Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Recommended Gaming: MAME GP32

Mr Do!
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Mr Do came out in 1982, soon after Dig Dug. It was a lot cuter and had deeper gameplay, but many people still preferred Dig Dug, I think because that's a more straightforward game. Mr Do however is an easy game to pick up and play once you understand gameplay mechanics, making for an excellent 'quicky' GP32 session. Controls are a 4-way joystick and fire button.
Your character is a circus clown, and you can dig through each level. You carry a 'powerball' you can throw at any time. It bounces it's way around passages, but it's a little tricky to predict exactly where it's bounce will take it when it comes to a junction. It'll just keep bouncing around till it hits an enemy or returns to you. If it hits an enemy it'll take a couple of seconds to respawn in your hands. Each time you kill a monster it'll take a little longer to respawn. Scattered around are cherries, eat all these or clear the level of monsters and the level ends. Apples are also scattered about, if you drop these on to a monster you'll kill him. The same applies to an apple dropped on you unfortunately, so be wary. Note that an apple does not have to be at the very edge of a precipice to be pushed over the edge: you can push them as far as you like horizontally until they come up against an obstacle. Also, it may appear that a thin wall separates the apple from a precipice (a good example can be seen to the left of the main verical shaft on the first level), but you can in fact push them right though this thin wall. Very useful fact to know, as the monsters cannot go through walls at all (though they change to 'diggers' if they get stuck behind an apple for a while, then they'll come after you no matter the barrier). Also note you can drop apples a single shaft height, which may help you to block monsters and then push the lot, apple and all, over a precipice. In the centre of the screen a treat will appear, eat this and all monsters will freeze, making them easy to pick off if you're in a hurry to clear the level. But in addition new monsters will appear, 4 'blue chompers' and a single 'alphamonster'. The alphamonster has a letter of the word EXTRA printed on him. If you kill 5 alphamonsters you'll get an extra life. You don't need to kill all the blue chompers, just go for the alphamonster and once you nail him all the blue chompers will turn into apples and the level will return to normal (the monsters will unfreeze). The alphamonsters will continue to appear, cycling through the letters.
There are many strategies in Mr Do, but basically when I play I stick to a tried and tested method: kill all but one or two monsters and then go for the food to spawn an alphamonster. Concentrate on him, pick him off, wait for another to spawn (trying to not end the level by killing the last monster), repeat until you get the EXTRA.
Note also sometimes a diamond will appear. Collect this and the level ends, though I have no idea what makes it spawn. Maybe someone out there knows?
I really enjoy Mr Do, it's a game that rewards an understanding of cause and effect, insomuch as you can change gameplay by triggering events.
You'll find it in the Classics folder of MameGP32, and it runs very nicely with sound if you give it just a little frameskip.

Reviewed by: Alyinsanfran


Blogger BobBorakovitz said...

ahh another classic game...I used to play the coleco version a ton as a kid. The arcade is of course the best! Great review as always, al!

Thu Jul 28, 04:36:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally Gameprobe is back !

Don't you just love it ?

Thu Jul 28, 12:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I love it! Thanks for keeping the spirit alive boys, and giving me gaming ideas while on the road.

frolik (forgot me password ;)

Fri Jul 29, 01:40:00 AM EDT  

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