(Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Mappy (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Game Review

Mappy Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

It's a cat-and-mouse game like no other as you take control of Mappy, a brave police-mouse.

Arguably the most popular game in the first batch of arcade releases, Mappy follows the formula of other succesful titles of the time, including Namco's own Pac-Man - Your job is to collect objects while avoiding all enemies. The premise is that a gang of cats, called the Mewkies, have stolen a bunch of goods, such as electronics and paintings, and hidden them in their elaborate mansion. As Mappy, a mouse cop, you have to go in and get all goods back while cleverly avoiding the Mewkies and their leader, Nyamco (Goro in the US).

Like most arcade games the game is divided into rounds. There are 15 rounds total, 4 of which are bonus rounds. If you manage to clear them all, you return to the first, but the difficulty will be slightly increased.

The mansion is quite strangely designed. Each normal level has six floors, but there's no stairs whatsoever - You move between floors by jumping on strangely placed trampolines. The Mewkies have to use the trampoline as well, but the good news is that when you're both on it, you can't be killed by them. The bad news though is that you can't keep bouncing forever - If you bounce too many times without getting off, the trampoline breaks and you fall to your death!

Of course that's not the only way to avoid getting killed - Every stage also has a number of doors, both normal ones and flashing "microwave doors", which you can use to temporarily stun the Mewkies. Slamming a door open in their face will knock them back, while opening a microwave door sends out a shockwave all the way across the level - Any Mewkies hit with it will be blown out of the stage completely, although they'll return not too much later.

Like any good arcade game there's bonus points to earn for the score freaks. For example, every item you have to retrieve has a point value - But if you manage to stay alive long enough, the more items you collect, the more the later ones will be worth. Therefore, if you want a lot of points, you should grab the lowest valued items first and the highest valued ones last.

Nyamco, the leader of the Mewkies, can sometimes also hide behind an item for a short while - If you run by and snag the item while he's hiding you'll get a bonus as well, but be careful, because if he happens to start moving again as you move in to grab the item you're a goner!

Then there's the bonus stages - In these you can take a short breather as there's no Mewkies to worry about. Instead you are presented with a cleverly designed maze of trampolines, littered with balloons. Obviously, the objective is to pop as many as you can, but good players will figure out a way to get every single one of them, earning another bonus.

As Mappy is a score-based game there's no continues - You can pump in as many credits as you want, but lose all lives and it's back to the first round with you! The VC version of Mappy includes two configurable options - You can set the amount of lives you get per credit, and you can set the point requirement to earn extra lives (Or you can disable extra lives completely!).

Conclusion

The game might not be as popular as Pac-Man or other Namco franchises, but as it stands it's still quite addictive and fun, even if it does get hard fairly fast. For 500 points you also get the best version of the game Namco has made, so what's not to like?

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User Comments (51)

timp29

#1

timp29 said:

Wow, vc-reviews staff are hard at work. What happens if hanabi festival starts tomorrow?? lol

I never played Mappy. Do people think this game would still be fun for those who don't have nostalgic reasons to play it?

Adamant

#2

Adamant said:

Only 7? Come on, what is it with this site downrating score-based games?

DrakeStaff

#3

Drake said:

@ timp29: It is one of the better score-based games, if you ask me.

@ Adamant: 7's a good score, really, I don't see what the problem is :p

Bass_X0

#4

Bass_X0 said:

What happens if hanabi festival starts tomorrow??

All the games we're getting have been released in America already.

timp29

#6

timp29 said:

You're right bass... I guess vc-reviews staff can take the weekend off and well umm... play games. :p (can i have a job?)

Chunky_Droid

#7

Chunky_Droid said:

So judging by the screen shots, it maintains its aspect ratio, which is higher than it is wide. So I'd assume there's a big black area on each side of your television?

Also, is there a button you press that inserts more credits or something? And can you pump them in mid-game?

Viral

#10

Viral said:

When you say "insert more credits", does it cost Wii Points to do so? It's very disconcerting... :(

DrakeStaff

#11

Drake said:

Of course not, you can throw in endless free credits, it's mapped to the controller :p

If you press + and 1 together, you insert a credit, if you press + and 2 you start the game.

TwilightV

#12

TwilightV said:

^Or the ZL button if using the Classic Controller. I got Tower of Druaga, I think i'll get this one too.

KnucklesSonic8

#13

KnucklesSonic8 said:

lol, that would be horrible!

I thought the review was quite informative and I appreciated it. :) Thank you for your review, Drake. I never tire of seeing your reviews, especially with seeing your Toki Tori icon. :)

anthonyb

#14

anthonyb said:

This game ROCKS. I downloaded yesterday and it's so addictive. 8/10 for me- a great pick-up and play.

Crunc

#17

Crunc said:

I like Mappy, but $5 seems like a lot for it. This game has been on Namco collections before and there you get other games too, and those collections are cheap.

morphballer

#19

morphballer said:

@ TwilightV:

It's nice to see some games are finally making use of the Z buttons on the classic controller.

Jazzem

#20

Jazzem said:

That's a thought, they could have an alternative service for these arcade games where there is no initial charge, but you have to pay Wii points for credits. It'd bring the arcade experience home!

Sean_Aaron

#21

Sean_Aaron said:

Got this on Namco Museum Remix; hard to see how it would differ beyond the fact you get the coin drop.

It's a fun little game. I used to be crap at it in the arcades; now that I'm older and wiser I can even get all the balloons in the bonus round (well, if I time it right...).

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#22

Philip_J_Reed said:

I might pass on this, but only because I've just plunked down money for my pre-ordered DSi. Any more game purchases and I may have to start skipping meals. :)

Great to see arcade games on the VC though. I'm sure it won't be long before there are plenty of releases of this type that I can't resist...

Link79

#23

Link79 said:

So how is tower of Druaga? It's the only game besides this one that looks slightly interesting.

Adamant

#26

Adamant said:

"Adamant? Are you from Acmlm board??"

Oh wow, that's quite a while ago.

Yes, yes I am.

Kawaiipikachu

#28

Kawaiipikachu said:

Gee I think I'm turning Japanese here.
Nyamco is a mix of the Japanese cat espresson nyan & namco.
Nyan is like saying meow as an espression.
But still this game not really for me espcally as it makes the cats as the bad guys.

TwilightV

#30

TwilightV said:

The title screen has a 2009 copyright on it, as well as the original names of the cats.

DrakeStaff

#31

Drake said:

Yeah, every arcade game seems to have 2009 added to the title screen. Probably a legal requirement.

brooks83

#32

brooks83 said:

@ Drake - Star Force didn't. Which is why I think Namco put the Namco Museum Remix versions of the games up, kind of like how Nintendo put the 2003 version of Legend of Zelda on the VC.

Sean_Aaron

#33

Sean_Aaron said:

@Link79: I didn't care for Tower of Druaga on the original Namco Museum releases for the Playstation. It's kind of a proto-RPG; ditto for the Return of Ishtar and Legend of Valkyrie. It's sort of a dungeon crawler, but I found the hit detection too uneven and lots of dying and not being able to figure out what exactly I was trying to do.

Dragon Buster is a bit more straightforward and I enjoyed that more.

MarkyVigoroth

#34

MarkyVigoroth said:

After playing this (despite a previous bad experience with a #7 game), I can say that I find this game fun (not "immersive RPG" fun, but "casual play" fun). (I am relieved that the trampolines reset after a bit of rest.) I only have two frets:

1) I want the turns to alternate when you beat a level AS WELL AS losing a life!
2) More like an inconvenience than a fret, I keep forgetting that I still keep my turn after the bonus stage!

Sean_Aaron

#35

Sean_Aaron said:

The key to Mappy is to not panic and take your time. Learn to use the doors properly as they will save your ass when you look trapped. Always remember to close doors after opening them so you can use them in defense if you end up on the other side further down the line. Also be sure to pick up the items in pairs. Once you get one the matching one will start flashing. You get massive bonus multipliers if you can get them all and a nice score.

Bass_X0

#36

Bass_X0 said:

A 7 seems acceptable for now but once we get into nineties arcade games, Mappy will seem completely over-rated in comparison. That is if we ever get them at all.

TRON

#38

TRON said:

Mappy is the best of the four released. It's as fun as Pac-Man, but this gives me hope for Donkey Kong arcade, and many later ones like Raiden... and, yea Tron.

Sean_Aaron

#40

Sean_Aaron said:

Tron would be nice, but you're talking a Disney licensed property on a standalone release. The only time I'm aware of the arcade games being emulated was for the Tron 2.0 game release where they were included as bonus content. I'd be up for it, but I seriously doubt we'll see any licensed property appearing on VCA in the near future if at all.

Even more than Raiden I'd love to see Raiden 2.

brooks83

#41

brooks83 said:

Well, they did bring Tron and Discs of Tron to the XBLA, so a release on VCA may happen one day. It would be nice to see some other licensed games!

metakirbyknight

#42

metakirbyknight said:

I used to play Mappy a lot. SO MUCH MONEY! I already have the TV Plug-n-Play thing, but I'm going to get this anyway.

Sean_Aaron

#43

Sean_Aaron said:

@ brooks83: really? Excellent; maybe when Tron 2.0 came out they renegotiated the rights. Hopefully Midway will get it together for us.

#45

said:

Yay, Mappy! If Namco's compilations weren't horribly overpriced, I'd already own this game. I'll probably splurge on the $20 Namco Museum Anniversary Collection, which I've heard is barebones and a small collection of older games, before I get this on here. :P

For everybody else though, Mappy is a pretty cool game. Not for everybody I suppose.

Sean_Aaron

#46

Sean_Aaron said:

@PuppetMasterKuruku: Namco Museum Remix also has it and should be pretty cheap with a better presentation and some games that aren't on the Anniversary Collection (though the Anniversary Collection also has some games that aren't on Remix, so I have both -- the less-than-stellar port of Galaga makes me sad so I have hopes the missing titles from Remix will end up on VCA so I can dump the Anniversary Collection).

KnucklesSonic8

#47

KnucklesSonic8 said:

If I didn't have this on Namco Museum Remix, I'd SO be getting this right now. I didn't even realize it was in the collection till just the other day! Gaplus is there also.

Oh and I'm sure you could find Namco Museum Remix at a reasonable price. I got it used for $10 and it was worth it. :)

Ricardo91

#48

Ricardo91 said:

Oh man, I love Mappy! But man is it hard though. I usually lose by stage 3 or 4 lol. I can never get all the baloons in the bonus stages either. Those time limits are too short!

Perhaps the difficulty is part of the reason why it never did as well as Dig Dug or Pac-Man in America. It's a shame; It deserves to be up there with other Namco classics.

Ricardo91

#49

Ricardo91 said:

@Sean Aaron. I have the Anniversary collection too, and even though I play it a lot, it's pretty lousy. The only reason I kept it was because of Galaga 88. As soon as Pole Psoition II and Dragon Spirit (I like it, despite being next to impossible) hit VCA, I'm gonna sell it for Remix. I can just DL the TG-16 version of Galaga 88. I'm sure gonna miss hearing the Fine Young Cannibals every time I go to the menu though. :P

EDIT: Hey, waddya know? All the games I want are on the Xbox 360 collection! With those and the inxluded Xbox Live games, I'm definitely picking that one up! Now all I need is a 360...

EDIT 2: With those 2 collections, I'll then own 3 Museums! God I'm such a sucker... :P

FinalFantisiac

#51

FinalFantisiac said:

I remember playing this game some 5 years ago on some weird joystick console that included other games in it's purchase; it was difficult at first, then I became hooked onto it. Not right now, though...

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