Dung Beetles

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Description: 

Dung Beetles was an Apple II computer game released in 1982 by Datasoft. It was ported to the TRS-80 Color Computer, where it was and distributed by Tandy. On the Color Computer, it was renamed Mega-Bug; however, some copies were sold as Dung Beetles. Later versions for both the Apple II and Atari were named Tumble Bugs. In Australia, the game was re-branded Bug Attack.

The game concept and gameplay were based on Pac-Man, but featured a much larger maze and a moving "magnifying rectangle" which made it easier to see graphic detail of the main character and the bad guys; but also obscured a small area of the map near the main character, making short- to medium-range navigation more difficult. In addition, whenever the main character ate a dot, it left a piece of dung. When a dung beetle found dung, it would eat it and follow the trail.

Dung Beetles is notable because whenever the player was caught, the game played a digitized voice saying "We Gotcha!" This was the only use of voice in the game, and was a novelty, as the Apple II speaker was only able to emit a click. Programmers would have to click the speaker rapidly in order to produce any sound — the typical Apple II game made only monotone beeps and clicks. Programming the game to play back an audio sample, using only a clicking speaker, was an interesting technical accomplishment, shared with another 1982 Apple II game, Sea Dragon.

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Platform: 
Apple II
Genre: 
Action
Game year: 
1982
Publisher: 
Datasoft, Inc.
Also known as: 
"Tumble Bugs" -- Atari 8-bit title
"Mega-Bug" -- TRS-80 CoCo title
"Magneto Bugs" -- Gentry Software release title

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