The Game: Mappy the Mouse stars in “Micro Police!” You are Mappy, a mouse determined to bring Boss the Big Bit and his kooky kitty kohorts to justice before they make a huge hail on a house heist. You can snatch up the potential booty yourself to keep it safe, and can temporarily foil your feline foes by slamming doors on them, or by opening special glowing doors which blast them away with a burst of sound. If you snatch up all the treasures and avoid the cats, it’s off to the next level. Periodically, you get to pop balloons on a bonus level for extra points. (Bally/Midway [under license from Namco], 1983)
Memories: You know, it’s just possible that Namco and Bally/Midway put the tail before the dog (or, in this case, the mouse) this time around. With the arcade cabinet’s positively mammoth marquee, and the hint that Mappy was the star of this game and would presumably star in future games, one wonders if the American distributors of Pac-Man were perhaps just a little too certain that everything coming out of their plants would be the dawn of a new franchise.
It’s not that Mappy wasn’t just simply adorable, but it was a hard game to get a strategic handle on. A home version would’ve helped some in this regard, but no such incarnation of Mappy appeared until the mid-1990s with the rare second volume of Namco Museum. With the benefit of hindsight, one can indeed see that there was a very fun game in there…but at the time, not everyone had the patience, or the hefty reserve of quarters, necessary to find those hidden depths in this one. One very obscure arcade sequel, Hopping Mappy, followed in 1986, released only in Japan, while a sequel on the NES, Mappy-Land, was released in both Japan and the U.S.