Developed by German studio Kaiko and published by Play Byte in 1992, Apidya is a horizontally-scrolling, progressive weapons shoot ’em up appearing only on the Amiga.
The game has a single-player mode, a two-player cooperative mode, and a two-player versus mode (where players take it in turns to rack up the highest score).
Apidya features superb nature-themed graphics and excellent music by Chris Hülsbeck and sees you controlling a bee (actually a man who’s been turned into a bee), fighting against the forces of an evil lord called Hexaae.
The game uses a power-up system (called “Xtra Select“), similar to Konami‘s classic Nemesis/Gradius, where you shoot enemies and collect red flowers to boost your offensive capabilities. You can add other insects (similar to the ‘Option’ pods in Nemesis/Gradius) that fire extra bullets for you, and other weapon enhancements. You can also hold down fire, then release it, to fire a larger projectile that will plough through multiple enemies at once.
The game consists of five themed levels: a meadow, a pond, a sewer filled with mutated enemies, a technological machine level, and a fifth level where the player must battle a succession of bosses. In the third level the view temporarily flips and the controls reverse, making the game even harder.
Although Apidya shows the Roman numeral “II” on the title screen it isn’t a sequel and no Apidya game existed previous to this – it was done simply as a “gag” by the developers…
Apidya is a decent enough shooter, but it becomes frustratingly difficult fairly quickly and is not quite the game some Amiga fanatics make it out to be. I still think it’s a pity that Apidya wasn’t converted to other systems, like the SNES or Megadrive, but it’s definitely a genuine Amiga original that is worth tracking down and playing today.
Note: if you’re trying to play the QTX version with the trainer and can’t get the game to start, you need to click both the left and right mouse buttons simultaneously to continue loading after the instruction screen.
More: Apidya on Wikipedia