ReviewsReview: MouseCraft

Review: MouseCraft

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My video review with footage captured on my Xbox Series X, enjoy!

If you are a gamer of a certain age, you’ll have fond memories of classic and testing puzzle titles. Can you remember the brilliance of Lemmings and the addictive action of Tetris? If you can, how would you feel if the two got it on and created an eclectic, yet amusing, love child? MouseCraft is the fruit of their loins and it’ll test your spatial awareness and logical thinking.

Developed and published by Crunching Koalas, this is a colourful problem-solving title. It was originally released on PC in 2013 and drip-fed to consoles ever since. Xbox gamers need to wait no longer and I couldn’t wait to see what it’s all about.

MouseCraft twists long-established feuds. 

If you were to tell me that a cat and mouse would work together, I’d laugh in your face. Yet, in MouseCraft, the protagonist is an intelligent cat and his minions are lowly mice. The cat is professor Schrodinger, a mad scientist. He has created mice-powered inventions with the aim to unlock a mysterious power. He utilises a band of 3 mice on each level and hopes all three survive the ordeal and make it to the cheese.

The concept behind each stage is simple; you must drop Tetromino bricks to create paths to get the mice to the finish line. En route, you’ll encounter enemies called Ratoids, traps to avoid, and scenery to blow up. Like Lemmings, you must control the flow of your troops to keep them alive. You must decide when to craft new paths, and when to let them be. It takes patience, a logical mind, and a fair bit of luck. If you love a tricky but fun puzzle game, then this will get your juices flowing.

The wonderful professor Schrodinger.

Plenty of content. 

Though the action hasn’t changed much from the original release, there is plenty of content to keep you busy. With 80 levels to overcome and plenty of drip-fed mechanics, you won’t become bored. Furthermore, collectables have been added to most levels, called Anima shards. These valuable commodities must be gathered in order to progress. It was an excellent addition to the gameplay that made it just a little harder.

As you become familiar with each new element, another layer is added. Whether it was a change in scenery, special powers like explosives, or the introduction of Ratoids, you never got comfortable. The Ratoids are particularly annoying as they are one of Schrodinger’s failed inventions. These evil mechanical rodents destroy everything in their path and are a nuisance throughout. When they were introduced, it added time pressure and an element of danger.

Fortunately, though, Crunching Koalas aren’t monsters! You are free to pause, rewind, and fast forward the time as you wish. This allows you the freedom to think, undo errors, and experiment at will. It was a wonderful idea that reduced the need for a hint system. Though I don’t like trial and error in a puzzle situation, MouseCraft has balanced this perfectly.

Keep working through those levels.

MouseCraft still looks wonderful. 

When a game is 8-plus years old, you’d be excused for thinking it may be a dated mess. Surprisingly though, MouseCraft looks great! Its fixed-screen perspective allows you to scan the stage with ease and its characters are striking. Furthermore, thanks to its excellent UI, you can focus on the puzzles and nothing else.

A quirky and minxy title needs a fun and lively soundtrack. Fortunately, MouseCraft delivers this and more. Both Tetris and Lemmings have recognisable and brilliant soundtracks and this style is replicated throughout. It certainly isn’t as memorable, but its blend of songs and sound effects capture your imagination. 

Plan for those Tetromino bricks.

Forgiving controls. 

As you progress, the action becomes pretty hectic. Many cogs are moving, and this can become overwhelming. Fortunately, the forgiving controls alleviate some of this burden. Thanks to the time control settings and responsiveness, you can quickly and accurately counter the madness. Moreover, the developers have worked hard when porting this from PC to console. Thankfully, the gameplay benefits from their dedication, as this is easy to play with a gamepad. 

Thanks to the array of levels and a monstrous amount of collectables, this has both longevity and replay value. Every stage has a perfect score to aim for and this will challenge most players while driving them mad. Furthermore, a tough achievement list will test you throughout.

MouseCraft may be old, but it’s still relevant. 

When you first look at MouseCraft, you may worry that it’s not worthy of your time. However, this isn’t the case. Its classic mechanics, excellent aesthetics, and wonderful controls make it relevant for today’s market. It is a fun and testing puzzle title that’ll annoy and amuse you equally. I enjoyed the challenge and recommend you to buy it here! Will Schrodinger unleash the mysterious power or will his inventions fail again? 

SUMMARY

MouseCraft is a wonderful puzzle title that'll test your mind. It combines challenges for spatial awareness as well as logical tests. It's fun, whacky, and addictive as hell.

+ Striking graphics.
+ Quirky audio.
+ Simple controls.
+ Addictive.
+ Lots of replay value.
+ It blends Tetris with Lemmings.
- No new levels for the Xbox release.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]
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MouseCraft is a wonderful puzzle title that'll test your mind. It combines challenges for spatial awareness as well as logical tests. It's fun, whacky, and addictive as hell. <br/> <br/> + Striking graphics. <br/> + Quirky audio. <br/> + Simple controls. <br/> + Addictive. <br/> + Lots of replay value. <br/> + It blends Tetris with Lemmings.<br/> - No new levels for the Xbox release. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>Review: MouseCraft