System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Stream, Console and Mobile)
Developers|Publishers: Crunching Koalas
Age Rating: EU 3+|USA E|AUS G
Price: €9,99| USA $9.99| AUS $8.99| CA $13.22|£8.99
Release Date: 27th February 2020
Review code used many thanks to Crunching Koalas.
Mousecraft is a puzzle game described by developers Crunching Koalas as a cross between Lemmings and Tetris.
Schrödinger The Cat Scientist
Mousecraft has a simple premise of getting three Mice from point A to point B. In Mousecraft, point A is a mouse wheel the mice start from and point B is a large block of cheese they’re happy to chow down on and end the level.
You’re tasked with placing a variety of tetromino (a geometric shape comprised of 4 squares) blocks strategically to aid the mice on their progress to their precious cheese.
Why are you helping mice?…you might ask. Well, a cat scientist named Schrödinger is looking to fund more Lab experiments and of course he needs some dosh to be able to to that. Scattered in the levels are Blue Shards which are very valuable and are just what Schrödinger is looking for to fund his experiments.
The story isn’t deep by any means, but it suffices. During your game, you’re observed by a very excitable Schrödinger as he stands behind each puzzle and watches your progress. Schrödinger reacts to how you play the game, applauding in happiness when you make the right move and collapsing in despair if you make the wrong move or accidentally kill a mouse. His expression’s more than makes up for the lack of deep story and is very amusing to watch.
Three Blind Mice
The mice move like Lemmings in the way they follow one another until a solid object stops them in their tracks. They then turn around and retrace the path they have already taken. The mice keep moving forwards regardless of any hazards in their way. And there are lots of different hazards! It’s your job to make sure the mice can overcome them and in one piece. Or rather, alive as they are easily killed.
Think things like Pool’s of Acid, Ratoid’s (which are robot rats) and drowning and falling from heights. They are just a few of the hazards the three white mice will encounter. And let’s not forget death by player as you can accidentally place a block on a poor mouse as your setting it into place, that can happen a lot…..Oops! A little ghost floats into the air if a mouse has a misfortune, this made me giggle the first couple of times I saw it. A long drop of more than the height of a few blocks can also bring about the mice’s demise.
You get a limited amount of Bombs, Bombs are always good to have in any game. They are useful for blowing up a temporary obstruction you’ve created to protect your rodent charges or for causing other blocks to drop down as you blow up supporting blocks. Water is a help as it provides a soft landing for the mice. It can be a hindrance as well as the mice have to climb out of the water within ten seconds otherwise they drown.
As the game progresses new blocks are unlocked and introduced to the gameplay. Jelly blocks will give a mouse a soft landing from a height, indestructible blocks are the only blocks that can be placed in acid and then there are blocks which crumble beneath the mice as they walk across them.
Freeze and Rewind
You can use active pause to freeze the game at any stage during a puzzle allowing for un-pressured block placement without squishing a mouse, hopefully. Fast forward and rewind are also available, rewind being especially useful if you have placed a block wrongly and don’t realise at the time. You can rewind and fix your mistake before disaster strikes.
Mousecraft is controlled using the joy-cons and it works as expected. Touchscreen controls isn’t included and I think this is a bit of a missed opportunity for the developers, as Mousecraft would be a good fit for touchscreen controls.
You can chill out to the accompanying soundtrack scored by Mikolai Stroinski, the composer for Dark Souls 2 and The Witcher 3. It’s a pleasant and easy listening music, unfortunately like anything you hear too often it does get repetitive.
Mousecraft presents itself in a lovely polished package, under the ever watchful eyes of Schrödinger the cat who adds some character and humor to the game.
Mousecraft has addicting gameplay that gives you a sense of satisfaction once the mice make it safely to the block of cheese. You’ll not find anything new or mind blowing in the game but you will find a charming and entertaining puzzle game which fits the Nintendo Switch purrfectly!!
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot