Lady Bug (1981)

by Nish
4 minutes read


Lady Bug (1981): A Bug’s-Eye View of Maze Madness

Released in 1981 by Universal Entertainment Corporation, Lady Bug is an insect-themed maze chase arcade game that took inspiration from the wildly popular Pac-Man. While the core gameplay loop of navigating a maze, consuming dots, and avoiding ghosts remains largely the same, Lady Bug introduced a unique twist: gates that could be used to change the layout of the maze, adding an extra layer of strategy and challenge.


Lady Bug puts players in control of the titular ladybug, who must navigate a maze filled with dots, fruits, and gates. The goal is to consume all of the dots while avoiding the ghosts that patrol the maze. Eating a fruit will temporarily stun the ghosts, making them easier to avoid.

The unique feature of Lady Bug is the presence of gates. These gates can be opened and closed by running into them, and they can be used to block the ghosts’ path or to create shortcuts through the maze. This adds a strategic element to the gameplay, as players must carefully consider how to use the gates to their advantage.

Development and Release

Lady Bug was developed by Universal Entertainment Corporation, a Japanese company that was founded in 1973. The game was released in arcades in 1981, but it failed to achieve widespread success. However, Lady Bug found a second life when it was released as a launch title for the ColecoVision home console in 1982. The ColecoVision version of the game was a critical and commercial success, helping to establish Lady Bug as a classic arcade game.


Lady Bug has been praised for its innovative gameplay and its charming graphics. The game has been ported to numerous home consoles and computers over the years, and it remains a popular choice for retro gaming enthusiasts.

Lady Bug has also been cited as an influence on several other maze chase games, including Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Mania. The game’s unique gate mechanic has been particularly influential, and it has been used in a variety of other games, including the popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga.

Critical Reception

Lady Bug received generally positive reviews upon its release. Critics praised the game’s innovative gameplay, its charming graphics, and its addictive nature. However, some critics found the game to be too difficult, and they complained that the ghosts were too aggressive.


Lady Bug is a classic arcade game that offers a unique and challenging twist on the maze chase formula. The game’s innovative gate mechanic adds an extra layer of strategy and challenge, and its charming graphics and addictive gameplay have made it a favorite of retro gaming enthusiasts for decades.

Additional Information

  • Lady Bug was one of the first arcade games to feature a female protagonist.
  • The game’s music was composed by Junko Ozawa, who also composed the music for the arcade classic Donkey Kong.
  • Lady Bug has been ported to numerous home consoles and computers, including the ColecoVision, Atari 2600, and Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • The game was re-released on the PlayStation Network in 2010.

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