Ever played a game you just played at random for no reason, you’re bad at it first time but after you realise what to do not only are you pretty good at it but actually enjoy it, well this is Mappy (マッピー Mappī?), developed and published by Namco and was released in March 1983 in Japan and April 1983 in the US. So it’s a play on the cat and mouse chase as some cats have stolen some goods and it’s up to the Mappy the mouse police officer to retrieve them back.
Did you Know? The name “Mappy” is likely derived from mappo, a Japanese slang term (slightly insulting) for a policeman.
You play as Mappy as you go around a mansion retrieving stolen goods while being chased around by cats called Mewkies (Meowky in the U.S. version, I don’t know why) and one red cat Nyamco, the boss of the cats. You can open doors to pass though, you can use to knock cats down if they’re near and you have microwave doors that can blow cats away if they’re near. Woah, nuclear doors, that’s something new.
The mansion has six floors of hallways in which the stolen items are located, a Radio, a Television, Computer, Mona Lisa and a Safe. These items come in pair, if you get a specific item in pairs, you get double the points. You can move between floors by bouncing on trampolines to go whether floor you need to go. When you pass in the air, Mappy is can’t get hurt by the cats, but should Mappy run into a cat anywhere else you die. This game takes a lot of strategy because you can get boxed in by cats, like Pac-Man, but while you getting boxed in is your fault and you could have thought of another way, you’re more likely to get boxed in and can be unfair at times.
Overtime, the stages change and get harder, like having a loft, bells over trampolines and a hurry up sign will come quicker.
As there are 256 rounds, like in Pac-Man and other 8-bit arcade games, the last round’s play is normal, but harder than usual. When the player finishes the round, which is also known as “round 0,” the first round appears again. Couldn’t they just start at round 1 again, it couldn’t be that hard to program could it?
Did you Know? Mappy runs on Namco Super Pac-Man hardware, modified to support horizontal scrolling.
Overall, I really enjoy this simple arcade game, it can be very challenging, the graphics is pretty good, its aged OK, I love the theme music, it’s so catchy, it’s that old-time London style tune. It’s a simple fun game that tick most of the boxes of how to be an unforgettable game.
You can get it on Arcade Super Cassette Vision, iOS, MSX, PC-6001, PC-8801, Family Computer, Palm OS, X1, Game Gear, Wii (Virtual Console) and Windows Phone.