Monday, April 04, 2016

Mouse Trap

Billed as "old in style but brilliant in design" is Micro-Value's 1987 platformer, Mouse Trap which is based on the original Acorn Electron game!! We are Marvin The Mouse who desperately wants to win back the heart of his ex-girlfriend that left him for another. She must be quite a materialistic female because he has had to come up with a cunning plan to get her back - scrounge dozens of rooms looking for precious items... Yep, that'll work.


This is a cruel and unforgiving game. Make a mistake and it's usually too late to go back to that piece of the level which will probably result in a life lost! Each screen is a separate room and you cannot progress to the next until all items are collected. Completing a screen is a matter of working out the best route rather than what simply looks like the quickest. There's also a time limit, so hit the 'F' key to pause and examine the map to determine which route you should take. Only then, may you scurry away to your cool little mouse hole to exit (which I love).


Mouse Trap has some of the most curiously weird baddies I have ever seen in a platformer. Check out the old man with the big nose who appears on level two - I hear you should hide behind a wall and avoid him at all costs... Others are just plain crud, like the floating skulls with their awful design, yet somehow it works and it works perfectly. I must admit, I initially found the joystick controls a little fiddly and perplexing. For example, if you're facing left and then move to turn right, then Marvin will not only turn around but he also annoyingly walks a couple of steps in that direction. However, the game's only true failing is the lacking a save game feature, which baffles me!


Mouse Trap is so charming with incredibly challenging screens which are as difficult as they are addictive. Yes, I've enjoyed this and cannot help but recommend what is nothing more than a blimmin' excellent platformer!!


 - Mouse Trap can be installed onto hard disk thanks to 8BitChip or floppy.
 - It's challenge time!! Can you beat my current Hi-Score? No? I didn't think so!!

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