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Hopping Mappy - June 25, '00 by Dorsola
Game:Hopping MappyCompany:Namco
Type:PuzzlePlayers:1/2

As I said before, Namco is one of the companies that seemed to go through a whole bunch of different phases during the Video Game Revolution. First, they created some great games that were innovative, challenging and fun to play - games based on simple rules, yet which could captivate their audience. And then, through some stroke of genius, they created a bunch of really bad sequels.
Hopping Mappy is one such sequel. In a new game that had almost nothing to do with its predecessor, you control Mappy while he and all of his arch-enemies hop around on pogo sticks. (Well, Goro is jumping around on his bare feet, and apparently he gets tired after a while.) Mappy, of course, is going around picking up ... things. Like cats and walruses and stuff. Are they stolen goods like in the original Mappy? Heck if I know... Occasional bonuses show up, sometimes interrupting the normal flow of gameplay (PRESS BUTTON FOR BONUS!), and sometimes it's just plain difficult to see what the heck is going on.
This game is classified as a puzzle game mainly because of the movements of your enemies. Timing and reflexes are the key to survival here, since the Naughty Folks jump back and forth in straight lines, and Goro sweeps the field one cell at a time. You have a limited amount of time to collect everything on the screen, and sometimes you'll have to make a jump at just the right moment to avoid getting caught.
Unfortunately, Hopping Mappy's control system is pretty bad. Aside from the ability to reverse direction instantaneously when hopping from one cell to another, you're forced to hop, wait for the hop to finish, then hop again, etc..., and the only aide you have is an "accelerate" button, which makes you hop faster. Not a very good control system for an already-poor concept.
The graphics and sound don't help much. The music gets old and repetitive very quick, and the graphics, while not necessarily hard on the eyes, could definitely have been better thought-out. (The color schemes for the various attract-mode graphics are just plain UGLY.) And, despite what you might think after reading the above description of the gameplay, this game isn't terribly challenging. The original Mappy was more of a challenge, really...
Really about the only truly good thing I can say about this game is that it performs very nicely in MAME. *shrug* ... As with most games I review, I recommend that you give it a try, but if you decide to keep it, you do so at your own risk. ;-)
Graphics
4
5
Sound
Play Control
3
5
Challenge
Replay Value
2
10
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
2000 EmuViews