So the thing is, you're a mouse. It's a little weird, but once you commit to it, it doesn't feel all that bad. Try it for a week, and if you don't like it, you can go back to being a robot. Anyway, mice like to collect things, which means that you also like to collect things.
The objects of your desire are scattered all over a multi-level tower-ish thing: eggplants, umbrellas, apples, fish, chunks of meatyou know, standard mouse stuff. Your goal is to collect them while avoiding the deadly embrace of these adorable little kittens. And there are snakes, too, which turns the tired old game of cat-and-mouse into the new and exciting game of cat-and-mouse-and-snake.
Gameplay: The AI in this game is brutal, and surprisingly advanced for 1982. The sprites follow a loosely defined pattern, but if you get too close, they'll immediately switch direction and come after you, fast.
However, there are some water tanks scattered around. If you walk across the top of one of them, the tops open on all of them. Splash! At the top of the tower, there are some rocks that you can roll down the ladders. Smoosh! Plus, you've got a limited supply of bombs that you can deploy and detonate if you really get into trouble. Boom! Complete a level, and you visit the bonus round, which is a giant slot machine. Ka-ching!
Could be mistaken for: Peter Pack Rat, Mappy, Danger Mouse, or its clone, Funny Mouse.
Kids today might not like it because: The music is... Well, imagine "It's A Small World" as performed by Michael Bolton and Faith Hill and remixed by 'N Sync. And while you listen, Henry Rollins kicks you in the back of the head.
Kids today might like it because: Back in the arcade days, it was on the wrong side of the line between challenging-but-fun and too-hard-to-be-fun. But with the unlimited credits allowed by emulators, players get a nice return on their investment.
Enduring contribution to gaming history: The eggplant looks exactly like the eggplant you rescue in the NES game Ice Climber, and the chunk of meat looks almost exactly like the chunk of meat from Legend Of Zelda. Clearly someone at Nintendo was a big fan. Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton built a better mousetrap in 1997. He's been waiting for the world to beat a path to his door ever since.
Images courtesy of the International Arcade Museum and the Killer List Of Video Games.