Review: Mousecraft (PSN)
Mousecraft is a puzzle game made by Curve Studios. If you’ve ever played Lemmings or any game like that, it will feel very familiar to you. Available on PS Vita, PS3, and PS4 and it’s cross-buy/cross-save, so you can play it on whatever PlayStation console you’d prefer. I had to take flight recently, and Mousecraft provided me with ample amusement and enjoyment over the 2+ hour flight. Aside from the story mode, there is an impressive level editor in which you can create your own crazy levels. The story mode has a number of levels and they get increasingly harder as it goes.
Story mode can be broken down pretty simply; there are mice in little “cages” (the maps/levels), and you need to get them to the cheese. Using various items and blocks, you build out the map to allow the mice to make their way to the cheese. The mice can drop down onto platforms, but only from a height of a few blocks without dying. Traveling through the levels there are a number of crystals called Anima Shards, and you need to collect those to advance on to the different stages of levels. While your best scores come from saving all the mice and getting all the shards, getting shards will help you advance onto the more difficult levels. The mice can also climb up on block at a time as well. As you progress through the levels, new items are introduced to help you through, as are enemies to make it more difficult. In some cases, enemies have to be either dispatched or you need to time the way you place blocks or items to prevent them from getting in contact with the mice.
The story mode increases in difficulty in a nice way, but the UI gets in the way when it tries to explain to you all the things the items/blocks/enemies do. Sometimes it’s best to just let us gamers figure it out on our own. You can go into the menus and disable it though. The level editor pretty much is self explanatory. Using all of the things you’ve experienced in story mode, create challenging levels to pit yourself against.
The level editor is pretty unique in that you have access to nearly every type of item/enemy/environmental object even if you haven’t seen or “unlocked” it in the game yet. If I spent more time on it, I could’ve made a more interesting level, but I do think the level editor will allow for far more challenging puzzles than the story mode provides up-front. The only downside to the level editor is that it’s on-console only. So while you could cloud save your levels to your PS3/PS4 or Vita, there is no online mode where you can upload your levels, or play levels of other crafters.
So, what do I think about MouseCraft? I think for what the game offers, it’s definitely worth buying if you like puzzle games. It’s a game you can play for 15 minutes or 2 hours and enjoy it either way. The level editor is definitely a nice touch because it expands the game beyond the story mode, but the lack of online mode hurts it. Because it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel (heh, puns!) with puzzle games being so reminiscent to me of Lemmings, I give the game a 6.5/10 overall. The game is well made, functions well, and has a lot to offer someone who enjoys puzzle games.
For more information on MouseCraft from Curve, click here.