MouseCraft Review – Making Blue Cheese (PS3/PS4/Vita)
Have you ever wondered what cats are really thinking? Are they really the cute, adorable creatures they appear to be? Or are they really watching, weighing, calculating…experimenting? We may never know for sure, but Crunching Koalas’ thesis on the subject, simply titled MouseCraft, explores just what may be going on in those fiendishly cuddly creatures’ heads.
The interactive puzzle documentary MouseCraft follows an other-worldly cat scientist by the name of Schrödinger on his quest for knowledge and blue shards. What does he use them for? We may never know his true intentions, but he claims to use them to fund his other research projects. Are they EVIL research projects? Probably. Following his previous failed experiments, Schrödinger’s MouseCraft experiment is his last ditch effort to get those blue shards he needs.
MouseCraft is an interesting mash up of Tetris and Lemmings, where you guide three mousy test subjects across increasingly treacherous terrain by dropping Tetromino blocks to reach their cheesy destination. As the game progresses, the puzzles get more and more difficult with obstacles like robotic rats that kill your mice, water that can drown them if they stay submerged for too long, and acid that will kill them instantly. Falling from too high of a height will kill your mice as well, so your block placement has to balance mouse safety and shard acquisition.
The simplicity of MouseCraft is a bit of a double edged sword. While it is easy to pick up and play, even for someone who is not a big puzzle game player, once you have been through each of the different hazards the game can begin to get repetitive. It can be a challenge to get all of the blue shards on each level, but just getting through the level is usually not too difficult. Of course, to advance to certain sections of the puzzle map requires you to gather a certain number of shards, so you may need to come back to earlier levels to get more shards to advance. Once you make it through all of the levels of the game there is also a level editor where you can create your own stages. Unfortunately there’s no way of sharing these levels with other players yet.
A very big plus for MouseCraft is its support of cross-play and cross-buy. This has to be the best idea that someone at Sony ever had, seriously. It is so epic it had to be Kevin Butler’s idea. The feature is perfect for a game like MouseCraft. You can play a few levels on your PS3 or your PS4, then pick up right where you left off on your PS Vita on the go. Speaking of the PS Vita, MouseCraft is the perfect fit for a handheld. Most levels can be completed in a few minutes, which is perfect for knocking out a few levels while on the bus or the train. Even better, on the Vita you can make use of either the analog sticks and buttons, or use the touch screen.
While it might be a little too simple for hardcore puzzle gamers, MouseCraft is a fun, solid puzzle game experience. The ability to play on any of your PlayStation devices makes it perfect for those times your brain needs a little bit of exercise. Just be wary of that cat, I just know he’s up to something sinister.
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