Mr. Do! is a bizarre game that feels like a clone of Dig Dug. I thought it was in the Dig Dug series and was a spin-off like Mr. Driller. I was very wrong.
The first time I played Mr. Do! was on the Atari 2600. I did a short video on it for my YouTube channel and took a look at the history of the game. It has a fascinating story to it. Finding out more about a strange game like Mr. Do! was a lot of fun.
The Game Boy version is a pretty faithful port of the arcade game. It also looks way better than the Atari 2600 version. It’s impressive to see how far technology progressed from the early 80s to the early 90s.
This is a fun little game. Let’s talk more about the game’s history and how you play it.
TLDR: You play as a clown who tosses balls at monsters while collecting fruit. This is a fun and bizarre game.
What combination of drugs and insanity came up with this? Was this a clone of Dig Dug, or what it a simultaneous invention?
Well, it was inspired by Dig Dug. Universal developed it in 1982 and was meant to be a conversion kit for other games. This meant that it was supposed to replace an existing game by swapping out the board and the artwork.
Conversion kits were supposed to respond to the rising price of arcade cabinets. It worked until the conversion kits started rising in price. That is a story for another time.
Mr. Do! ended up selling 30,000 units which is a pretty good number for the time. There were three sequels to Mr. Do!
- Mr. Do’s Castle in 1983
- Mr. Do’s Wild Ride in 1984
- Do! Run, Run in 1984
It was also ported to everything! It was on home computers and home consoles at the time. It was also ported to the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and the SNES. I have no idea why it didn’t make it to the Sega Genesis, Master System, or the NES.
This game plays like Dig Dug. You use a ball to fight off the enemies instead of a pump to blow them up. I’m sure this was done to avoid Namco’s lawyers. It feels so close to Dig Dug that I would be surprised if there wasn’t a lawsuit over it.
So, you play as a clown, and your goal is to collect all the fruit on the screen. I’m generally confused as to why you would need to do this. You can also drop bombs on the enemies that want to stop you.
This is done through a basic gravity setup. It’s like the bomb is resting on the fruit, and when you remove it, the bomb falls. Not sure why it blows up, though. This can hit you or the enemies.
To defend yourself, your character has a ball. It’s a bouncy red ball that magically kills the enemies. This was an arcade game, and no one questioned why you were doing the things you did.
I like the gameplay! It’s simple, and you can pick the game up at any time. Arcade ports like this always seem to work well on the Game Boy.
It’s a nice-looking game. I’m coming from the Atari 2600 version, which looked pretty bad in comparison. I haven’t seen what the arcade version looked like, but I think this port would be closer.
There is some good variety in the level layouts, and what you’re collecting looks like cherries. At least it looks closer to what a cherry looks like.
The enemies look okay, but I’m not sure what they are supposed to be. The death animations also don’t look that great. I think the game does look good for a Game Boy game, and it’s nice to see how much technology has changed over the years.
This is a case where I wish there were a story to a game. Usually, I don’t think there needs to be a story for an arcade game. However, I feel like I need some explanation for what is happening in this game.
Why is your character a clown? Why are you collecting fruit? What is coming after you? Why do I think about the specifics of this weird game?
Mr. Do! is a game that you can always come back to. It’s like a lot of other arcade games from the 80s. You can play as long as you want and come back to it at any point.
This is a mechanic that I like. However, it does have its drawbacks. You’re going to be doing the same thing over and over. It’s fun, but it is a bit repetitive.
I think the alternatives to this game would be the Dig Dug games. You could also lump in other Namco games and clones of those games. Here is a shortlist of the games on the Game Boy that are similar to Mr. Do!
- Mrs. Pac-Man
- BurgerTime Deluxe
- Dig Dug
- Donkey Kong
- Lock ‘n Chase
8/10 This is a fun arcade game that is a bit bizarre.
I think what I want to say is that this is an arcade port. So, it’s going to be an arcade-style of gameplay instead of a story-driven game.
- It’s a fun pick-up and play style of game
- You don’t need to read a tutorial for this
- It’s a little goofy, which works for a game like this.
I don’t have too much to say here. These are just a few things that might be a problem if you aren’t into arcade games.
- There is no story
- It can be a bit repetitive
I think Mr. Do! is a great game. I wish I had found it in the arcade or found it earlier. I wish I had played this version before I played the Atari 2600 version.
I liked the Atari 2600 version, but it looked trash when I compared it to the Game Boy game. This makes me want to go and look at the arcade version on MAME or something like that.
You should look for or emulate this game if you like Dig Dug. It feels like a clone of Dig Dug, but very weird. Also, clowns are still creepy no matter what!