Welcome to the 2nd issue of Homebrew Spotlight!
And I thought- what better place to start is with the game that’s shown in the title card- Mappy! I could go on FOREVER about this game (a future Coin Up episode is happening!) as this game is in my top five of all time. But, for now, let’s talk about the AMAZING homebrew that released last year for the Atari 2600. And this system will come up a lot in this series- the is probably more home brews made for this system than any other. And for good reason- with sites like the amazing Atariage keeping the Atari flame glowing, more people are drawn to the system everyday- whether for childhood nostalgia, or for the first time enjoying the retro goodness. Also- because of guys like John W. Champeau, Nathan Strum, Mike Haas and Ross Keenum. Champeau’s name will come up so many times in this series. He’s the founder of Champ Games, one of the largest homebrew publishers on the site. His work goes back decades- I remember playing his version of Donkey Kong for the PC- Champ Kong back in the early 2000’s. And his love of classic arcade games knows no bounds. If there is a classic arcade game you love- he has more than likely created a home brew of it (EXCEPT Make Trax- PLEASE DO MAKE TRAX!) But, we’re here to talk about Mappy!
As with any homebrew, we gotta start with it’s inspiration- the arcade game. and what an original and fun game it is! Mappy hit arcades in the U.S. in 1983, where it found it’s audience quickly, but wasn’t as big of a hit as it should have been here- possibly due to the arcade industry seeing it’s first stumble, due to the game crash occurring at the same time. Many games released that year would suffer greatly because of this. Also hurting distribution was Bally (having severed ties with Midway that year- due to it’s buyout and absorption by Sega) wanting MORE Pac-Man titles- gave this a modest release. But- what stood out was the amazing cabinet- and it’s awesome marquee!
And the game play- Typical Namco magic! You’re a police mouse named Mappy. He has followed the Nyamco gang to the hideout after a huge heist- they got computers, safes, TVs, even the Mona Lisa! The house is anything but fun- there are trampolines to bounce to any floor in the place! And watch out- Boss Goro and his pose’ of Meowkys are ready to pounce you flat! With great level design, amazing music and a fun bonus round, this game is classic gaming at it’s finest!
Ok- now that we have got you into thew game, how does the Atari 2600 port fair? Awesome is the word I would use! Champeau and his team have done it again! In fact- this is my favorite arcade conversion for the 2600 so far!- just look at this!
The thing I like most about Champ Games, is their attention to detail. Everything is faithfully reproduced- the demo screen, authentic game sounds, all the items, characters and their movements, even the high scores are there! This homebrew is a Atari cartridge tour de force- on a system primarily designed to play PONG!
If you have ever bought anything from Atariage- you know that they are sticklers when it comes to authenticity. All box art, Instruction manuals, even the cartridge labels have to meet very strict standards. and the Mappy cartridge doesn’t disappoint- check this out!
So- if you have been looking for a great classic arcade game to put in your Atari VCS collection- Or wanting to start one from scratch, and are looking for a great game to begin with- you can’t go wrong with MAPPY!
Just go to the Atariage website HERE to get your own copy!
What do you think of Mappy? How about the Homebrew? Were you like me, and wished the was a version for your Atari back in ’83? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks Arcaders, and keep playin’ like It’s 1981!