Ranneko Plays MouseCraft – Section Four (Part 3)

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With this MouseCraft comes to an end and with the coffee in hand it seem appropriate to try to sum up my own thoughts on the game. It was pretty good, it delivered exactly what I was after when I started it a slowly escalating series of puzzles that occasionally would stump me for a while but never was so difficult that I needed to go online and search for a guide. No one mechanic really outstays its welcome and it manages to introduce new elements and tools at a fairly steady pace.

The biggest misstep for me has to be the movement system. Block placement and obstacles all on a clearly defined grid, but mice and ratoids are fundamentally smaller than any of these grid pieces. This is not in itself a problem, but the transition between each of those pieces is surprisingly ambiguous, it can be hard to know if a block you are about to place will instantly crush a mouse, miraculously have it crawl out of the block unharmed or miraculously crawl into the block and be crushed. It really needs to either make it clear the mouse will be crushed in the last situation or actually have the mouse or ratoid see the block coming as skitter back slightly.

That movement problem is only exacerbated by the moving block, which conceptually is the most powerful of the blocks, especially when combined with the ability to pause the game and move blocks around, but because of the animation problems you are just as likely to accidentally crush the little mice as you are to deploy a block just in time to whisk them away to safety.

MouseCraft also features a pretty good little level editor, but unfortunately no way to share or download levels which really limits the utility of it. Overall I was really pleased with my time with MouseCraft and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a competent puzzle game to occupy themselves for a few hours.

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