I love an easy time as much as the next person. However, I like to be tested as well. It’s for this reason that I enjoy precision-platforming titles. These annoying minxy games push you to your limits while testing your reactions and patience. Historically, many a controller has been broken as gamers attempt to finish each level, and I think the gameplay in Mastho is Together will generate the same reaction.
Developed by Kind Cat Games, ported to console by Ratalaika Games, and published by Eastasiasoft Limited, this is a precision-platform title. Its minimalist approach and simple stage design are reminiscent of an earlier era within the genre. I loved the lack of complexity and the gradual introduction of new mechanics. Every element is straightforward but combined, they make for a challenging gaming experience.
Mastho is Together sticks to tried and tested mechanics.
The core ingredients that makeup Mastho is Together are tried and tested and offer nothing new. Subsequently, veteran gamers will find the action to be familiar and perhaps a little dull. You must dash, jump, leap from walls, and avoid traps as you aim for the finish line. It may sound a little mundane but bear with me as I go into some depth.
The simple mechanics do wonders in setting a firm but a familiar foundation to work from. You must have lightning-fast reactions and a precise and logical mind. Each level lulls you into a false sense of security thanks to the deceptively simple layout. However, curb your enthusiasm as death is but one minor mistake away.
Mastho is a marshmallow on a mission.
I’m all for a wacky and nonsensical protagonist, but a sugar-free marshmallow… what the heck! Mastho is Together use of a confectionery hero has no bearing on the gameplay and this makes the developer’s decision even stranger, still.
The story comprises forty well-designed levels full of dangers and controller smashing moments. The gameplay risked boring its player base early on because of its difficulty and familiar mechanics. However, the developers counteracted this with fresh elements being added every five levels. This was an excellent decision that kept you on your toes while unfortunately making a tough game just a bit harder.
Mastho is Together lacks finesse but is wonderfully retro.
The platforming genre has many unique looks and styles. You can experience 3D open worlds, or dated side-scrolling pixelated titles. Mastho is Together falls into the latter category with its minimalist approach and vivid colours. This basic presentation won’t be for everyone, but I liked the lack of distractions. The gameplay was hard enough without any overcomplicated landscapes or moving objects.
This stripped-back approach continues in the chilled out audio. The laid back music doesn’t overpower the action, and it allows the louder and more crass sound effects to shine. The noises associated with every command were brilliant, if not dated, and gave the game a sense of nostalgia. I adored how the visual and audio elements combined to deliver a wonderfully retro title.
Failure is guaranteed.
Precision-platformers always demand accuracy and ridiculously quick reactions. Mastho is Together is no different. You will try, and fail, try, and fail, and then try again! Every attempt edges you closer to the goal, but the accuracy is exhausting. Child-like reactions and a shed load of practice are the key ingredients if you wish to succeed. Fortunately, the developers aren’t animals and they mapped the controller for a user-friendly approach. Moreover, the responsive nature of each command helps to balance out the difficulty. The brilliance of the controls was both refreshing and damning, as I couldn’t blame my shortcomings on anything except myself!
Where this falls short is its replay value! With no additional modes or collectables, you are left wanting. Furthermore, its achievement list was finished in under an hour, and that was disappointing. I would have loved to see a time trial option and a global leaderboard to compete with others. Fortunately, though, its longevity is increased thanks to the brutally challenging gameplay. If you wish to get through every level, you’ll need the patience of a saint and godly reactions. If rage-inducing action is your thing, then this will prove to be fantastic value for money.
Mastho is Together is punishing but fun.
Pain-free gaming and this genre do not go together! You need to bring your A-game to the table if you wish to get the most out of it. It’s true it’s not as tough as OkunoKA Madness or Super Meat Boy, but Mastho is Together will break many hearts and controllers. It’s not perfect, but it’s a fantastic retro precision-platform game that will get under your skin. I hated it and loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Can you help the sugar-free marshmallow finish every stage, or will it defeat you?