Year Of Release: 1983
Mappy was developed by Namco and published by them in Japan, but in the West it would be Midway who would publish the game. Released in 1983 this was one of the earliest platform style games and one of the most popular games of its day especially in Japan. The hardware that ran the game was actually pretty advanced for the time and required Namco to make a modified version of the Namco’s Super Pac-Man Board to allow for the smooth horizontal scrolling in the game.
The player controls Mappy who is a police mouse who needs to retrieve a whole bunch of stolen loot from a house that is overrun by the Meowky a gang of no good cat crooks who keep stealing stuff. There are five different kinds of loot that Mappy needs to find these are a radio, television, computer, Mona Lisa and a safe. They are worth different points values and if Mappy can get a matching pair of items then he will earn a score multiplier. Another way to get extra points is by finding the boss of the Meowky, Goro (no not the one from Mortal Kombat!) if he is hiding behind an item then you will get extra points for catching him.
Mappy plays like a traditional platform game where you use the joystick to move him around and you also have an action button top open doors. Mappy can lose a life by being touched by one of the Meowky or by falling and not landing on a trampoline. Mappy can use trampolines to move up the level, but a trampoline can only be jumped on four times before it breaks. You can also get more points by taking down the Meowky. Mappy can do this by shutting or slamming the doors and by using special microwave doors that emit a ray, knocking down the cats! A level is cleared once Mappy has collected all of the loot on the level.
Current High Score: 1,277,410 by Greg R Bond
Mappy has a very strange set of home releases. Nintendo themselves would publish a version on the Famicom in Japan, but despite Mappy being a popular game it was never released for the NES. A few different home computers such as the MSX and a couple of Japanese PC’s would get a port of the game along with the Sega Game Gear. While many other popular arcade games of the 80’s would be ported to pretty much anything that was capable of playing a video game. For some odd reason this was not the case with Mappy.
While Mappy was popular in the West, it was much bigger in Japan. Resulting in there being sequels that never made it out of the country. In 1986 Hopping Mappy would be released into arcades in Japan. This game would still see Mappy the police mouse putting cats in their place, but this time he was on a pogo stick.
In 1989, Namco released the very weird platform game, Mappy Kids for the Nintendo Famicom only in Japan. In this game, Mappy must prove he can be a good provider before his girlfriend will marry him……. We did say it was weird!
Mappy is a game that has appeared in numerous arcade collections over the years. Such as Namco Classic Collection Vol. 1 on the Sony Playstation and as part of the Famicom Mini Series for the Game Boy Advance in Japan.