In MouseCraft, a crazy cat scientist named Schrödinger needs your help to complete his secret invention that happens to be powered by mice. You may be thinking “What happens if you were to mix the Lemmings game with Tetris?” I am happy to report that I have the answer for you, that is exactly what happens in MouseCraft. You have to make a safe path for the mice to get from their starting point to the cheese that is sitting on the end goal. Using Tetrominos you can move and rotate them to fill in gaps in the platforms or make steps for your mice to go up. This sounds very easy and in the first couple levels it is, until you realise all the hazards that can harm the mice or prevent them from getting to their snack.
There are a few ground rules that you need to keep in mind:
- The mice can’t fall higher than three blocks without dying. Later on you will unlock jelly blocks that you can use to give the mice a soft landing that won’t hurt them no matter the fall height, but until that is unlocked, be sure that there are no large drops or you will be seeing little ghost mice.
- Mice can only jump up one space. Their vertical jump isn’t very high so if they come across a wall or platform that is higher than one block they will turn around and go the other direction.
- Dropping a Tetromino on top of your mice will kill them, so wait to let your mice out of the starting gate until you have your blocks placed, or be patient and wait until all the mice have moved out of the way. You can still complete the level as long as one mouse survives, but of course you won’t get as high of a score and the little mice are so cute you don’t want to have them die on you.
As you progress in the levels new hazards and items to collect are presented to you. The most dangerous hazards are the evil robotic rats, called Ratoids, that Schrödinger invented. They act just like regular mice, but they won’t hesitate to kill the adorable mice that you need to get to the goal. But just like the regular mice, they can also be crushed and defeated in the same manner, so they are pretty easy to take out if you need to clear the way. Of course, to create this secret invention, a source of money is needed, so anima shards will be in the levels to collect to bring in some funds. They aren’t usually placed in very easy areas to access, so you will have to do some planning and Tetromino placing to get your mice to them.
While playing if you feel like it is taking your mice forever to get towards the goal you can hit the Right Trigger button on the Xbox controller to make them move double time. This is such a nice option to have when you just want them to move faster. The other handy option is being able to rewind the last moves you have done. Hold Left Trigger to undo as many of your moves that you would like. If the mice have already reached the goal it’s too late to rewind so you will just have to re-challenge the level. But if you put that last block in the wrong place or accidentally squished one of the mice you can luckily undo that last move. Once you complete a stage your progress is auto-saved so you can always continue where you left off.
The whole time you are leading the mice to the goal, Schrödinger intently watches the action unfold while he stands directly behind the stage observing your every move. I’m thinking he needs your help since I’m sure the mice have trust issues with the huge cat that looks like he will eat them at any point. Plus it might be a conflict of interest if he is leading the mice from his own experiment. The stage is 2D with bright colours, and adorable designs for the characters. The background is animated with the cat moving and reacting to all the moves you are making.
Like the puzzle games Lemmings and Tetris that this game has elements of, MouseCraft is incredibly addictive. At the beginning I wasn’t sure how long it would hold my attention since it was quite easy, but as the difficulty amped up I was hooked. I was not happy with levels where I failed to get all the mice to the goal, or obtain all of the shards. I knew I could do better so a lot of the stages if I didn’t get a perfect ending I would re-challenge. If you love puzzle games that are hard to put down and challenge you by mixing other puzzle games you may be familiar with, MouseCraft is definitely a must-play for you! I’m sure the 80 different stages will keep you busy for a while, especially if you are a completionist!
MouseCraft (Reviewed on Xbox One)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
MouseCraft is a mix of two other great puzzle games, Lemmings and Tetris, that challenges your brain in an all new way. With great graphics and stages to complete, it’s hard to not get addicted!