Nibbler, Arcade

Nibbler is a 1982 arcade game featuring a snake inside a maze, with the aim being: to eat all the items before the clock runs down, and to avoid running into this own trailing tail, which grows in length as you eat more items.

The snake also speeds up as the mazes progress, making the game more difficult over time. There are apparently 32 mazes in total, although I saw fewer than ten, because – frankly – I’m not very good at the game, and grew bored of it fairly quickly.

Nibbler was the first video game to include nine scoring digits, allowing players to surpass one billion points (and – believe it or not – the first person to ever do this was a seventeen year-old kid who played the game for 44 hours straight and quit of his own accord due to exhaustion!)

While Nibbler doesn’t look like much, it was a big influence on other developers, who cloned it mercilessly after seeing it in arcades. It was also clearly an influence on all those ubiquitous snake games that came bundled with mobile phones in the late 90s.

Nibbler was developed and manufactured by a Chicago-based company called Rock-Ola and was a big hit in arcades when it was first released, listed among the thirteen highest-grossing arcade games of 1983 (in the USA at least).

More: Nibbler on Wikipedia

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