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Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze

For: Mobile

Is it cartoon capers all the way, or just a cat-astrophie?

Product: Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze | Developer: GlobalFun | Publisher: GlobalFun | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Casual | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 328KB | Reviewed on: K810i other handsets | Version: Europe
Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze Mobile, thumbnail 1

The first minute of Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze reminds me of an experience I had reviewing a Splinter Cell game – the first one I think – on mobile phone, back in the days mobile games weren't very good.

It went something like this. I moved Sam Fisher right, then I saw this little black blob on the ground. "What's this?" I thought, and I stepped on it. Then it blew up, I died and I realised it was a land mine.

I then got loads of people to play it and when they all did exactly the same thing, I laughed. It's funny what people do to pass the time of day when confined to an office between the hours of 9 and 5.

Anyway, my point is that in some games – either because of bad design or because the graphics just aren't able to represent what they're meant to – you have to learn from trial and error how to play them and, if you can be bothered, learn their rules and flaws rather than them being immediately obvious.

Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze unfortunately is a game that fits into the bad design category at times. Who'd think an innocuous looking fireplace in the background would outright kill you if you don't jump over it? And how are you supposed to know that a slightly wobbly door will do the same?

These are the sorts of things that just have to be learnt as you go in Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze. Along with the unintuitively late jump you have to pull off to get past these particular hazards. Once you're used to the game's little foibles however, you can get on with enjoying it.

And it is quite an enjoyable game.

Probably the best way to describe it is as Pac-Man with Tom and Jerry. Or 'Toms', because there's more than one feline hunter chasing your character, Jerry, around each maze-like level.

Your simple goal is to collect enough cheese in the level to open an exit, and then make your way there to finish. Simple, but for the obstacles and the cats chasing you –which you need to jump over to avoid. There are also several different power-ups in levels, such as Spike Attack, which temporarily knocks out Tom and his friends, a speed boost, and invincibility.

It's all quite enjoyable, if a bit on the frustrating side at times. The main problem is really that, because you can't see quite enough of the maze on the screen, obstacles aren't always easy to spot in enough time to jump over. You can also get stuck in areas where it's very difficult to jump over Tom - if you meet him on a corner, it's almost impossible to do so.

The map, too, is a strangely confusing tool. Admittedly I'm not that great at reading maps in day to day life (because I'm a girl, naturally), but it seems that cheese is marked by a square – red, blue, green or pink – and the exit is also marked by a square (red or green). Call me old-fashioned, but good old yellow for cheese and green for the exit would have been just fine.

Oh, and one other criticism: the plinky plonky music is the same throughout the game so it'll drive you mad within two minutes or so.

All that said, Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze gets bonus points for including three save slots – so you can have a Time Attack and a normal game going at the same time (and a third one, just for the hell of it). And three difficulty levels means it's customisable for all ages.

And, as it's essentially a slapstick, cartoon-themed Pac-Man, it has all of the playability that the association entails. It's not the most memorable mobile game you'll ever play, but it's worth getting lost in every now and then for a minute or two.

Tom and Jerry: Mouse Maze
Reviewer photo
Kath Brice | 27 October 2008
Cute Tom and Jerry themed Pac-Man style game. It's fun, but not always fair and a little frustrating
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