It's been 37 years since Mr. Do made its arcade debut. Something of a cross between Boulder Dash and Pac-Man, the game sees you, as the titular Mr. Do collecting all of the cherries on each level. The cherries are grouped into blocks of eight and you get bonus points for collecting all eight in a row without a break.
On top of this the levels quickly fill with enemies who hunt you down, your only defenses being your speed and skill at keeping away from them, your 'weapon' which fires off a ball around the path you've excavated - you can only fire it off once at a time, so make sure you don't waste your shot, and the occasional apple that can be freed to drop, boulder-like, on top of them.
Occasionally a blue enemy will appear containing a letter. If you manage to kill these enemies with an apple it will give you that letter - get all the letters that make up EXTRA and you'll be granted an extra life. You only get three to start with, and as with all games of the early eighties you'll find you go through them very quickly indeed. There are ten 'scenes' that are used to make the thirty levels - they repeat three times with different colour background elements.
The best thing about Mr. Do is that it's unashamedly retro - it's a product of its time playable only on hardware (real or emulated) of the time the game was released. The ZX Spectrum was denied an official port of the game at the time but its safe to say that even if there was one it probably wouldn't have been as good or as authentic as what Mark Jones and Adrian Singh have created here. It's even more wonderful that the duo are long-time Spectrum users having been involved in the platform for as long as it existed. Mark was a graphics artist for Ocean Software in the spectrum days so you'll have seen his work so many times before, while Adrian was the man behind the Sinclair User Poke Cards that helped you beat even the most rock hard of Spectrum Games with just a few lines of code that would give you extra lives and more.
Mr. Do looks fantastic - not only getting a beautiful loading screen, but also nice chunky sprites. It's nice and responsive both via emulator and our real 48K ZX Spectrum+ and the sound alone is enough to take you back to your 1980's bedroom and 14 inch CRT TV. 128K users get the added benefit of some great music that really sets the game off perfectly, again the nostalgia factor really kicks in here.
The end result is a massively playable, faithful arcade conversion that would have been highly rated if it was released in the 1980s and is as equally fun to play nearly forty years later...
You can download Mr. Do for free now here. The game is supplied on a .TAP file which can be used within emulators or can be used to play the game on a real ZX Spectrum through a number of methods including audio-playback from a mobile phone or through a DivMMC interface plugged into the computer.