By: Uma Smith
One of the great things about the PlayStation Network is the opportunity for cross-buy for some of the new titles where you get the PS4, PS3 and Vita versions all for the price of one. And in the case of Mousecraft, courtesy of Curve Studios, that’s exactly what you get. Additionally, the notion that this particular title is a mixture of gameplays taken from both Lemmings and Tetris almost makes me forget the mice featured here, which I find very frightening. But at the end of the day, will this game turn out to be a fine piece of cheese?
For the controls, moving the blocks around is done through the left stick while the d-pad is used for choosing the blocks. On the PlayStation Vita, Mousecraft functions effectively with the ability to use both the face buttons and the touchscreen. For the latter, the controls involve using one finger to drag and move the blocks around while the other finger rotates it. For the home console versions, these same functions are performed with the help of the left stick and shoulder buttons.
In either case, the controls are pretty much straightforward. It is a pity though, that the d-pad couldn’t be used for moving the blocks instead as some players would prefer this type of control scheme on a puzzle game like this. Nonetheless, it’s not really a deal breaker here.
Although the graphics for Mousecraft appear acceptable, be it on the television or Vita screens, the levels overall look pretty much the same as you progress from one to the next. The background lacks variety, which keeps this game from excelling in the visuals department.
On the flip side, the audio aspect of Mousecraft is quite the treat. The soundtrack is catchy and enjoyable with upbeat and stimulating tunes playing in the background. Additionally, the audio effects do their job very well in ensuring both the action and humor behind the game is delivered effectively.
In case you haven’t figured out by now, Mousecraft is a puzzle game that involves a feline scientist named Schrodinger who is trying to gain blue shards with his experiments in order to fund his future research. And that’s essentially it in terms of the background story!
Gameplay-wise, you help to ensure that you guide the three mice who are acting as test subjects across this dangerous platform that they must traverse by placing Tetris-like blocks. This is important since if they fall from great heights it spells death for the mice. The goal is to get them to reach their cheese. Hence, Mousecraft has similarity in gameplay with Lemmings where you can’t exactly control the subjects. Instead, you have to guide them with the tools you are given.
While this sounds very simple, the puzzles themselves get more challenging with the addition of such deadly elements as acid and killer robot mice. In time though, Mousecraft does seem pretty repetitive, especially since the difficulty doesn’t increase that significantly. While it’s true that the inclusion of extra obstacles will get you thinking harder, it won’t take too long to advance nonetheless.
Still, the saving factor for Mousecraft lies in the content. There are plenty of levels to keep you busy, especially when you need to ensure that you collect a certain number of blue shards in order to progress to certain sections of the game’s puzzle map. Plus, even if you manage to complete all the levels, you can always play around with the level editor to create your own sets of challenges to play with friends, locally that is. It’s too bad that there isn’t an opportunity to share online, but hopefully in due time this will change.
At the very least, Mousecraft is a pretty decent game. But considering the $14.99 price tag at the PlayStation Store, the real value will be dependent upon the number of game consoles you get to benefit from with this cross-buy. Ideally, you’ll want to have at least the PlayStation Vita and either the PS3 or PS4 in order to reap the full benefits of this “cheesy” puzzle title.