"Mouse Trap, Mouse Trap, Cheese is the bait". . . lyrics from the song Mouse Trap by Buckner and Garcia off their Pac-Man ever Album. This game was popular enough to have a song written about it, but only 3 home versions were released in the Joystick (Classic) era. With Coleco having exclusive rights to this Exidy game, it was limited to the 3 systems that Colecovision programmed for.
You are the mouse collecting cheese, dog bones and other treasures and must avoid the cats and the hawk. Trapped like a rat in a maze, you must collect all the cheese to move to the next level. Each dog bone collected allows you to turn into a dog for long enough to get away and/or to eliminate a few cats in the process. Bonus points are earned, and escalate in value, for each successive treasure collected, and cat you catch while you are a dog. The maze has 3 colored doors that must be opened or closed to get all of the cheese, but you can also use them to avoid or trap the cats. Once the level begins, the cats will come out one at a time, to play (chase you) in the maze. Later levels and starting options allow for the cats to come out faster, chase you faster and/or be smarter. But, you must also keep away from the hawk who will come out and kill your mouse, even if it has turned into a dog. The center of the maze lies an IN passage that takes you to one of the 4 corners. The bones and treasures are always near to the corners.
Extra lives are all too generously given out and keep you going - like forever - so play one of the more challenging settings or prepared to get bored.
Aracade Game Designed by: Larry W. Hutcherson Sr.
Classic Platforms: Atari 2600, Colecovision, & Intellivision.
Categories: Gameplay, Addictiveness, Graphics, Sound & Controls
Here's a game that I've never really played much of, and I must apologize that I didn't do much homework, such as playing the MAME or arcade versions either. I think that all of the gameplay was included on the Colecovision and Intellivision versions.
Bronze Medal: Atari 2600 (29)
Anyhow, the Sound was not too bad (5), but there is no music and not much else going for it. On a positive note, the Controls are perfect (10) and you get what you want, when you want it. Each tap of the stick moves you exactly one unit along the maze. The Graphics are pretty good (7) and do not detract form the game. There just isn't much used. The Addictiveness is lame scoring a (4). When there really is not that much going on, the game isn't worth playing.
Silver Medal: Colecovision
Added features include a brief intermission for every level, and every new mouse played. The game pauses while the new mouse runs from the top left (extra life reserve area) and moves on down to the maze. A feature that is different on the CV and INTY is the cat warning - when a cat is ready to leave one of the 4 the waiting boxes and jump into the maze. The INTY provides an audio cue, whereas the CV is purely visual. Too bad I discovered this after my marathon game ended. I got used to the easy to notice INTY audio alert, and noticed later that on the CV, the cat stops pacing when it is ready to pounce. Perhaps the arcade version was purely visual, which actually is more challenging, and realistic. There is no pause button, which is odd, and unfortunate for a CV game [although . . . when playing without a hawk, you can lock yourself into a box and hide - ie pause]. As is usual, the CV version (& INTV) offers 2 player games, and 4 levels of difficulty. Unfortunately, they did not have the wisdom to program game 1 to add the hawk at some point - thus playing game 1 becomes a marathon.
The Controls were fair (5), but again a major frustration. None of my five CV sticks give me the control that I really want. This score would be worse if not for the Amiga stick. I also like the Intellivision button controls better than the CV. The indentations of the CV control buttons, rather, the plastic between the keypads hinders me - blocks my shot (button press). When I need to press on that Dog Bone button, I want it now. The door color layout was good and easy to remember, Red, White (actually Yellow) and Blue across the top of the controller. The overlays are pretty, but not necessary.
The Graphics are crisp (8), the best of the
three and include all of the bonuses and effects that you'd want from a game,
but nothing really spectacular. The Sound is pretty good (7), but I liked the
INTY a wee bit better. Finally, the Addictiveness is decent (6), but suffers
from the complexity and difficulty of using the controllers.
Come back in the cold icy days of February when I plan to push a few ice blocks around and review Pengo for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Commodore 64 and Atari 8 bit.
(Alan Hewston is now looking for the Colecovision version of Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns - if you have one for sale or trade, Pitfall Harry can be reached at Hewston95@stratos.net Stay tuned for a possible Retrogaming Times review of the really Lost Caverns of Pitfall II - the Adventurer's Edition. And if the DP Guide finally arrives next month, I may get my list of 2000 Video Games updated and published.)