|Frisky Tom was never mentioned
in any Atari advertisements or internal documents..
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 fuse.
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 bubbles.
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 again.
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 5200.
||Frisky Tom EPROM Cartridge 185-07
||Frisky Tom 11-6-83
to 5200 Software