MouseCraft Review on PlayStation 4 & PS Vita

mousecraft_brainwash

I love playing puzzle games. As much as I like playing first person shooters and open world adventure games, there is just something very relaxing about playing a good puzzle game. Sometimes I just like the slower pacing of them and the fact that I have to actually use my brain and think of solutions to them. On the PlayStation there have been several notable puzzle games. Recently, Curve Studios and Crunching Koalas released what could be considered another must have for puzzle lovers out there. The game is called MouseCraft and is a unique puzzle game combining some elements from other popular puzzle games, but still managing to create something very fun and different.

MouseCraft stars a crazy mad cat scientist who for some unknown reason, wants to help three blind mice get to the cheese. That is pretty much the gist of the entire story associated with MouseCraft. What the game lacks in story, it makes up for in wonderfully created puzzles and gameplay.

MouseCraft is described as an A to B puzzle game in which you must get the mice from point A to point B safely. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. Between each point lies dangerous obstacles, traps, and even enemies. The game has a very Lemmings like feel to it but differentiates itself by including another familiar element, Tetrominos aka, Tetris blocks Use these Tetrominos by stacking them to form bridges, steps, and even as weapons against enemies. Use them in any which way you see fit as long as you can get all your mice to the cheese safely.

As you progress through the game, you’ll gain access to different kinds of Tetrominos like crumbling blocks, jelly blocks, and exploding blocks. Each has their own unique properties and uses. You just have to figure out how to use them effectively since these add a different dimension to the puzzle solving in which you must take into account what they do.

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For this review, I played MouseCraft on both the PS Vita and the PS4. I did not try it out on the PS3, though I’m assuming the controls would be very similar to that of the PS4. On the Ps4, the controls require the use of pretty much all the face buttons and shoulder buttons, as well as the touchpad, though the touchpad is mainly just used as another button. The controls are not terribly hard to learn, just that there are a lot of buttons to use. I think the game though plays much better on the PS Vita because many of the actions can be done using the touchscreen. If you want, you can still use the buttons to play and in that respect, it plays similar to that of the PS4.

Features

  • Experience a remix of two classic gameplay mechanics: Pile up Tetromino bricks to create a safe path for as many mice as possible.
  • Discover an epic tale of a crazy cat scientist who is striving to unlock the potential of a mysterious, mice-powered machine.
  • Defeat obstacles, overcome gaps and gather collectibles by using different types of blocks, of blocks, be them explosive, crumbling or even jelly ones.
  • Prove your stacking skills in your own style- freeze the game by using the Active Pause feature or increase the speed any time you want.
  • Get involved by creating your own maps and show off your creativity by sharing them with our community.
  • Chill out listening to the funky soundtrack scored by Mikolai Stroinski, the composer for Dark Souls 2, The Witcher 3 and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
  • 80 hand-crafted levels (about 6-10 hours of gameplay).
  • 7 different types of Tetromino Bricks, 2 types of Enviromental Hazards, Bombs, Enemies…
  • 4 different locations.
  • Level Editor which allows you to create your own maps.
  • Full Steam integration, including: Cloud Saves, Achievements, Leaderboards and Trading Cards.
  • Cross-Buy and Cross-Save integration on PlayStation consoles – get one copy, play on 3 consoles and sync your saves to the cloud.

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Graphically, Mousecraft is a very pretty looking game. I love how colorful all the levels are and the fact that the graphic elements are just so well done. This isn’t just a simple 2D game either. The graphic elements are in 3D even though it plays like a 2D game. It’s a very nice effect and lends itself well to the overall presentation.

Is MouseCraft any good as a puzzle game though? Sure it takes familiar elements from other popular puzzle games, but does it bring them together into a coherent game? Yes, it is and yes it does. MouseCraft is another fantastic puzzle game for the PlayStation library. The puzzles they present to you start off easy enough, but as you progress, they become increasingly more difficult. That’s a great thing because this game really makes you think about where you want to place these blocks in order to 100% a level. There were levels in which I had to replay them over and over again with different solutions just to get the best outcome and I didn’t mind at all. I’m usually a perfectionist when it comes to puzzle games so if I didn’t get it completely right the first time, I’ll redo a level over and over again until I do. Of course what’s really neat about MouseCraft is that it has a very forgiving undo system that allows you to undo your move an infinite amount of times in order to get things perfect. This allows for a more trial and error sort of gameplay for those who might not be quite as good at these games than others are.

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Lastly, if you find that you’ve finished all the levels and 100% everything and need more to do, MouseCraft also has a handy level creation editor. It allows you to use every asset available to you from in the game and you’re able to create levels of the minimum or maximum size. You can save these levels to play later, although there is no way that I can see of sharing these levels with others. Also playing the levels you create isn’t really all that fun since you already know the solutions to them. It’s better if you create the levels for someone else to try and solve. Despite this, it’s a very feature rich level editor. I just wish there was a way to upload them somewhere and also maybe download levels that other people have created.

Final Thoughts

MouseCraft is a very fun and challenging puzzle game. I really like the unique use of the Tetrominos as stackable platforms instead of using them as traditional puzzle pieces like in Tetris. Sure there are other games out there that feature trying to get your characters from point A to point B, but I think MouseCraft does this very well. This is a game that requires a lot of thought, especially in the later levels isn’t really a game that can be rushed through.

Overall, I highly recommend MouseCraft to anyone who enjoys unique and challenging puzzle games. MouseCraft so far has been quite addicting and I’ve been playing it every night since it’s release as I absolutely need to gold gear every level. It’s just who I am and what I have to do.


 

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