Reviews

Mousecraft

Nintendo Switch already has an amazing aray of Switch games on the eShop for yound and old, hardcore gamer or casual fan. A lot of the games have the handheld option of the device in mind which is completely perfect, but not many games have games that work great with a touchscreen to. In comes Mousecraft, a game by Crunching Koalas that tests your wits and cleverness.

In “MouseCraft” we accompany and support a scientist his weird experiments. The good man is actually a cat and a professor at the same time. Those who paid attention at school may still remember the eponymous experiment, but the name is not much more than a little joke. Because in the course of the game, the cat carries out experiments to test the intelligence of his favorite mice. And, of course, that of the player equally, after all, he does most of the work. We go into the dark laboratory and keep our fingers crossed that not too many mice have to lose their lives for the sake of science.

Once in the game, you can see a mostly simple level structure in a 2D view. There is a starting point where your own mice are and a destination with delicious cheese to which the mice are drawn. Now the mice run straight ahead until they either get to the cheese or fall to their death, just like games as Lemmings and Mario vs Donkey Kong. The player is therefore responsible for ensuring that the animals arrive undamaged and overcome one or two obstacles. In addition, crystals are distributed in each of the levels that the mice can collect along the way. Only those who do not lose a mouse on the way and put all the crystals in their pockets will receive the perfect rating in the end.

How do you maneuver the mice through the levels? Basically like a mixture of “Tetris” and “Lemmings”. Since the little rascals run straight in one direction, you have to prepare a way for them not to fall into their ruin. To do this, use Tetrominos, the well-known stones from “Tetris”. The available stones are lined up on the top screen and should be used sensibly. The mice are very limited in their range of action, for example they cannot handle a fall from a greater height. With the Tetrominos you create the path that brings the experimental animals to their destination as unscathed as possible and in the best case lets them collect crystals.

In order to fulfill the longing desire of the cat professor, the mice have to make it through a total of 80 levels. These levels are divided into four worlds, all of which harbor different obstacles. For example, greedy rats stand in the way of the player, which make life very difficult for mice when touched. Fortunately, there are some tools that you can use to fight the pitfalls of levels. Over time, you unlock numerous new types of blocks that intercept, among other things, a deep fall or explode on command.

In addition, the player can work with time. On the one hand, the game can be frozen at any time in order to place stones with the greatest precision. On the other hand, significant digits can be undone if an error should occur. This makes the game a good deal more accessible, but also easier, compared to the big role model “Lemmings”. On the other hand, you can always let off steam with the actual puzzles and do not have to fear that you will invest too much time in a solution that does not work. Overall, the levels are a little bit too easy, especially because of the auxiliary functions that you like to use.

Now let’s generalize something: Many of the most popular indie games of recent times have a simple pixel look. We don’t want to hold that against them, but it’s good when a game comes along with a different look. “MouseCraft” presents itself charmingly and despite the gloomy colors has this Nintendo look that is so painfully missed elsewhere. The animations are very dear and the developers were not afraid to use all kinds of colors. The soundscape does the rest and convinces with a harmonious background that likes to wander off into the ludicrously dark.

With “MouseCraft”, Crunching Koalas made a game that is perfect for handheld and touchscreen play. The game inspires with its charm and often gives rise to this “only one more level” feeling. Unfortunately, the level of difficulty does not increase as much towards the end as we would have liked. If you are still looking for an exciting and really well-thought-out game for a small round of puzzles, you will definitely find it here.

Crunching Koalas ported a very fun and nice looking puzzle game to the Switch and giving you enough reasons to keep on playing with that “just one more” feeling.

7.5/10

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