Lady Bug - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL60      
Box Upgrade:  No        Yes (Add $15.00)      

A new version of Lady Bug is now available, called Lady Bug Arcade. This new version has many improvements over the original version of Lady Bug you are currently looking at. We've kept this older version in the store for those who would are still interested in purchasing the original version.

It's dinnertime and Lady Bug is ready to eat! Take a stroll through the garden and nibble on the rows and rows of pretty flowers. Be careful though - there are many dangerous insects that just love to eat ladybugs - and they're fast too! Block their way by swinging the gates closed, and stay away from the deadly poison. Oh - and don't forget to collect the bonus prizes to get the help of other ladybugs and a special invite to the Veggie Bounty Harvest! GOOD LUCK!

While many prototypes of unreleased games have surfaced over the years, there are a few notorious titles that have not. This includes Lady Bug, a title that appeared in arcades and was even advertised in Coleco's Atari 2600 Catalog, but never saw the light of day. It's not even known if work was ever begun on the Atari 2600 port. Well, Atari 2600 fans no longer have to wait for a version of Lady Bug, as Atari enthusiast John W. Champeau has developed a remarkable 2600 version! John's first Atari 2600 homebrew game was Conquest of Mars, one of the finest homebrews to be developed for the 2600.

The object of Lady Bug is to clear the maze of all the dots while avoiding up to four insects. Once all four insects have entered the maze, a bonus vegetable appears in the middle. Eating this veggie not only earns big points, but also freezes the insects for a few seconds. Also appearing in the maze are hearts that increase the bonus multiplier and letters that can be used to spell EXTRA for a bonus ladybug or SPECIAL to earn a round in the bounty harvest maze full of vegetables to eat! If the insects start to gain on the ladybug, she can use the revolving doors to block their attack as she tries to clear each maze. When all flowers and items have been collected, you advance to the next level where the insects are even faster. The game ends when the last ladybug has been eaten.

If you've ever played Lady Bug in the arcade or on the ColecoVision, you'll be amazed at how faithful the 2600 version is to the original!

Includes cartridge and 12-page, full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats, please specify above when ordering.

Get a Lady Bug Box!

Lady Bug BoxLady Bug Box

If you'd like a boxed copy of Lady Bug, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Lady Bug to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Lady Bug cartridge in place. We want you to play our games, so we have not sealed or shrinkwrapped the boxes in any way, allowing you easy access to the game cartridge and manual.

These boxes are the same size as boxes Atari produced for their games "back in the day". They look great sitting on a shelf with your other boxed homebrew games, or alongside games from the classic Atari 2600 library. We only have a limited number of boxes for each game, and there is no guarantee they will become available again once our supplies are exhausted. Click on the images to the right to see larger photos of the box.

Author John W. Champeau
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 16K
Label Design Nathan Strum
Manual Design Nathan Strum
Bob McLaughlin on 05/11/2021 07:56am
Lady Bug is my favorite Atari 2600 cart in my collection. Played the original at Goliath's Arcade in Lewiston, ME. It would have been amazing to have such a port in the 80s. The gameplay is excellent and has a perfect level of challenge. Physical is a must for a game this good. One of the most satisfying video game purchases ever!
Bryan M Knotts on 03/10/2021 08:47pm
Just got my copy today, and after playing just a bit can honestly say I am impressed! I also own a copy of the IntelliVision Lady Bug port from back in the day, and this is just as good if not better!!
Dan Wolak on 06/27/2020 05:08pm
In the early 80's, maze games were very popular, because of the Pac-Man craze that started the decade. In early 82, we got kind of a mediocre version of Pac-Man for the 2600, and there were a few other maze games available for the system, but we wanted something a little better. So, in the fall of '82 I got Coleco's Donkey Kong for the 2600 (not a maze game, but still a great arcade game), and like many of you, I was looking through the included catalog for other great arcade ports that Coleco was coming out with and I saw Lady Bug. It sounded great and I couldn't wait to get that for the Atari! Well, time passed, the videogame crash happened, and Coleco never released an Atari version of Lady Bug (just an excellent Colecovision port and a substandard Intellivision one).
In 2006, John Champeau of Champ Games finally remedied the situation with this excellent port for the Atari 2600. It's every bit as fun as the arcade or Colecovision version with great graphics and sounds. The only difference is the playfield seems a little smaller. This is actually a good thing because it makes the novice mode a bit easier, but there are also standard and advanced modes for a bit more challenge. And for a super challenge, switch to left difficulty A for a slower lady bug!
As you go through the stages, you collect letters to spell EXTRA for an additional 1up, or SPECIAL for the Veggie Bounty Harvest bonus screen! On this bonus screen you can really rack up the points collecting the different veggies before the timer runs out.
The label, box, and manual artwork are excellent. The boxed version looks as good as or better than the classic 2600 games. John did a great job with this port and it definitely came out better than what Coleco would have been able to do back in '83 (they had 4k ram limitations back then). This is a must-buy!
William Kendrick on 06/08/2020 10:47pm
Ladybug was a game I never saw in the arcades as a kid, but came to enjoy it when I saw it at events like California Extreme. Like my other Pac-Man-ish favorite, Mouse Trap, this game extends the basic "traverse maze, eat dots, avoid bad guys" theme and adds bonuses to track, adding a bit more strategy. This port is great, and I'm happy to have a Ladybug I can play from the comfort of my sofa.
Nathan Moore on 02/15/2018 03:23pm
This was one of my first homebrew purchases that I got in the mail today.

Simply fantastic game! I do not have enough nice things to say about the playthrough I just finished.

Graphics/Sound are top-notch; it's super easy to learn how to play.

I'm also really impressed with the quality of the packaging for the cart/manual- everything looks super professional. my wife commented that it looked like original stuff ;)

this is a must-have for 2600/7800 fans.
Simon Mesure on 01/18/2018 02:31pm
Unfortunately have never played ladybug on the arcades before. Am a big fan of maze type games like ms.pacman, mousetrap. Dont pass this gem by. Ladybug is worth its weight in gold. I had to purchase this after watching the vid here. Even on pal the colors are bright and bold. The revolving doors are great for cover temporarily. This game is no walkover but is such a joy to play. Not so bad having to respawn as when one ladybug is taken she only turns into an angel then disappears to the top of screen. This game makes me grin all the time and look forward to my next go. I adore ladybug. 6*/5*.
8th lutz on 08/20/2017 02:52pm
I never played any version of the game before despite owning an Intellivision 2. The game is known as classic arcade game.

Lady Bug is a great game. I'm a fan of games like Jr. Pac-Man for the Atari 2600.

Lady Bug as a 2600 game has no weak point as a game. The sound, graphics, and gameplay is top notch.
VectorGamer on 08/17/2017 11:07am
An absolute fantastic translation of the arcade game for the Atari 2600. If you get all the letters in the word SPECIAL you go on a "vegetable harvest" to rack up big points. I love this game.
Lucas 'Mr. Beefy' Morris on 07/01/2017 10:31am
Lady Bug is a port of a classic arcade game. From my experience this is a great port of that game.

Graphics: Graphics are great. Everything looks good and smooth.

Sounds: The game sounds great. No complaints there.

Gameplay: While comparisons can be made between this and Pac-Man; Lady Bug is more than that. I love the strategy of the doors. When being chased down nothing feels better than making a quick escape through a door blocking off your enemy or sending them to their death buy grabbing a skull. Controls are tight and responsive.

If you loved the coin-op version this is an easy purchase. If you are unfamiliar with the coin-op but love games like Mouse Trap and Pac-Man this would be a great purchase as well.
Mike Shear on 06/28/2015 04:39pm
Love this game! Not sure if I ever played this growing up, but I have to say this is easily one of the best Atari 2600 games I have ever played! Highly recommended.
Brook A. Anderson on 03/14/2015 03:30pm
If Coleco made Atari 2600 games of this quality I would have to wonder if they would have sold as many Colecovisions. Awesome arcade port! Graphics and sound are top notch and plays like a dream.

The only flaw I can see is that when you rotate a door on one side of the screen it is mirrored on the other. This really does not hurt the gameplay at all.
Thomas Sandmann on 12/10/2014 06:42am
I loved this game in my youth as Arcade Machine. But this port tops it, one of, if not the best game to pick up for your Atari 2600/7800 ! The graphics are very detailed, the sound is amazing good and the controls are spot-on.
Amazing game !!!!
aaron Verkerk on 01/12/2013 09:10am
This is a great game.It has a full color label,and a full color instuction manual.The graphics are good and so is the music.The controls are also spot on as well.This is a must have for anyone who enjoys 2600 games.
Marc Dussault on 10/08/2010 09:12pm
Superb! This one is a nice conversion for the 2600. Great control and perfect gameplay. A must own for retro gamers.
Ron Lloyd on 05/02/2010 06:34pm
I have played a bunch of homebrews for 2600, 5200, and even 7800 over the years. But Ladybug for 2600 has to be the one that pleased me the most and the quickest. A much more delightful and professional package than what we got back in the day, Ladybug 2600's gameplay, graphics, sounds
laurent dziubas on 03/05/2009 03:17pm
Simply AMAZING!!! no other words...
the game itself, is a pretty clever Pac-Man like game with more strategy and diversity: the doors, the letters to capture.
This 2600 adaptation is wonderful, flicker-free, the music, sound effects, elements and graphics everything from the original arcade has been put in this version. The enemies are great (the praying mantis,...)
Of course you have to like that kind of game...but if you do this is the best of the best.
Bruce Philip on 12/22/2008 11:41pm
I ordered this game, well, because I am a "Lady Bug" fan in a BIG way. I used to play this game in the arcade back when I was younger, and played it to death on the Colecovision. I always wondered why this game never made it to the Atari 2600. I guessed it was because a truly faithful reproduction could not be done. BOY was I wrong!

The gameplay is fantastic and just what you would expect had you ever played this game before. The sound is absolutely outstanding. There's a whole lot packed into this cartridge. A whole lot of Lady Bug love went into this and it really shows.

I did notice a small glitch when playing it on a Colecovision expansion module #1 unit. If you run it on one of these, the game will continually display the "ram rom" opening screen until you press reset to start the game. The game does play fine, but it will not display the nice title screen that you would see when running it on a 2600 or 7800 system. Not a really big deal.

Bottom line: You NEED to buy this game if you have not done so already!
Joseph Walsh on 04/15/2008 10:26am
Remember how video game ads would often say, "Plays just like the arcade game?" Well, this one fulfills that oft-broken promise!

Sure, there are a few compromises to make it fit into the limits of the VCS, but none of them make the game any less "Lady Bug." You still have the wonderful sounds, the humorous bug animations, and the tension between needing to go quickly yet pick up the letters and hearts at just the right time.

This game is a wonderful addition to any VCS collection!
Christopher Ball on 04/13/2008 07:07pm
I can't say much that hasn't been said in the previous reviews. But, this is in my opinion hands-down one of the best titles for the 2600. Buy it.
Joseph Kollar on 03/03/2008 03:09pm
PERFECT! Yep, Lady Bug is perfect. Or at least as perfect as it can be on the VCS.

Lady Bug is a maze game in the Pac-man vein but it has a lot more strategy involved than Pac-Man. One part of the strategy comes in the form of doors that can block off parts of the maze and keep the baddies away. The 2nd part is in the bonus elements available from spelling out certain words. Each level gives you three letters and you can try to spell EXTRA for a free life or SPECIAL for a vegetable harvest bonus. These added things make the game much more interesting than Pac-Man in my opinion.

This version of Lady Bug has all of the bad guy bugs, all of the sounds and all of the fun of the arcade version. It even has a RAM OK/ROM OK message when you first turn on the VCS similar to how it is when the coin-op is powered up. In this regard this version goes one better than the CV version of Lady Bug. The death animation your player is more accurate than the CV version and the music's all there too. The one thing that keeps the CV version being a little better is the lack of flicker and the independent nature of the green doors. In the VCS version, there is some flicker although it's amazingly well handled and not really distracting. Where the VCS version lacks from the arcade and the CV is that the doors are mirrored across the screen so if you move one, it also moves on the other side of the screen. It's not that big of deal but it does slightly change the game's play.

All thing's considered, it's still perfect in my opinion.
Jeremy Stockman on 08/24/2007 08:51am
This game totally surpassed my expectations (and from the other reviews, I expected alot). This reproduces the arcade game in great detail (much better than Coleco would have done). The game is also very fun, and very addictive. This is now possibly my favorite Atari 2600 game, ever.
Scott Inman on 04/15/2007 01:04pm
Just when I thought I had seen everything the 2600 was capable of along comes Lady Bug. As many other reviewers have already stated: this is an OUTSTANDING game. The gameplay, graphics, and sounds are top notch. Not owning Lady Bug is a disservice to any 2600 collection. This was one of my first homebrew purchases and guarantee it won't be my last!

John's dedication to his mother's memory is touching and I feel his inspiration in her every time I play.

To any of you on sitting on the fences about homebrews... do yourself a favor and buy Lady Bug! Once the "bug" bites you'll be hooked!
ace list on 04/11/2007 10:30am
Well, as a rule I steer clear of maze games. To me, there is the original arcade version of Pac-Man and that's the end of it! When I saw that this game was done by Mr. Champeau I decided to give it a try. I LOVED Conquest of Mars so I thought, "Yeah, it's a maze game, but the dude can really code.."

Damn. This game rocks! I never played the game on Coleco (I was lucky to get a 2600!) so I really didn't have any knowledge or expectations regarding it. Believe me when I say that this is a maze-game of a different color!

The strategic elements put this one way over the top of most games of its ilk. The pace is frantic and the replay value high. The specifics of the game can be found in the product description, therefore I'll limit myself to my visceral reactions to this game. Spellbinding. Nerve-wracking. Addictive. Sweat-inducing. Magnificent.

Good job, John, your mom would be proud of you!
Joseph Till on 03/04/2007 09:32am
This is possibly the best homebrew ever! I have the arcade version, and the Colecovision version, but this version might actually be better than both of them! It has all the features of the arcade version, and it seems much easier and smoother to maneuver the Ladybug through the maze! I can't stop playing it! Yet another game that makes you wonder "...if only it would have been released back in the day..." A+++++
JASON JENKINS on 02/24/2007 11:27pm
This game is a real winner! CHAMP GAMES did a hell of a great job on this game. I found myself hooked just after a few minutes. I highly recommend this game!!! Do yourself a favor and buy this game. Its That good! Lady bug is a real gem to have in any atari collection. The game rocks!!!!
john gaither on 01/16/2007 09:02am
All i can say about Ladybug for the Atari 2600 is wow! Having played and owning the Colecovision version of this game i was already a fan of it but i was just blown away how good this game is on the 2600.The sounds are dead-on,the graphics are top-notch,and i feel it controls much better than its Colecovision counterpart.The art work on the cart and in the manual are excellent as well.Champ Games has themselfs a winner with this one.I can't wait to see what they come out with next.Do yourself a favor and go pick this game up today if you havnt already you wont regret it i promise you.
Stan Dean on 12/26/2006 11:29pm
Inspired! Lady Bug for the VCS is simply amazing. Unlike many other ports for the VCS, this game IS what it promises. If you love Lady Bug, this is for you. If you have no idea what Lady Bug is, this is an exceptional way to be introduced to this wonderful game. The graphics are nice looking, the sound is spot-on, and the gameplay is simple, yet addictive. This maze-dot game will take a lot more than mindless gobbling. Strategy and pacing a vital to staying alive for those later rounds! Once you put this game in, be prepared to play for a few hours. Lady Bug is as addictive and fun as any VCS game in your library.
Steve Juon on 12/15/2006 05:16am
It's been a long time since I've written a review, but this one is worth stepping back onto the scene for. As I had chosen a distinctive color shell to house my copy, I got a polite notice via e-mail that there had been a parts delay and my game would take a little longer to ship. Anticipation makes the heart grow fonder, so I read the posts in the AtariAge forums and patiently waited for my cart to arrive. Could it be as good as everyone had said? Well color me AND my cart shell red, because this is about as damn fine an arcade translation on the humble Atari VCS as there has ever been. This was one of my all-time favorite arcade games the few times I got to play it at Showbiz Pizza (yes long before their name was insipidly changed to Chuck E. Cheeze) and each time left me wanting for more as a kid. I want no longer! The faithful translation of all gameplay elements and surprisingly accurate graphics stunned me. I suppose I would be called on the carpet if I said this exceeded the ColecoVision version, but I don't think it hurts to say that this one rivals it in quality. If your Atari's been gathering a little dust of late, this game will definitely blow it off.
Raul Torres on 12/07/2006 03:04pm
Wow! I can't believe this game is this good on the 2600. What a wonderful port. All the elements seem to be there, this has to be one of the best Homebrews available.
Nathan Strum on 11/29/2006 02:07pm
Lady Bug is a port of the classic arcade game, in which you maneuver a ladybug around a maze, eating dots (flowers), avoiding enemy bugs, and earning bonuses by collecting letters and hearts scattered throughout the maze. But Lady Bug isn't merely another Pac-Man clone, since you can swing doors around to change the layout of the maze and throw the enemy bugs off your trail, and earning bonuses figures into the strategy of how you play the game. Collecting enough letters to spell EXTRA earns you another life, and spelling SPECIAL earns you a bonus round where you can rack up a ton of points. You'll have to decide which letters to pick and when, since if they're the wrong color, they won't be credited to you, and even picking up the hearts at the wrong time can cost you big points. Do you go for points, or just try to get out of the maze before all of the bugs are released and chase you down? Lady Bug is an amazing achievement. All of the elements from the arcade game (and even the ColecoVision port) are here, including all of the enemy bugs, levels and bonuses. The graphics (which I may be a little biased towards) are colorful and bright, and considering how much is happening on screen, the flicker is expertly handled and hardly noticeable once you're into playing the game. The sound effects and music are first-rate, and excellent tributes to the arcade originals. Lady Bug may very well be the best and most feature-complete arcade port for the Atari 2600. Best of all, it's just a really fun and challenging game, and I highly recommend it!
Brian Rittmeyer on 10/31/2006 10:58pm
It's a real shame that most people have long forgotten the Atari 2600. Some of the best games to ever be made for the pioneering game console are coming out just today. Case in point - Lady Bug.

Produced by John Campeau's Champ Games, and finally answering a 23-year-old question - Why can't I play this game on a 2600? - Lady Bug ranks among the best arcade-to-home conversions for the 2600. Everything is here - the look, the sound, the game play. Even the opening "rom ok, ram ok" is reproduced.

A classic maze game, in the style of Pac-Man, Lady Bug offers a few twists. Lady Bug is able to open and close gates in the maze to help fend off the various insects that pursue her. About the only difference from the arcade is that in this version, the gates are mirrored, left to right, but I don't find that to be a concern. More importantly, unlike the arcade, Lady Bug will turn only when she can, and not into a solid wall - an annoyance of mine in the arcade game.

And unlike Pac-Man, which is just eat and run, Lady Bug may require a little thought and planning - letters in the maze will spell the words "EXTRA," for an extra life, or "SPECIAL," for a bonus stage. But the letters only count if they are the right color - yellow for extra, red for special. Which letters do you need? What color should they be? Should I get the a yellow E for extra, or a red one for special? Decisions, decisions... but don't think too long, or a bug might get you!

Three difficulty levels allow players of any skill to get into the game. On standard, the difficulty is just right - not so easy that the game is boring, but not so hard as to make a player give up in frustration.

A full manual details everything else you need to know. The manual and cartridge feature stunning artwork by Nathan Strum.

Lady Bug is a must-have for any 2600 or 7800 console owner. Absolutely worth the money.
William Potter on 09/24/2006 03:04pm
A game that was originally announced in a Coleco catalogue back in 1982 only to become vaporware has finally saw the light of day due to to the efforts of Champ Games!
Lady Bug is quite possibly the best arcade port to VCS ever released, all of the elements of the coin-op classic are there including the "Special" and "Extra" bonuses.
When playing Lady Bug by Champ Games it is easy to forget that you are playing an Atari 2600, it is that unbelievable!
I give this game my highest rating.

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