How do you play retro games?

Mouse Trap (Atari 2600)

...
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37800)
Written on  :  Jun 07, 2004
Platform  :  Atari 2600
write a review of this game
read more reviews by *Katakis*

Summary

3% Toms + 1% Jerry = 0% fairness

The Good

Exidy Inc.'s Mouse Trap is a simple one-screen action game that is similar in many ways to the Pac-Man family. You control a little mousey, whose objective is to eat all the cheese that is lying around in the maze. You do this in order to go to the next one. This sounds easy, except for one thing.

There are severals cats that will escape from their kennels at opposite sides of the maze, and will eat you for dinner if you come into contact with them. There are also four bones that can be collected. What makes this game unique is the fact that unlike Pac-Man, where collecting the power pellets will make the ghosts turn blue, collecting one of the bones will cause you to transform into a bulldog if you press a button. Becoming a bulldog will let you chase the cats to put them back into their kennels. Unfortunately, the bulldog transformation lasts for about five seconds, so you need to act fast. Also, one press of a button will reconfigure the maze. This is especially useful if a cat is just inches behind you, and you need a quick escape.

In the Coleco version, I noticed a couple of differences. You see, apart from the main plot, you can also collect other goodies including a big piece of cheese, key, glasses, candle, horn, and ring. Collecting these will add to your bonus score. There is also the "in" door somewhere in the middle of the maze, enter it and you'll warp to one of the four corners of the maze. A hawk is also added to the list of characters. If he swoops down on you, you'll die whether you are turned into a dog or not. All of these features are missing in the Atari 2600 version.

Also missing are the enhanced sound and graphics that the Coleco version has, which is understandable since the 2600 is quite a primitive system today. Most of the sounds consists of one tones, and the graphics are no where near as good as the Coleco's.

The Bad

Your actions are performed using only one button, so I accidentally reconfigured the maze when I actually wanted to turn into a bulldog, and vice-versa.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, good game. Similar to Pac-Man but with minor differences. This game could have been improved, though, by adding more cats when you progress more through the game, rather than speeding them up. I was sure that I played this game the other way around, where I controlled one of the cats instead of a mouse, and the mouses were out to get me.

Rating: ***