Mr. Doo, Archimedes

Mr. Doo is an Archimedes clone of Universal‘s classic arcade game, Mr. Do!. And – like many Archimedes clones of existing games – it is only a partial success.

The game certainly looks nice, with crisp 2D graphics and relatively decent presentation throughout, but its failing is that the gameplay unfortunately doesn’t live up to the game it’s paying tribute to.

Like in Mr. Do! the aim is to dig underground to collect cherries while at the same time avoiding contact with various meanies. The ground itself disappears in blocks (rather than digs away like earth) as Mr. Doo moves through it, and enemies are freed to harass Mr. Doo when he digs away the ground and creates voids for them to move into. Each screen has between three and five enemies chasing Mr. Doo and the idea is to collect all the cherries before they catch him.

To help even the odds, Mr. Doo can throw up to five magic balls to eliminate enemies, and can also dig underneath and drop green fruit (apples? They certainly don’t look like apples – more like olives) onto them to crush them. Once you’ve used your five magic balls: that’s it. You don’t get any more and I couldn’t find any way to replenish them. The green fruit can also be a bit of a problem too – if you drop them and they block your way out you cannot push them, and there’s nothing you can do to escape (which is lame to be honest).

Some levels also have arrows that propel you in the direction they’re pointing, and if you have two arrows facing each other you can easily get stuck in a loop, bouncing back and forth with no way to escape. Which is another silly, frustrating trap that is badly thought-out. There are also these white/blue crystal-looking things (that I think are supposed to be electrical sparks, indicating that they’re maybe underground cables) which will instantly kill you if you touch them. Some arrows point at these and propel you into them if you touch them. Mr. Doo seems to specialise in badly thought-out and frustrating traps… This is certainly no Mr. Do!, and it’s no Boulder Dash either.

Mr. Doo is a relatively low-scoring arcade style game, but it does at least have a high score table where you can enter your name if you manage to score highly enough. There are 60 screens to play through into total, and the game also comes with a built-in level editor. Whether you’d spend time making your own screens for such a poor game or not remains to be seen.

I had hoped that Mr. Doo would at least be on par with other Mr. Do! conversions I’d played on home systems, but it’s nowhere near as good as any of them. It’s another frustrating, half-baked game that fails to replicate the thrills of the original and further compounds my feeling that too many Archimedes games are unrefined, amateurish productions.

There isn’t much information available about Mr. Doo, but from what I can tell it was originally programmed by Stephen Kett in 1991 and later re-programmed by Graham Stanley and K. Swinton for Archimedes World in 1994.

See also: The King of Grabs Archimedes Special

More: Mr. Doo on Moby Games

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