Game: To the Top, Mammoth!
Genre: Platformer, Puzzle Game, Racing
System: Switch (also available for iOS & Android under a different name)
Developers | Publishers: isTom Games
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $10.00 | UK £8.99 | EU € 10,00
Release Date: February 24th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to isTom Games.
To the Top, Mammoth! is an adorable platformer with tons of unlockable friends and challenging levels. It’s a goofy little platformer with rising difficulty and cute animals to unlock.
The Story and Gameplay
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of story in To the Top, Mammoth! Players start as a mammoth, racing against time to get to the top of each tower. Once all the hazards have been dodged and the top has been reached, the mammoth (or other critters that are unlocked later in the game) get launched from a cannon only to land at the next tower to climb.
There are loads of levels to play in this little platformer. Players can race online with others, race against their best time, or just have fun and not worry about the timer at all. The mammoth is controlled by either the left stick or D-pad, and A is used for jumping. There is no need for precision in this platformer; when players tap forward, the mammoth always moves only one spot forward or backward.
To the Top, Mammoth! also includes a variety of buffs, including iron shoes to protect against floor spikes and umbrellas to block the poisonous goop that sometimes drips from the ceiling. These items can be purchased in a vending machine somewhere along the route of the level or can be occasionally be picked up for free along the treacherous road to the top.
I mostly focused on the story mode of this game which is a linear set of levels. Completing the one before it unlocks the next level. There are also racing and online modes for those who want to explore a more PvP version of the game.
The Pros of To the Top, Mammoth!
This game is SO. CUTE. It’s hard to overstate how adorable I found the little blocky climbing animals in To the Top, Mammoth! These little babies have the most adorable animations; even their little death animations are cute! I fell hard for the little parrot that climbs ladders with his little beak and the mammoth with his wide-eyed, lost expression on his face.
The levels are challenging and introduce new obstacles slowly, in a way that needs no interruptions from wordy tutorials. It just keeps you away from the action long enough to see what the problems coming up will be, then lets you figure it out yourself. It’s the best way to go about teaching players how to play a game, in my opinion.
The maps in To the Top, Mammoth! are cute and colorful, making them attractive to any age group. The music, environment, movement sounds, and towers all feel carefully crafted to make play seamless and fun. The music was a nice background noise to aid in play and give players a beat to play along with. The sounds were not annoying, and play is fluid, easy, and intuitive.
The Cons of To the Top, Mammoth!
My number one pet peeve in games like this is the lack of explanation of items. The vending machine-style shop allows players to purchase one of three boosts but fails to give the player a rundown of what each of them does. Some are obvious, like the iron shoes that help block floor spikes, but others had no explanation. Each has a little diagram to go with it, but even those didn’t help with some of the more obtuse boosts.
I purchased a few with my hard-earned coins, but never quite figured out what they were for. Coins are tightly regulated in the game, so players only have a limited number in each level that they can come across. So it felt like a waste to even try to buy something that I wasn’t 100% sure what it was.
There was also a problem with the backgrounds being so busy. One of the challenges of each level was discerning what was a hazard and what was just decoration on or around the tower. There were a few times when I could not figure out what killed me at first because I thought a dripping acid block was empty of threats. It got a little difficult sometimes to tell what was interactable and what wasn’t, but thankfully that did not come up very often.
I love this game. It’s goofy, fun, and bright. Everything in it was cute and cuddly. I loved the music, the platforming, the little animations, and just about everything about it. The lack of description of the items was a big annoyance, but other than that, I found a lot to love. There are a large number of levels, and I had fun diving into this colorful treat of a platformer.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot.
This game looks really cute! I think I could see myself enjoying it.