Developer: Crunching Koalas
Publisher: Curve Studios
Platform: PC via Steam / GoG / Humble Bundle; PS3/PS4/PSVita (Cross-Buy) via PSN(Reviewed).
Price: $14.99; €12.99; £9.99
I’m going to get my issue with the lead character, Schrödinger who is a scientist experimenting on mice but also a goofy looking cat. Not since I saw the trailer for the inappropriately titled I, Frankinstein has a character’s name made me shout out in disgust. The name of the cat can be classed as tongue in cheek as Schrödinger’s experimenting on white mice by guiding them through a maze. During each level these mice can be classed as being both alive or unfortunately deceased depending on how who aid them to the end goal a lump of tasty cheese. A massive cliché as real mice much prefer sweet things as opposed to a lump of Stinky Bishop but I digress.
The controls are simple and with easy to use touch controls on the PSVita version, which work really well. The game allows for time to be paused, so the Tetris style blocks can be rotated and placed in the landscape to enable the mice to reach the cheese. The game teaches the mechanics at a lovely pace adding in new functions such as bombs to clear blockages, jelly blocks to allow mice to fall more than 4 blocks in height, exploding and crumbling blocks, robot killer rats and water. As well as being able to pause time you can also speed it up or reverse it if you make the wrong move and lead the mice to a premature end. As well as trying to complete a level with all three mice you also have to try and collect blue crystals (Anima Shards), some of which require a fair bit of lateral thinking to obtain.
Visually this game really surprised me from an attractive animated intro and Schrödinger pulling faces in the background of the levels. It really shows what can be achieved with games made using Unity. The mice look lovely and you feel a little tinge of sadness as a rodent is turned into a ghost due to some bad timing or lack of forward planning. The level selection screens are set out like a blueprint for the bonkers cat’s bizarre, mouse powered machine.
The musical score is whimsical and fun with sound effects that are also lovely adding a sense of relaxation to the problems. The difficulty levels starts nice and easy but soon becomes really tricky in parts, prompting replays to try and 100% each of the 80 levels.
This game is Cross-Buy for all three current Sony Platforms with a simple yet effective Cross-Save cloud sync that had me playing at home on the PS4 then continuing my progress on my PSVita on the move, and resuming again on my PS4 when returning home. Like all Curve Studio’s Cross-Buy titles there’s only one Trophy list over all platforms and is lacking a Platinum but does have 12 very challenging virtual rewards. Making it a rather tricky 100% to achieve, thankfully the fun is in the gaming and it encourages you to try to obtain them, there’s also a handy stats page for working out how close you are to obtaining some of them.
There’s an added bonus of a level editor but sadly as there doesn’t appear to be any way to share your creation with PSN Friends online, meaning they only stay locally on your system. There’s also no leader boards due to a lack of timing on the levels which means you can’t challenge your friends to better your speed runs.
The game is fun and very playable, with a great levels of grey matter taxation, it’s just a shame that a few features appear to be missing. That said I’d recommend it for the Cerebral workout it provides, in a good looking and sounding package.
Review code and screen shots supplied by Publisher.