Mousecraft review: few holes in this cheese
Before playing Mousecraft, I played a game called Eets Munchies. Eets Munchies is a puzzle game that has you helping a rabbit get to its goal (some sort of dessert) by using objects that cause a chain reaction. You place bombs, edibles that change how the rabbit behaves, and platforms.
Had I not played Eets Munchies beforehand, I would have probably enjoyed Mousecraft more than I did.
Mousecraft is a concoction of other games -- specifically two puzzle games that you've probably played: Tetris and Lemmings. But there's also elements of Eets Munchies in there, though Mousecraft does what that goes does much better.
The premise of Mousecraft is simple. There are three mice that will walk from their wheel onward. If they hit a wall more than a block high they turn and go the other direction. They can even survive a drop of three blocks without dying. All you have to do is get them to a block of cheese -- sometimes with optional objectives thrown in -- without dying. To do so, you'll have to help them traverse the stage using objects to overcome gaps, drops and obstructions. Utilizing Tetris-like blocks (called Tetromino Bricks) in varying shapes, you'll place them in strategic areas to help the mice get to the goal.
It starts simple enough, but the difficulty slowly increases, introducing new mechanics and gameplay strategies. In some stages, you'll place the Tetrominos at the beginning of a stage, and then as the mice progress, you'll place new ones. You'll even have to pause time so you get the mice in certain areas to place blocks, manipulating where the mice will then go.
As the game goes on, you'll eventually start to use items like bombs. Bombs will destroy blocks to open new paths. You'll also encounter robot rats that will kill your mice, jelly blocks, and an underwater mechanic that will kill your mice if they stay submerged for longer than 10 seconds.
Mousecraft all comes down to trial and error. Difficulty never gets to the point where you want to quit the game, mostly due to the gradual increases in difficulty, explanation of new mechanics, and a quick reset button. You won't be punished by experimenting.
The puzzle gameplay is strong. The music tends to get a little annoying, so I muted it and played my own during the game. The visuals are cartoony and cutesy. It's what you'd expect from a nice iPad game. There's even a level editor included in the game to make your own puzzles to solve. Unfortunately, being able to share your creations with the community isn't available yet, though there are workarounds where players upload the files to dropbox to share created levels.
Mousecraft is a strong puzzle game that eases you along. It's enjoyable, but I've played other games like it, though not as good. If you're looking for a puzzle game that will last your up to 10 or 12 hours, give it a go. And once Steam Workshop adds support for sharing created levels, there will be a lot more replay value.
Reviewed on PC