MouseCraft – Preview

MouseCraft

If there are two things missing from most games these days, it’s cheese and mice. So, if you’ve been waiting and hoping for a game to come along combining the two (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?) then you are in luck my friend!

From Polish indie studio Crunching Koalas, comes MouseCraft — a cheese-powered mouse-featuring puzzle game. Coming to PC, Mac, Linux and all Playstation platforms on July 8th, MouseCraft promises to blend the mechanics of classic games Tetris and Lemmings to create a refreshing new experience. The game is also cross-buy, so a single purchase is all that’s required to gain access to it across all of Sony’s platforms. Xbox owners, I’m afraid you’ll have to get your cheese the traditional way: from Tesco.

So how does one combine Tetris and Lemmings into a single cohesive game you ask? The role of the player is to guide three blind mice across various levels toward a tasty block of cheese. Along the way, your mice will encounter different obstacles such as gaps in the terrain, vats of acid, electrical circuits, high walls, etc. These levels start off fairly simple but grow gradually more complex and devilish.

Guiding the mice safely across these death-traps toward the cheese fulfills the Lemmings side of things, but what of Tetris? Well, from up on high, an assortment of “Tetromino” bricks are available to be placed anywhere on the level in order to bridge gaps, overcome obstacles or simply reduce the fall of your mice. The Tetromino bricks looks just like the Tetris blocks of old, only these come in various forms, such as crumbling blocks, electrified blocks, jelly blocks and so on.

The game will launch with Puzzle Mode, where there is no time limit, leaving you free to carefully plan a winning strategy, while also providing unlimited use of an ‘undo’ button.

A second game mode has been teased by the developers, which may be added at a later date. This is Arcade Mode, which is a fast paced action oriented experience where time really matters, challenging you to make quick and risky decisions on the fly. To ramp up the difficulty, you’ll no longer know which Tetromino bricks are coming up next, leading to some frantic action as you scramble to place them in time.

MouseCraft will also feature a custom level editor, allowing you to create your own fiendish puzzles and then upload them for others to try. Given how massively successful the level editor was on LittleBigPlanet, I can see this feature being a huge hit.

It is fortuitous that I be writing about MouseCraft today, as my article about retro-gaming just went up on the site, and anyone who reads it will see that this game is right up my street. As a huge fan of the original Lemmings, I cannot wait to play this game and see if the fusion of two of gaming’s most classic franchises plays as well as it looks. There have been plenty of Lemmings and Tetris rip-offs in the past and none of them have been able to live up to their inspirations. Even though the game is still in Beta, it looks like Polish studio Crunching Koalas could be on track to produce a modern classic.

I am also particularly excited to play this on Vita, where pick-up-and-play is the name of the game. With short, concise levels, Vita may be the perfect place to play a few rounds on the bus, in the car or just sitting up in bed. And if the integrated level editor works well, I can see this game having a huge amount of replay value.

Oh, and beyond the aforementioned cheese and mice, the game will also feature an insane cat scientist, who is using the mice for some kind of mouse powered machine. What the machine does, nobody knows. I mean come on! What’s not to like in this game? Stick with Zero1Gaming for a full review soon.

About Sebastian Young
Sebastian has been playing games since the age of 8, cutting his teeth with Nintendo and Sega, and now can usually be found dying repeatedly in online FPS’s. Really, he should just quit. Open world RPG’s and grand strategy games also see him lose his sense of reality for several months of the year. You won’t him on twitter though since he lives in a cave