of the endless maze games that were essentially knock-offs of Pac-Man. Ironically though, this game was really just another take on that concept. Amidar is really nonsensical as far as what you are doing in the game. On odd numbered levels you control an ape who must collect coconuts while avoiding headhunters. On even number levels you control a paint roller and must paint over each spot on the board while avoiding pigs. I have no idea what these two things have to do with each other.

    Other play mechanics are very much like Pac-Man. Touching enemies normally kills you but by clearing a board you are temporarily able to kill enemies by touching them (as if you ate a power pellet in Pac-Man). However, there is the rather unique jump button. Instead of making you jump it makes all your enemies jump and you can then walk under them. As you might expect, as the level increases, your enemies get faster and more numerous.

    The Atari 2600 version along with a 1983 release for the obscure Japanese only Casio PV-1000 are the only official releases I could find reference to. There were various knock-offs for various home computers that came a few years later. However, if you want an official home version you’ll have to find the Atari 2600 version. You can also always emulate this game but if you are going to do that, you might as well find the arcade version. Apparently, the arcade version of Amidar was re-released for the Xbox 360 and Windows via Game Pak 12 for Game Room in 2010 but I believe that it is no longer available.

    Screen shots above are from the Atari 2600 version of Amidar. The ad is from the January 1983 issue of Video Games magazine.

  • Snatcher (TurboGrafx-16, Sega CD)

    Snatcher (TurboGrafx-16)


    Snatcher can best be described an a cyberpunk themed graphical adventure game. In addition to its cyberpunk theme, what made it unique for the time was its mature themes and in-depth story.


    Snatcher was written and designed by Hideo Kojima (who would later go on to create the Metal Gear Solid) for Konami and first released in 1988 for the PC-8801 and MSX2 in Japan. Snatcher was enhanced and released for the TurboGrafx-CD and later in 1994 again for the Sega CD. The Sega CD version would be the only English language version of the game and the only version released in North America. Versions would also later be released for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation but these were Japanese only releases.


    The story is set in a not too distant future in which android-like beings called Snatchers are snatching victims and taking their place in disguise. You play the role of an officer in a special police force created to fight these Snatchers, the origin of which is unknown. The story and visual style was influenced by movies such as Blade Runner, Terminator and Akira.


    The Sega CD is arguably the best version however it has been censored slightly from the Japanese TurboGrafx-CD version (though not as much as later versions). Given that is has a heavy reliance on text and the Sega CD version is the only English language version, this is really the only reasonable option for a North American audience anyway. Unfortunately, it is also a very expensive option if you want an original copy. However, emulation is an option as well. For whatever reason, there has never been a more modern re-release of this game in North America so the Sega CD version is your only option. However, for cyberpunk and/or graphic adventure fans, this game is well worth trying. Give it a shot via emulation if you aren’t willing to fork over the absurd eBay cost of an original.