It's a mouse! It's a hotel, which is a mouse trap! It's Mouse Trap Hotel!
- Takes damage to save time
- Genre: Platform
Mouse Trap Hotel
is a Game Boy game developed by Imagineering (yes, the same people who made Bart vs. the Space Mutants
....probably not a good sign already) and published by Electro Brain/Milton Bradley in 1992 (boxart shows Electro Brain, Milton Bradley is mentioned in-game. Go figure.). There's no real story involved, except that you're a mouse named Maxie who's visiting a hotel, which surprise, surprise, is full of mouse traps. Wow, would've never figured that out, huh? BTW, the game box art
is inaccurate to the game, as there are definitely NOT tentacles waiting for Maxie at any point in the game...much less broken elevator doors or arrows.
The game runs at 15 FPS. It's a run off the mill platformer. However, it has a fixed scrolling speed, so you'll eventually hit the left or rightmost side of the screen with the technically fastest way of movement (jumping). Here's a comparison encode of the first four stages to illustrate what I mean:
By jumping at the same time as the crusher goes down, you'll clip through it, eventually going above the platform/foot.
Maxie drops off a large hole that way above the floor. He then gets greeted by bubbles that somehow hurt him for some reason (I'm pretty sure they don't hurt mice in real life, so I blame video game logic for that). These bubbles also go in rather....unexpected directions. Who in the world has ever seen bubbles go strictly horizontally or vertically? Again, I blame video game logic.
...Anyway, in the first half of the stage, Maxie fends off bubbles coming from about any direction (no, this isn't Touhou, what are you talking about?) and also gets on top of washing machines. I guess. In the second half of the stage, he finds out that bugs (no, not Bugz) have infested the place! It also features crushers that can happily crush him to death....however, he can sometimes just clip through them when jumping at the proper moment. There are also weights hanging from the ceiling, which are instant-kill if one drops on Maxie. There's one mandatory waiting period involving a weight where a bug has to trigger the weight drop first before Maxie can proceed.
I won't comment on the elevator segments, as they're essentially bonus stages in which you have to wait for the timer to run out, so I just collect everything, because well, they cannot be skipped.
Next, Maxie decides to visit the lobby, which is probably one of the messiest lobbies you'll ever see. Luggage is scattered about everywhere, and OH MY GOD! LOOK AT THESE LOOOOOOOOOOONG LEGS! I mean, yes, this is from Maxie's perspective, so it kinda makes sense, but still. Also, these legs move realllllllllly weirdly. Just straight up and down. Also, there's nets and some weird drawing pin-looking things falling down from the ceiling. Don't ask me why, I have no clue.
Anyway, Maxie makes his way to the end of the lobby, when suddenly, it just turns into a massive cleaning machine. I guess. These bubbles, however, cannot be thwacked with his tail. The loooooooong legs also disappear, so I guess they just panicked or something, even though only their shoes and pants would get wet. Unless it's because somehow, an inaudible fire alarm went off, which would make sense. That's probably why the luggage is still all there, if I had to guess. Oh yeah, some weird robot maid things (hereby referred to as Robo-Daisies) make their first appearance there.
Hallway/Hotel Rooms 1
After venturing in the lobby, Maxie drops by a hallway....which is overrun with spiders. Luckily, though, he's not arachnophobic, so he decides to just venture forward and smack some in the process. There's also luggage scattered about everywhere. Who the heck leaves their luggage in the hallway in front of their hotel room?
Next, he decides to visit some of the hotel rooms....which, suffice to say, are full of bugz. I guess this hotel got bugged, lol. Also, the beds got some issues with their springs. Unless there's people in them doing...something...I dunno. By the way, these springs are one-hit kill. The Robo-Daisies make a brief return, and two new enemies get introduced: Moths (yay, MORE BUGZ!) and some weird car thing...which happens to be the only enemy Maxie can stomp on without taking damage.
This stage also features the first LAZOR VENT segment, and you're gonna see a few more in a later stage.
Anyway, after visiting the hotel rooms, Maxie hurries back to the elevator, smacking some more spiders in the process.
Now, he pays the kitchen a visit...which, suffice to say, is infested with flies (even more bugz), amongst others. I also definitely wouldn't cook my stuff on these kitchen stoves, given how high the flames go. Just seems a liiiiiiitle bit dangerous, if you ask me. By the way, who the heck puts cheese on top of these?
Anyway, later on, he encounters rolling pins, which kill him in one hit, by the way. Then, he drops down onto a....rather convoluted dishwasher. This is the only semi-autoscroller segment of the game, by the way. I say semi-autoscroller, because Maxie's in fact on a conveyor belt, and if he seeps a bit too far to the left, the scrolling stops. Anyway, this dishwasher is pretty darn gosh dangerous, what with dishes just flying in Maxie's direction. He also does not appreciate getting washed, by the way.
After that, he stops by the restaurant, where spoons and forks just drop down. A metric tonne of them, apparently. Are people really that hungry? Or is Maxie just not welcome here? Hmm....I suppose the latter could make sense, given the name of the game, in retrospect. But anyway, after visiting the restaurant, Maxie heads back to the elevator. By the way, I forgot to mention that, but killing one of the flies gives you 999 points. Don't ask me why.
Hallway/Hotel Rooms 2
After his little tour in the kitchen and the restaurant, Maxie heads to the fourth floor, where he encounters robo-mice. These enemies are unique in two ways: For one, they actively chase Maxie, and secondly, they're faster than Maxie before getting hit, after which they slow down to Maxie's walking speed. This floor has a lot more LAZOR VENTZ (5, in fact!) to go through as well as bomb cars, which are instant-kill if you jump on them, as they explode. Duh. There's also hotel rooms with more bugz, spiders, springy beds and Robo-Daisises that Maxie has to go through.
Throughout the floor, Maxie has to collect five keys in single-screen rooms. However, if he collects one of these, SURPRISE! A cat's paw will spawn at the entrance, expanding and retracting in a cycle. Maxie has to drop a weight on the paw to exit at all.
After collecting the five keys, Maxie heads back to the elevator whilst fending off spiders and robo-mice.
OH BOY, MORE LOOOOOOOOOONG LEGS! AND IT SEEMS THEY'RE DANCING THIS TIME!
..ahem. Anyway, Maxie actually has to wait for the legs to rise high enough so that he can actually proceed..which happens to be at the end of the cycle. Eventually, he reaches a mouse hole, and OH MY GOD! GHOSTS! THIS PLACE IS BLOODY HAUNTED!
..sorry, got carried away again. ANYWAY, Maxie escapes from the SPOOKY area rather easily, and returns to more dancing looooooooong legs, then proceeds to....a maze. However, Maxie knows the way to both the keys and the exit, so that's not much of an issue. And as it turns out, his girlfriend was waiting for him at the penthouse. And fireworks are going off. Hooray.
And that's game! But why would his girlfriend choose such a gosh darn run-down hotel, chock full of spiders and bugz anyway? I would've preferred Oshiro's Celestial Resort over this! At least you only have to deal with dust bunnies in that one....and cleaning up the huge mess. I guess.
Throughout the making of this TAS, I discovered that entering a new room whilst dying will let you give control of Maxie for a brief period of time before Maxie respawns in the same room you've entered. Me and Memory
looked into this, but haven't found any use for it. I don't believe there's a real use for this for now, but I'd like to be proven wrong.
I feel the game isn't that interesting to watch (I personally feel it's Vault quality), so hopefully, I've made the submission text an entertaining read. I had some fun TASing this game and writing up this submission text, and I've learned quite a bit throughout its making.
- Memory for her support over the past few months, and for motivating me to work on this game. For real, you're a great motivator to me. Merci beaucoup du fond de mon coeur, ma soeur.
- Horza_BG for his speedrun of the game (and also the current record holder), which I used for reference throughout the making of the TAS.
: I still can't get over how long those dang legs are. Judging.
: Nope, still can't get over it. Rejecting those legs. Rejecting this game's sense of scale as a whole. Jeez. Jeez.
What I'm not rejecting, though, is the run itself. For what the game is (i.e, slow, kind of sort of fixed scrolling, poor at scale), it's still clear that this is as optimized as it can be. Slow, sure, that can't be helped. Fixed scrolling, well given how many obstacles are in the way, and given that the RTA record is 2 minutes slower, there's definitely possibility in the game for optimizing speed. Poor at scale? Yes. Legs. Why is the luggage the size of a person's foot? How you gonna fit pants long enough to fit those legs in that tiny-ass foot luggage?
Now that I've typed a brand new sentence into existence, I can safely accept this to Vault. Phew.