A long time ago in a video game galaxy far away I started a weekly blog series to document my quest to play every game listed in the book - 1,001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I would share my memory of the experience. If I hadn't played the game before, then I would find an online version or an emulator and I would play the game. This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

Back when I was doing this, I would review five games in each blog and I managed to make it to number 40. But then things changed, life happens and I had to depart the blogging scene for a while. Having shared my memories of some of the classics while seeking out some of the others I never had the opportunity to play before, I missed this little feature and decided to bring it back. Well, sort of. Due to time constraints and because the newer the games get the harder they will be to find and play, I've decided I'll at least focus on one at a time. I know, I know...at that rate it might take a couple of years to get through all of them. I'm not going anywhere, are you? And if I do...I'll almost certainly be back.

If you're at all interested in seeing the previous episodes of this feature, you can find them here:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Okay, so the last game I looked at was Moon Patrol. Ah, Moon Patrol. Great game. That means the next game in 1,001 video games you must play before you die is Mr. Do! - an old arcade game from 1982 produced by a company called Universal.

The object of Mr. Do! is to score as many points as possible by digging tunnels through the ground and collecting cherries. The title character, Mr. Do is constantly chased by red monsters resembling small dinosaurs, and the player loses a life if Mr. Do is caught by one. The game is over when the last life is lost.

Mr. Do or the red monsters can push an apple off the edge of a vertical tunnel and crush one or more monsters. If an apple falls more than its own height, it breaks and disappears. Mr. Do can also be crushed by a falling apple causing a loss of life.

Occasionally, the red monsters transform briefly into more powerful multicolored monsters that can tunnel through the ground. If one of these digs through a cherry, it leaves fewer cherries (and fewer points) for Mr. Do to collect. When it digs under an apple, it often crushes itself, other red/blue monsters, and/or Mr. Do. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

I don't remember Mr. Do! - but the mention of cherries, monsters that tunnel through the level and the act of dropping objects down vertical tunnels to crush the bad guys...sort of reminds me of a cross between Pac Man and Dig Dug. I guess it's time to find out for myself firsthand.

I found a version of Mr. Do! I could play at the Let's Play SNES website. Even though the game was an old arcade game from the 80s, it has been ported over to all sorts of other platforms, including the SNES (December 1996). By all accounts it is *ahem* exactly the same (I don't know if that is a good thing or not).

Apparently you play as this creepy little clown looking...um, person?

And yes, it is very much like Dig Dug. Although the cherries look like they were ripped straight out of Pac Man. You dig very much like Dig Dug, but instead of using a weapon (bike pump?) that inflates and explodes your enemy, you have some sort of clown ball you throw at them. It's sort of like one of those rubber balls you used to be able to get out of a gum ball machine that you could throw and it would bounce forever, and off of everything. So yeah, the clown throws a ball that will bounce along the tunnels and hopefully kill these little gold fish looking monsters. Or it will bounce back and get you. You can always drop these golden apple looking thingies (or very large golden cherries?) on the heads of the bad guys.

There's not a lot to it. Although there is a battle mode. That has to count for something, right?

On a positive note, it has a catchy little retro 8-bit sound track thing going for it, native to most of the games from that time. It left me in a very 80s mood, like I just left the arcade after expending my pocketful of quarters.

I forced myself to play it for 30 minutes to qualify as a, "Yes. I have played this game before."

I had to go back to the 1,001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die book to read the entry for this game to see why exactly the author included it. It is so much like Dig Dug - which is much more of an iconic arcade game, I'm curious how and/or why this one was included too.

It seems the author agrees, calling it "the weirder, uglier cousin of Dig Dug." The entry also states because it was considered a second tier coin-op arcade game, it is more rare than some of the other classics from that time. Okay, fair enough. I don't know if that warrants it being a must play game, but its in the book and I've checked it off of my list. And so should you (hey, if I had to suffer through it, the least you can do is join me).

Next week looks to be more promising.

See you then.

Until then, happy gaming.