Namco - 1983 - Arcade
Mappy is one of Namco’s better know plateformers, made popular by its tough gameplay and cute characters. In it you play as Mappy; a police mouse, that has entered the Mansion of the Mewkies; a group of literal cat burglars and their leader Goro. Mappys job is to retrieve the stolen treasures for the Mewkie Mansion, all while avoiding being caught by the roaming burglars. The games main goal is to collect as many points as possible before you lose all your mice.
Mappy’s main goal it to navigate the floors of the Mewkie mansion collecting the stolen goods. The level scrolls with you from left to right, which can be trouble when the Mewkies are off screen. They will often take the best path to cut you off, so be cautious when proceeding. Unlike many plateformers, Mappy doesn’t have the ability to jump on his own. Never fear though because, for some odd reason, the Mewkies have placed trampolines all over their mansion. Using these trampolines, Mappy can maneuver to the floors above, or in some cases even get into the attic of the mansion. These tramplines will weaken and change color with each consecutive jump though, and once they turn red they will snap, sending Mappy to his death. The Mewkies will also use these trampolines while chasing you, but lucky for Mappy, they can’t hurt you while you are on the trampoline with them. Other then the trampolines, the mansion is also full of doors that can be used to your advantage. There are 2 types of doors, regular and colored. If Mappy opens the regular doors while running from the Mewkies, the door will throw him back at them, knocking them down. However, the Mewkies can also open the door on Mappy, which will have the same effect on him. When Mappy opens the colored doors, the will fire a beam out that will catch all the Mewkies in its path and send them back to their starting point. You will also recieve a bonus for the number of Mewkies captured.
Collecting the stolen items of course is the main point of the game, and you can only progress to the next level after they have all been retrieved. There are 2 of each item in each room. When collecting items, you can either grab all the ones in your path, or you can try and collect each pair of items for a growing point bonus. You can also receive a bonus by collecting an item when the Mewkie leader, Goro, hides behind it. Goro’s behavior is different from the other Mewkies. While the Mewkies are constantly chasing you and attempting to box you in, Goro just does what he pleases. His behavior is reminiscent of Clydes from Pac-Man; seeming to just wonder and move without thought. Every few levels, you get to play a bonus game where you guide Mappy through a trampoline covered series of halls. The goal is to collect all the red balloons (stingers) and try to pop the blue balloon a the end (featuring Goros face) within the time limit. Getting all the balloons will require speed and strategy, mainly in knowing how and when to break the trampolines below you.
With its unique play mechanics, and challenging game play, Mappy is definitely a must play for platforming fans. The game play is simple, yet challenging. Keeping track of the Mewkies movement and avoiding them, all while trying to get the best score will force the player to stay on their toes. Deciding whether its best to risk going for the big points now, or try and make a run for it adds to the fun of the game. Fast paced, fun and adorable, I’d definitely recommend giving Mappy a go.