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Bug Attack

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Released: 1982

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Atari 8-bit

Publisher: Cavalier Software

Developer: Jim L Nitchals

Submitted by: Glenn Petrie

I just came across this little gem for the Atari 8-bit. Anyone who has played Centipede will know that this game is a tribute to it. It is structured the same way, with plants scattered around the garden, and the main enemies working their way through it, going in the opposite direction when they hit something.

There are a few differences to the gameplay, however. Instead of just fighting one enemy, you have to deal with several bugs. You take control of a spider trying to fight off ants, millipedes, and med bats (in separate waves) who have invaded your garden before your fuel runs out. The millipede will eventually come down toward you, but you can't go up to avoid one of its parts that may end up on the same area as you. Once you have cleared a wave, you receive a number of bonus points depending on how much fuel remains.

I found one thing amusing about the bugs. They can't bite you since you are at a safe distance from them. What do they do instead? Throw daggers down at you. These can be avoided simply by going left and right, and coming in contact with a dagger results in you losing a life.

Once you have dealt with all three bugs twice, you get to see a lovely interlude where a chorus of bugs sing to you while a med fly pollinates a flower to reveal the tank. Then you go onto the next level, doing it all over again.

What I like about the game is the variety of plants you see while you are fighting the bugs. In order of appearance, cacti, clovers, and flowers make an appearance. The disadvantage of having these plants is that you have to shoot them to get a clear shot of the bugs.

In conclusion, anyone who gets bored with shooting the same enemy over and over again in Centipede should have a go at Bug Attack. It is just as addictive, and a lot of fun.