Video Review of Amidar for the Atari 2600

Today’s video review is of the arcade classic, Amidar for Atari 2600. Funnish game to play still, but it has it can be frustrating. This is my first video that has wandered into HD territory and it also includes a new intro that was put together by Dr Quest. I think he did a great job.

The video format and all that fun stuff is a work in progress. If you have any video or animation skills though and would like to send me some advice or help with anything, please email me at You can subscribe to the Retroist YouTube channel here. More videos from people who are not me should be coming soon to the site, so keep watching.

1982 Amidar Ad for the Atari 2600

Amidar was fun but it always confused the heck out of me. You’re a Gorilla. You’re a Paint roller. You’ have pigs chasing you or you have these tiki-looking guys chasing you. Was is a Pac-man ripoff? Was it a Qix ripoff? It’s all very confusing. Not many people realize this about Amidar, but it is based on the Japanese game, Amidakuji.

The Atari 2600 port was not a bad translation of the Konami/Stern original, although it is not the best port either.


Arcade Games and MAME

Despite the presence of GTA4 in my Xbox 360 and a bunch of pressing work and blog issues, I have been playing a lot more MAME arcade games lately. I have always been a fan, well a pretty big fan, but lately its starting to border on maniacal. From Amidar to Zaxxon, you name the game and in the last month I have played it on this very computer.

I guess it doesn’t take a degree in psychology to reason out why I run to these games when my life is filled with stress and chaos. They were developed in a time period that I am obviously fond of and their design is perfect for the occupied mind. The immediacy of the joystick play and the rapid progression of difficulty forces you to commit to their game system far more quickly then you would on new games that are designed to give you 10+ hours. Sure I can cruise around in the sandbox of Liberty City for a few hours, doing missions and collecting rewards, but the game system is such that you have intense moments of immersion followed by several minutes of very cool, but distraction filled driving/running.


Now in the same hour, I can fire up Pac-Man and I am instantly in the Pac World. The only breaks are brief screen loads and short animated cut scenes that give you just enough time to wipe the sweat off your hands and jump into the next level. Because they don’t require much of a learning curve you can achieve the much sought after gamers trance. These games are relentless and they requires arcade game discipline. Luckily I was born at the right time to acquire that discipline, because as an adult I could never do it.

Don’t get me wrong I love all games and some of these new game are just what I dreamed about when I was going to see Tron for the third time in the theater. But if your mind is cluttered and you need a break from the world , I am talking total distraction from reality. Why not download MAME or even better hunt down your local arcade and drop a few bucks on some of the classics.