An American Tail is a game based on the animated movie of the same name. It consists of ten levels (six main ones, four bonus) based on scenes from the movie. Animated scenes from the film are used as cut-scenes. It tells the story how Fievel Mousekewitz and his family leave Russia for America. He becomes separated from his family when a storm hits the ship and eventually ends up in New York.
In the first level Fievel needs to be rolled in a soap bubble through a course aboard a ship to reach the block of cheese in the center. The player needs to be careful so he does not fall off. Fifteen stars can be collected as an additional challenge and opening up a bonus level with similar gameplay.
In the second level the player controls the bird Henri, a friend of Fievel. He needs to fly through New York’s harbor to reach the docks. Along the way bird seed needs to be collected to keep his energy level up. Often birds cut across the screen and these need to be avoided. In the bonus level Fievel needs to be guided through a street below, avoiding clothes and collecting stars for an additional challenge as he floats down using a piece of clothing with a front view as the screen scrolls vertically. A meter shows the remaining distance.
In the next level Fievel needs to collect pieces of cheese on the streets of Manhattan to make his way to Gussie Mausheimer’s rally. He can move around freely and needs to avoid getting trampled or hit by passing carts. The bonus level has the same vertical gameplay floating down as the previous one.
Next Fievel needs to follow Digit through the sewers to find his hideout without being spotted. He cannot get too close, but also has to avoid losing sight of Digit. Optionally 25 stars can be collected. The bonus level has the familiar floating down gameplay, but now in the sewer avoiding pipes and steam. Hearts replenish health and then stars can be collected as an additional challenge.
The second part of the sewer environment is a racing sequence with Fievel on rollerskates. He needs to avoid obstacles and when he hits too many of them he is caught by cats. Optionally fifteen stars can be collected.
The Secret Weapon is the final level. Here Fievel needs to be navigated along a pier transporting the secret weapon to scare the cats onto the Hong Kong Star. Some parts of the pier are very old and will crumble. There is a lives system with hearts as obstacles need to be avoided. There are seventeen cats that can be scared into the water as you make them jump off the pier by getting close.