|System(s)||Arcade, Atari 2600, Intellivision, ColecoVision|
When Pac-Man arrived on the arcade scene, and literally took it over, the arcade industry stopped and took notice. So it wasn't long before imitations arrived on the scene. Three such imitations were Lady Bug, Lock'n'Chase, and Mouse Trap. Interestingly, all three games offer the player with a mechanism to alter the layout of the maze.
Mouse Trap was an arcade game developed by Exidy in 1981. It borrowed heavily from the Pac-Man theme, but it gave the most control over the maze layout than any other imitator. Mouse Trap pits you in the role of a mouse who is trying desperately to collect cheese in a maze full of cats. Mouse Trap provided the player with three buttons, each one a different color, that corresponded to the three different colored doors on the screen. When you hit a certain color button, the doors on the screen of that color move and rearrange the maze layout. You can use this to open a getaway path, or escape from a chasing cat. Additionally, you can hold on to the power-ups, which come in the form of dog-bones, and utilize them whenever you prefer, instead of the moment you collect them. The dog-bones temporarily transform you from a cat fearing mouse, to a cat stomping dog.
Mouse Trap gave player's a greater sense of power over their fate, and when Coleco was hunting for licenses that would compliment its ColecoVision system, they saw Mouse Trap (as well as Lady Bug) as good competition to Atari's Ms. Pac-Man. Coleco proceeded to develop and manufacture the game for their own system, as well as port it to Intellivision, and to the Atari 2600 which naturally saw a rather crippled conversion of the game due to the lack of available button inputs. While the ColecoVision and Intellivision relied on the number pads attached to the controllers, the Atari 2600 version distinguished between long and short button presses.
It's not easy being a mouse that loves cheese. Especially when your greatest source of cheese is contained in the alleys where the alley cats roam. But your no ordinary mouse. You have abilities. Like the ability to open and close the many doors found throughout the alley. And the more extraordinary ability to transform into a dog by eating dog bones. If that weren't enough, there's also the giant hawk to watch out for.