Posted on August 16, 2001 - Arts/Entertainment - 0 Comments
Mappyland Title Screen

From the early days of Tom and Jerry to the current duet of Itchy and Scratchy, the world has been fascinated by a mouse overcoming the fight against its feline antagonists. In Mappyland this drama is further played out by a grotesquely over-sized rodent named 'Mappy' who is tormented by a horde of little pink cats and their pimp in a game that would be downright horrifying if you were Felinophobic.

Since there was no intro movie or text to explain just what in the hell was going on and since I was too damn lazy to look up the whole concept of this game online, I'll try to sum it up the best as I can through my experiences in playing this game. You play this giant bipedal mouse named 'Mappy' who for some reason can't lower his arms from a straight outward position. Mappy has this self-centered girlfriend named Mapica (or some cornball name like that) for whom he runs around like an idiot trying to collect various gifts to make her happy. Can you say whipped? All this while being chased down by this gang of midget cats (also bipedal) and their evil pimp overlord.

With all of these troubles, what is an over-sized mouse to do? Well for starters he has assembled a small arsenal of kitty suppressants to help keep the cats off his back. These devices include a flailing stick of some sorts, a bar of soap (I think), A jug of something or other, and a dancing fish. Go figure.

The Mappy Dance

The flailing object gets placed on the ground and waves around. Any of the small pink cats that get near it start going apeshit and dance around on one leg allowing you to pass them. The larger pimp cats are unfazed by such toys, to stop them you have to drop the bar of soap. When they see the soap lying there, they get all excited and start this little dance that makes their sexual orientation just a bit more ambiguous. After a few moments of waiting, they realize no one is coming to pick up the soap, so they start chasing poor Mappy again. The jar of unknown contents knocks out any cats that walk by it, so I'm assuming it is filled with something like ether, stop bath, chloroform, or a big dump that Mapica left in Mappy's toilet one day. The dancing fish just dances away and all the cats it encounters chase after it. What shines about the weapon pickup system is that programmers created the inventory system using a LIFO (last in, first out) structure. Which means that if you have one bar of soap, then pick up three dancing fish, and a big pimp cat is chasing you, you have to use all of your dancing fishes before you can drop the soap to divert the pimp.

The Art of Mappyland
The very best kindergarten artists where hired to develop the backgrounds for each level.

Asides from the pickups, there are quite a few weapons installed in the environments such as cannons, bowling balls and bombs that you can use to crush, maim and burn your feline adversaries. All while Mappy sits back and laughs maniacally while the mangled kittens scream out in hellish agony to their gods. Well, not really. They just fly off at a forty-five-degree angle and turn into a numerical value, then re-spawn about 10 seconds later. I did manage to kill about five kittens with a puff of smoke from a train once. I'm now on the PETA blacklist.

Now that we know what kind of heat Mappy is packing let's discuss the evil incarnations that all this firepower is meant to be used on. There are three basic enemies in this game that appear in each level. Five or so little pink cats, one larger cat that I assume is the little cat's pimp, and good old gravity itself. I can tell that the programmers must have used an incredible physics engine to generate the effects of gravity to kill poor Mappy. Just like in the real world, jumping down 5 feet from one platform to another will kill you instantly, while being shot off a trampoline and plummeting 15 feet to the ground won't hamper you in any way.

Is that The Flash?
Here we see Mappy getting devoured by The Flash

The little cats in whole are pretty dull and monotonous. They just run around in a semi-random pattern trying to get Mappy. Given the size of them compared to Mappy, he should be able to kick their asses and then proceed to wipe his own with their fur if he encounters them in a one on one situation. But they often gang up on him, so as King Kong Bundy discovered in Wrestlemania III, little people in large numbers can bring a big guy down.

The large cats are pretty much the same as the little cats, with the exception that they are bigger. They also play dress-up for every level to match the theme, which again feeds some ambiguity into their sexual orientation.

Now with all of this going on, poor old Mappy still has a mission at hand. That mission, to appease his self-indulgent girlfriend. To please her you just keep playing through the same eight levels collecting different items to please Mapica in various ways. First, you get her cheese for her birthday. Then you get her rings for your wedding. Then you get her trees for her Christmas party, and then you get baseballs for your son. After that, you start over collecting cheese again. I also just ruined the whole plot for you. Please don't hate me.

The map cycle for the eight environments is also set up in a very realistic and logical way. You start in a train station, then you cross a field to the old west, then you cross a bridge to the amazon and ultimately end up at a medieval castle. Now that I've played Mappyland I feel I wasted my time taking History and Geography classes. I mean, I could have just played Mappyland and gotten all the same accurate information!


No bonus for Mappy
Mappy gets an earful.

In closing, I'd like to point out that there really is only one enemy in this game. It isn't the hordes of kittens that chase Mappy, but rather, the ultimate enemy that Mappy must overcome is that of Mapica herself. Mappy is out there busting his ass and risking his life and dignity to collect gifts for this self-centered bitch. And when he finally makes it to her castle and tries to deliver to gifts, the ungrateful whore has the nerve to tell him "You weren't in time for my birthday party" or "You weren't in time for the Christmas party." Then makes him away to try again, and again, and again until he does it quick enough for her. This means that this little harlot rat is so self-indulgent that she is throwing birthday parties for herself almost every day of the week. Then she has the nerve to hiss and screech when everything isn't 100% perfect. That my friends; is true evil.

The Final Verdict

Eh...Despite the artificial humorous complaining used in this post, the game is actually kind of fun.

PS. Special thanks to the development team for adding a feature that lets you start on pretty much any level you want. It cut the time needed to prepare this document down drastically by requiring less time playing the game. Thus letting me keep hold of my already frail grip on sanity.

Tags: Video Games


Submit a Comment
Email address will not be displayed
Allowed HTML: <a>,<b>,<i>,<sub>,<sup>,<strike>