Namco’s Mappy is not just the latest pick of for the Retro Arcade Project. It also happens to be hands down one of my favorite arcade games of all time. In fact you might recall that I shared my love for it on Episode 18 of the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. While possessing cartoonish characters as you can plainly see in Christopher Tupa’s artwork. The game is quite challenging. Not to mention that I feel that Mappy happens to be one of the most overlooked offerings of the platform genre.
Besides of course sporting a rather unique arcade marquee. Mappy has a rather interesting cabinet design as well. Obviously a little more squat than your typical arcade games of the day. However in addition to that marquee it certainly makes it stand out.
The gameplay for Mappy is rather simple actually. The Player takes on the titular role, a mouse who also happens to be a member of the Micro Police. His task is to retrieve all of the stolen artwork and electronic equipment in each house. Pilfered I might add by the Meowkies gang. Which of course are bandit cats. In addition they are led by Nyamco or as his cronies call him – Boss The Big Bit! I must add that much like Pac-Man the names of your enemies differ depending on which region you are playing it.
Mappy moves up and down through the house by way of trampolines. Using the joystick the Player is able to determine which floor of the house that Mappy lands on. The Meowkies do this as well and are hot on the trail of the mouse cop. While our hero in fact carries a billy club, he sadly doesn’t use it to protect himself. Coming into contact with a Meowkie or Nyamco will of course cost the Player a life.
In Mappy you have to be careful how many times you jump on those trampolines. Each time you land and are launched into the air. The trampoline will change color. Our hero can use a trampoline three times but if you try a fourth time it will break and you will lose a life. While bouncing up and down on the trampoline at the very least, the Player needn’t worry about losing a life when passing his foes.
While our little hero doesn’t use that club to protect himself – he does in fact have a way to defend himself. An unorthodox way to dispatch those cat burglars. Mappy can use the doors throughout the houses. Opening a normal door, causes the Micro Policeman to be violently pushed back a little. Coming into contact with a Meowkie in hot pursuit will stun the kitty. Allowing Mappy to get by safely. However if the Player opens a power door – which flash in multiple colors. It releases a microwave that travels across the screen and pushes any foe it comes in contact with off the screen.
However this doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t soon be back. The only way for Mappy to finish the stage is to pick up all of the stolen items in each house. Although having said that there are bonus stages after 2 to 3 rounds. In these stages you must attempt to pop as many balloons as you can before the music is finished. While there are no enemies to speak of in this stage, you will in fact have to be on the ball to complete a bonus round.
By the way, if you are wondering about the name of this game. It is commonly believed that Mappy is a derivative of mappo. Which is actually a slang term, some see as an insulting name for a policeman.
Now that the basics of Mappy are out of the way. How about watching the game in action for yourself?
[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming
As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!
Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art Project as well!