Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What can you do, Mr. Do!

In 1982, Universal Distributing of Nevada, released a game that at first glance seemed to be merely a Dig-Dug clone. However the game Mr. Do! was something far more enjoyable perhaps than its arcade 'sibling' Dig-Dug.
I remember playing this for the first time at Showbiz Pizza, it was banished to the area where Popeye, Donkey Kong Jr., and Pole Position where kept. I suppose it might have been on the top floor when Showbiz first opened but was pushed downward as newer games like Congo Bongo and Moon Patrol arrived.
Mr. Do! is a circus clown whose task to finish each level is completed by either collecting all the cherries on screen or by killing all the monsters. This is how I played it when I was a youngling, kill the creatures and move on, not worrying about the score. To get the high scores you needed to collect the cherries, eight in a row would net you a bonus of 500 points.
Instead of a pump like Dig-Dug possessed to keep the monsters at bay, you had a Power Ball that could be thrown at the beasts, destroying them but taking longer and longer to reappear in your hand. If you missed a monster, perhaps if it was behind a fallen apple the Power Ball would not reappear and you had to go pick it up yourself.
Instead of boulders like in Dig-Dug the land of Mr. Do! has apples in the ground. While you can tunnel under them and let them squish the red beasts chasing you, unlike Dig-Dug, if you let it fall from a short height you could push the apple around and use it to set up the monsters so you might crush them all in a row. Of course Mr. Do! could be killed in the same way, sometimes the monsters would move the apple around to crush you beneath.
Whenever you received 5000 points a letter from the word EXTRA would appear in a tougher blue monster, one that could also dig through the ground destroying cherries if it touched them as it tried to reach you. If you defeated the beast you received the letter, collect all the letters and spell out EXTRA and you ended the level and received a cut scene as well as an extra life while being serenaded by the theme from Astro Boy.

I had a really hard time finding any suitable pictures of the Mr. Do! game, in fact the upper most picture is from Mr. Do's Castle, released in September of 1983. I like the Asian title of this game better, Mr. Do! versus the Unicorns.


Stewed Hamm said...

It wasn't uncommon to see newer Mr. Do game put into an older Mr. Do cabinet like that. Mr. Do's Castle and Do Run Run were where I stored the majority of my quarters as a kid.

Vic Sage said...

You are quite right, Stewed Hamm, in fact that was one of the key selling points of Mr. Do!, the flyer boasts how you can just swap the boards for the new game. I believe they even had decal stickers you could slap on the sides of the machine to proclaim it as the new Mr. Do! game.