#41 Mr Do!

Posted: 26th April 2011 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , ,

49th game played so far

Genre: Maze
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release
: 1982
Developer: Universal
Publisher: Taito

Now, as one of the last in our quest to play little known, obscure games not on the list, we’re going to cover our first ‘Maze’ game, an old variant of Dig Dug where you go around as a clown digging through the earth to collect cherries while being chased by monsters I only saw in my darkest (yet most colourful) nightmares. I will not sleep well tonight.

Our Thoughts

This game is older than I am, unfortunately, although I do remember loving other games in the same genre. One of only 64 titles eh? Yes, a rather significant amount (or so it’d sound. 2^6 titles, oh yeah). As if this blog wasn’t geeky enough. Impossible.

What is there to say about a game where you play as a clown with a cherry addiction? Well, first that the graphics are, of course, dated, but that’s what we should be used to for this. No matter how pixelated they appear to be the clown is nevertheless a little bit scary. He even does the splits when apples fall on his head.

Of course you’ve got some proto-chocobo chasing you, which is as freaking, as well as whiteboards with letters on them. They only appear after you reach 5000 points though (which I obviously did (as did I)).


An interesting thing to note about this game is that there are numerous ways to complete each level (known here as scenes). The ‘easiest’ way to do so is to gobble up all the cherries. You can also complete it by killing all the red monsters, spelling out EXTRA by killing the letter monsters or by collecting a random diamond. You can kill them by shooting them with your mad clown powers or by dropping apples on their head. This is something that I came to appreciate about the game; it gives you options.

It does so in a very simple way, uncomplicated, while adding plenty of options and difficulties. There is quite a bit of variety in the game in that sense – how to win, the enemies, and the different levels, looks and colours. We might expect that from modern games, but not what I’d expect from a thirty year old game. Especially since it owes a lot to fusing the gameplay of Pac Man and Dig Dug (the latter of which was also released in 1982). Making you wonder whether the latter was much of an influence on the game… although possibly the industry was leading here already. It’s possible that they got wind of Namco’s latest game in development and decided to make an opposing title or the success of Pac Man it’s spin-offs created a niche in the arcade market that had already been saturated by shoot ’em ups. Either way could be possible, in either case there is an interesting similarity, and I’ll be looking forward to comparing the two when we get around to playing Dig Dug.

It’s just a pity that Bubble Bobble did not make it onto the list as the dinosaur had a nice cameo as one of the games many antagonists. Or rather, the dinosaur from this game became a main character in Bubble Bobble. Like how Pixar sneak glimpses of future releases into their projects. I doubt the developers were planning ahead that far at the time. Well we will revisit him in the 1994 game Puzzle Bobble. I look forward to his cute cartoon shenanigans. I shall try to remember to wave when we reach it.

Final Thoughts

This is one of those games where it’s easy to dismiss it as a repeat of other games, but regardless of how true that is, the game is tough – proper arcade tough that you don’t see as often these things – but fun and addictive through its fun gameplay that’s more varied than what your first impression would be. Even so, the graphics,while primitive, allow your imagination to become plenty freaked out when you think about I’m already imagining clowns chasing me down hallways, throwing balls and having apples fall on me while I do so.


  1. […] of influential. (Something that may not apply to all games of such an age. Who remembers Dig Dug or Mr. Do?) But does it still hold […]