- : Use the direction pad to control Mappy's movements throughout the stage. Press left or right to make him run in either direction. Push up or down to make Mappy climb ladders in either direction. You may also push down while bouncing on a trampoline to make Mappy immediately stop rising and begin falling back down.
- : Press the A button to deploy one of the weapons that Mappy has in storage.
- : Press the B button to make Mappy jump, or to interact with an object in front of him such as a cannon.
- : Press Start to begin a new game, or to pause and unpause the action in the middle of a game.
- : Not used in this game.
Mappy is normally a very hard working policemouse, solving crimes and capturing criminals. But he is on vacation during his adventures through Mappy-Land. Mappy's goal on every stage is to collect six items that he needs before moving on to the next stage. In some stages, he may be required to enter buildings in order to obtain additional required items. Mappy can run left and right, and climb up and down ladders, but the preferred method of vertical transport throughout Mappy-Land is by trampoline. These trampolines can be found throughout Mappy-Land, and are used by mouse and cat alike. Once Mappy jumps down to a trampoline, he will bounce back up, and continue to rise until he reaches the top of the screen. At any time while Mappy is rising, you can push left or right on the control pad to instruct Mappy to land on an available platform. If a wall gets in his way, he will simply fall back down. You can also press down while rising to make Mappy fall immediately. Every time Mappy jumps on the same trampoline consecutively, it changes color, from blue to yellow to pink and to red. If Mappy jumps on the trampoline while it is red, the trampoline will break, and Mappy will fall through it. Trampolines will return to blue when Mappy lands on a platform. Mappy will not survive a fall to the ground unless he has first jumped off a trampoline. He can, however, survive a fall of any height to a trampoline or partial ladder. Mappy cannot touch any of the cats that are after him unless he is jumping up and down on a trampoline. Mappy can distract the cats with various items that cats like to play with, or attack them with some of the features present on the stage.
The Meowkies compose the majority of the gang known as the Guchi Gang. Their various capers have been spoiled by the do-gooder Mappy, and they are out for revenge. They plan on spoiling Mappy's vacation any way that they can. Meowkies will run around each stage, making use of the trampolines whenever they can. They generally run in straight lines and rarely backtrack, but they will on occasion. They start out generally slower than Mappy, but as the levels increase, so do their speed until they are capable of outrunning Mappy. At that time, Mappy must stay far away from them, or have a distraction available to get the Meowkies off his tail. The only distraction that Meowkies ignore are gold coins.
Nyamco is the leader of the Guchi Gang. He's bigger and a bit smarter than his Meowky brethren. He will typically try to take a more direct path to Mappy than the Meowkies, but he is susceptible to being tricked quite easily. Nyamco likes to try to disguise himself based on the surroundings, such as a train conductor, cowboy, and even a vampire. But despite his attempts at blending in with the scenery, Mappy is rarely fooled and can see through the disguise quite easily. Nevertheless, Nyamco should never be underestimated. Of the four distractions that Mappy may have at his disposal, only the gold coins and fish will lure Nyamco off his path. Successfully attacking Nyamco usually results in a 5000 point bonus.
If Mappy has been hanging out in any one particular stage for too long, the Nyamco Coin will appear from the top of the screen and hunt Mappy down relentlessly. It moves faster than Mappy, and can not be stopped, only avoided. To make sure that you never have to deal with this menace, clear each stage as quickly as you can and don't dawdle.
Mapico is Mappy's girlfriend. In the first round of the game, she is celebrating her birthday, and she has asked Mappy for a gift of cheese. In the second round, Mapico is Mappy's fiancé, and Mappy must gather enough wedding rings. In the third round, Mappy and Mapico are celebrating "X'Mas" for the first time as husdband and wife. In the fourth and final round, the gifts that Mappy collects are not, in fact for Mapico, but for his new-born son.
As you play through each stage, Mappy can collect and store for different distractions that he can use to get the cats off his tail. Most distractions must be collected from former positions of the items that he collects. They will typically appear after two other items have been collected. That is, Mappy must collect one item first, then he must collect two more items and return to the place of the first item to see if a distraction has appeared for him to collect. The only distraction for which this is not true are fish, which can appear inside buildings, and jumping out of the water in the Jungle World stage. When you press , the distraction that you use will be the latest one that you collected (the one appearing to the right of your distraction list, to the right of your score).