|Frisky Tom was
never mentioned in any Atari advertisements or internal
Frisky Tom is a port of the obscure Nichibutsu coin-op of the
same name in which you play a plumber who must climb up and fix
broken pipes to keep a steady stream of water flowing from the
tank at the top of the screen to the reservoir at the
bottom. Unfortunately this house is infested with mice
which roam the screen, gnawing through pipes and generally
causing problems for our man Tom. Hmm. maybe Tom should
invite the Mario Bros. over for a little extermination party?
Once a mouse gnaws through a pipe, you'll see the
flow of water stop and a pipe piece will fall to the ground.
To repair the pipe Tom must pick up the fallen piece (you
can hold two pieces a time), and put it back into the hole.
To get to where the holes are, Tom must carefully climb up
and navigate the maze of pipes. Although Tom can cross short
gaps in the pipes, he'll need to go around the larger ones.
While climbing around on the pipes, Tom will run across
several different kinds of mice. Each mouse has its own color and
||These are your average mice. Molar
Mice can be bumped off the pipes for 200 points. If
a Molar Mouse gnaws through a pipe he'll become a red Mean
Mouse. Fixing the pipe will cause all the red mice
to revert back into a Molar Mice again.
||These guys are deadly to the touch, so
avoid them at all costs. If Tom walks under a Mean
Mouse it will dive bomb him at lightning speed. It's
best to either try and trick them into jumping when
they're towards the top of the pipes (giving Tom enough
time to get out of the way), or to quickly patch a pipe to
revert them back into harmless orange Molar Mice.
||This is the mouse that plants the bomb
under the tank starting on the third level. After he
plants the bomb he'll turn into a red Mean Mouse.
||This is the mouse that lights the bomb
When the flow of water is interrupted, the timer in
the reservoir will begin to count downward from 5000 at the rate
of 100 points per second. The only way to stop this
countdown is to restore the water flow by fixing the pipes.
If the timer reaches zero, Tom will lose a life and play the
current level over again. If Tom is able to get enough water
into the reservoir (keeping the timer above 1500), he'll be
rewarded with a bonus intermission showing a woman taking a shower
(while sitting in a bath tub?). Perhaps this is why he's
called "Frisky" Tom? Don't get too excited though, if you
look closely you'll see that she's wearing a bikini under those
Starting on the third level there's a new threat
you have to deal with. Now the mice will plant a bomb under
the water tank in an insane attempt to blow it up (these mice mean
business)! At the start of the level you will see a mouse
carry a bomb up the left side of the screen and light the fuse.
Tom must put the fuse out before the bomb blows or he'll
lose a life. To snuff the fuse, have Tom climb up the pipes
underneath the tank (next to the fuse) and move to the left.
This will cause Tom to fall down the left side of the screen
and put the fuse out. This is also a handy method for
getting down to the bottom of the screen in a hurry. Watch
out though, sometimes Pyro Mouse will try and light the fuse
Frisky Tom seems to be nearly complete and ready
for release, but the difficulty level needs a little tweaking to
make it more playable. The biggest problem in this version
is that the dive bombing red mice move way too fast making them
almost impossible to avoid (although they were pretty fast in the
arcade version as well). While Frisky Tom is fully playable,
the high degree of difficulty makes it a challenge to even get to
the third level consistently. With just a little more work
Frisky Tom could have been one of the surprise sleeper hits of the
||Frisky Tom EPROM Cartridge
to 5200 Software