Great. How the hell do you play this again?
This muzak is getting on my nerves already.
Mr. Domino's automatically running to the top right and I can't get him to do anything else. It does kinda look like a race so full speed ahead, Mr. Domino!
I've also laid a trail of dominoes leading to this die on the ground. But... I can't push 'em over!
Unless... I go around the entire track again?
It's too late. Mr. Domino turns dark grey and degenerates into a regular domino. He doesn't even topple over. (Which is a bit silly, because that would've made an understandable death animation and a useful desperation move in one.)
It looks like there's an off-screen time limit of just over two laps, so you need to set everything up on the first lap perfectly and then trigger it on the second lap. And somehow that leads to you completing the level.
Running into Ms. Domino doesn't only stun Mr. Domino, but it makes him leave a gap in the domino chain! How am I supposed to make an 88 domino chain if you're in the bloody way, missus?
Around and around I go. Placing dominoes, running into them. It takes me a while, but I eventually remember the knack. You're supposed to make a chain of dominoes leading to the symbols on the ground. When a domino falls on the symbol, it triggers an animation and makes something fall on the track somewhere further along. There's a marker on the track showing where the debris will land, allowing the chain of disaster to carry on onto other tricks. Trying to arrange an entire level's worth of dominoes in exactly the right place without hitting a single enemy might sound like a hot-dog manoeuver, but you don't have time to do it any other way.
The time limit is unforgiving, but the controls are worse. Mr. Domino just doesn't wanna stop running. You have to hold down the directional buttons to get him to (eventually) change lanes and it's not clear what lane you'll end up in when you go around a corner. It's easy to hit a speed-up or speed-down tile and waste dozens of dominoes on a completely useless chain leading nowhere. There are health tiles that restore the time limit, and there are Reset tiles that reset everything except the time limit, but they're really hard to hit intentionally (and really easy to hit unintentionally).
Domingo's gone dark grey and he's flashing like mad so this had better work.
All five tricks are done in one chain of dominoes. Please tell me that that is how to complete level one, because I'm completely out of ideas.
Victorious intermission. (YouTube)
Now for Level 2.
We've also got speed up and speed down tiles just before this electric trap, which is just great.
Wait, I only just noticed... What the hell do I think I'm gonna do with 1 domino left in my pocket? I really didn't stand a chance there, did I? Damn.
When (not if) you get hit by the Pocky, Mr. Dom gets stunned for five seconds and moves to a random adjacent lane. In my case, he kept moving left and right getting hit by the Pocky box over and over again until he triggered the white dominoes and then hit the Reset tile.
If you want me to learn the level to figure out how to avoid your obstacles and plan the 'right' way to place dominoes, you really should give me infinite lives. Finite lives have no place in a game where each level has a different score. And where's the God damned level select?!
I'm surprised this game doesn't have passwords. You can save your progress on a memory card, but I bet it saves the number of Continues you have left as well. By the end of the game, you'll have used up all your continues and drive yourself mental going back and forth between the main menu and the loading screen just to have another go at the level.
It's strange, I can't figure out any way to fix No One Can Stop Mr. Domino. There's no technical difficulties that could be fixed with more time and care. It's just a plain old bad idea. If you took out the domino system completely and made it a straight up race, you'd have Trailblazer (or Jump 'n' Roll or SkyRoads), which are all way better games than NOCSMD.
You could sit there for hours, playing the same level over and over to learn the only correct way to link everything together, drawing it out on a piece of paper, and then spend even more time hoping desperately that Mr. Domino's git family isn't waiting up around the next bend off-screen to screw everything up, or you could call your parents, learn a foreign language, take up juggling or go rock climbing. Anything other than play Mr. Domino.