Game of the Week (3/26/17) – Mr. Do!

Ah, Mr. Do….that crazy cherry loving clown who also moonlights as a spelunker. On the surface, Mr. Do! looks and plays a bit like Dig Dug which is a fair assessment since Mr. Do! was released about 8-9 months after Dig Dug in the arcades. While Mr. Do! has some familiar elements (digging in the dirt as well as large objects that can be dropped onto enemies from above), there is enough uniqueness to the gameplay to distinguish itself.

In Mr. Do, your goal is to grab all of the cherries on each level while going on the defense against the enemies by dropping apples on them or using your magic shot to blast them. Another technique that I employ is to just try and avoid them, which isn’t too difficult in the early levels. As for the defensive techniques, the apple can be dropped on enemies simply by walking under it and letting it fall or pushing it down onto them. If you choose to shoot the enemies, the key to mastering this is to know that you don’t have rapid shooting capabilities. After sending a shot into the tunnels you’ve made, it will ricochet around until it hits something or comes back to Mr. Do. You’ll need to wait a few moments for the magic shot to recharge so you won’t want to put yourself in a situation where you need to shoot at two enemies in short succession. As all of the enemies leave their post in the middle of the screen, food items are left behind and if Mr. Do grabs them, one of the letters that spell “extra” will escape along with some nasty munching enemies. Blast the letter and you’ll earn that letter as a reward. Blast all of the letters to spell “extra” and you’ll earn an extra life. Paying attention to which letter is highlighted when you eat the bonus food is important to earning this extra life since earning the same letter twice doesn’t really help your cause with the exception of freezing the enemies temporarily. It’s extremely satisfying to see that bonus congratulatory screen when you earn an extra Mr. Do so it becomes an addiction to work this part of the game just as much as it is to much cherries.

The music matches the arcade version very closely and overall, the graphics do as well. One exception is the character of Mr. Do himself. In the arcade version, Mr. Do is colorful and very detailed but on the Colecovision version, he’s plain white and if you didn’t know that he was supposed to be a clown you’d really have no idea what the heck he was. This is what I consider a minor gripe, however. Overall, I find Mr. Do! challenging but also very addictive as all good arcade games should be. I never had the pleasure of playing Mr. Do! in the arcades but I’m perfectly happy with my Colecovision version and I consider it one of the best in my collection.

Rating: A-

Currently in my collection: game only

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