Mappy Land Review by: endingsLittle mouse, big surprises
Mappy Land is the sequel to Mappy, which you are the titular hero mouse. In this game, you travel to 8 stages, collecting 6 of the required item before you can move to the next. The items needed could be 6 rings for instance, or 6 Christmas trees. You fill have to use trampolines to move between platforms and get them. In Mappy's way stands the Guchi Gang, a quartet of small pink cats and their ringleader, a tubby tabby named Nyamco (or Goro, depending on your localization). These guys will chase you around the stage, sometimes singular, sometimes ganging up. Each can be incapacitated by using items you pick up or temporarily defeated by special weapons unique to the stage itself. The gang will try to stop you on each stage, and the only safe location is the trampolines, however they will change color and eventually break if you stay on one for too long. Once you clear all 8 stages, then you must fetch a new item on all 8 stages, but it will include all new levels and sometimes a secret item is needed to clear the way to the door.
You can pick up special tools on the stages as well, they randomly appear. They are 1) A cat toy that makes the pink cats dance around it, unable to hurt you. 2) A gold coin that draws the gang boss's attention (just him) 3) a pot full of catnip - this will comatose any pink cat that comes near it. 4) Fish- probably the best item, as it works for both the boss and his pink goons. Throw it and they will run after it instead.Graphics
The title screen doesn't look special, and its true there are games with better graphics overall. But TAXAN has paid attention to details for this game, and that gives Mappy Land a slight edge over mediocre graphics. The characters are all quite cartoony, but the bad guy leader Nyamco gets a special mention for his costumes. He dresses up differently 8 times to match the theme of each stage. So in the wild west hes an outlaw, in the jungle hes got a grass skirt, on the graveyard stage he's a mummy or vampire, complete with fangs and a cape! You also can see some small detail in each stage, such as the wooden floor planks on the wild west buildings, the detail in the houses for the city stage.The good
: details are very nice, such as the grinning pink cats when you use the catnip. The costume changes for the evil leader and in the stages.The bad
: Your poor hero looks rather plain, and some stages, such as the jungle one, are not as vibrant and look more dull.Sound
The sound for this game isn't bad. Each stage has its own music, and some are catchy. Some of course, are not. There is also a special track that speeds up tempo when you're taking a long time finishing a stage, and small bonus rooms have their own music.
: There is a lot of music, every stage has its own loop, and sometimes within that stage there are other tunes to be heard in special rooms. Bonus point for including the original Mappy song in one sub-stage.The bad
: Nothing great, and the title doesn't have any music at all for some reason. With the poor title graphics and no sound of the main menu, Mappy Land's first glance is rather uninspiring.Addictiveness
This is a fun game. What I really like about it is your hero is just like Jerry from Tom & Jerry, he has many ways to get himself out of trouble. The stages change for each of the four levels of collecting (cheese for 8 stages, then rings for 8, etc) , and some become much harder, adding walls, a special item to pick up before exiting. There is a lot more replay here than meets the eye.
: Grinding through 8 stages then doing it all over is not even a bother. The layout has changed, as well as the requirements for some stages. It all still feels fresh. And your hero has all kinds of tools at his disposal for the Guchi Gang, and each stage has unique weapons.The bad
: The stages that require a secret item don't tell you right off they do, so it might involve some backtracking. You will just proceed through the gate and then find no bridge, for example, so you need to get that fixed to continue. Also the very last stage of meeting Mapico, Mappy's girlfriend seems like a bonus stage, but makes you replay it continually until you get it just right. It wouldn't be such a problem but it specifically says no bonus.. its not a bonus if you make us pick it up!Story
I do like the item you have to collect advances the story. The first object to fetch is cheese, which alltogether, makes a birthday present for Mapico. Then you need to collect wedding rings (48 of them? greedy?) to propose. It all follows a simple story of a mouse's life, although it could have been fleshed out more. I mean, Mappy is a cop in the first game.. why not get on these bad guys and lock em up?
: Each item has a relevance to the plot. And at least there is an attempt at a story.The bad
: Other than settling Mappy's personal life, there isn't much to this story, it could have tried a lot harder. Why is the Guchi Gang roaming free all the time?Depth
I've already mentioned you can play the game through 4 times, each with different layouts and requirements for the stages, that is huge right there, but there's more. I'll also go into some of the other features, namely the weapons, and the bonus stage. The bonus stage is unique in that you have to be on a trampoline and have it break, but it will take you to a special area, the only place you can get a one up. Each stage has one or two weapons you can use at any time to stop the gang, and unlike the distractions of say the gold coin, it works on any of them. The first stage has zip lines, jump up and kick any in your way. The second has boxing gloves that stay in place and pummel any walking by for a period of time. It also has a cannon that will shoot one time only. Each stage has something, and its fun to try them out.
: The stages are varied for each level, and short enough that you don't get stuck burning a lot of time on them. Which is good because playing the same 8 stages 4 times could get old fast.The bad
: The grind of doing the stages over I could see being a drag on some people, even if they are short enough to prevent ADD.Difficulty
This is a pretty easy game. Other than some tricky jumps on the jungle 4th stage with some trampolines, you won't have too much difficulty eventually passing a stage. And you can keep trying until you do. Mappy has many tools to deal with the cats, and there is no bosses, so nothing should stop most players except some jumps and hard to find stage items.
The good: Unlimited continues! The bad guys are always present but not in your face chasing you constantly, giving you time to breathe.The bad: The bad guys are sometimes not even a factor if you can get the items fast enough. You can breeze through the stage and hardly see them. Also I hate how if you continue, you need to select that, and not new game, which is the first option. Always be careful when you lose your last life, as you might press the button too fast and start back at square one.
Final score: 7
This is a fun game that one can just jump right into. The silly bad guys and the stoic mouse protagonist Is almost right out of Saturday morning cartoons. I enjoyed Mappy Land, and all its stages had to offer.