You try to be good. You try to say stuff like “I already have fifty games that I never play.” You mostly manage but then Steam has a sale of some kind.
Mostly during the year, if you’re lucky, you see the games that you want stay at the price they’re normally at with the occasional bump to 10% off (if you’re lucky, 25%). But, man, during that sale, you see stuff like 50%, 66%, 75%, 80%… sometimes 90%.
And it’s under those circumstances that you find yourself with little gems like Genius Greedy Mouse on your desktop.
This is a puzzle game. You have a mouse in a maze and it’s your job to eat a certain number of pieces of cheese to leave the map and get a gold star. If you eat a certain number of additional cheese on top of the original number, you’ll get fat and if you leave the map with a fat mouse, you’ll get two gold stars.
Simple and straightforward, right? Well, they’ve got a number of little touches that mix it up and make it interesting. There are spaces that contain stuff like mushrooms that will kill you if you try to pass through… but there’s also gravity dynamic for some of the things in the maze. If you remove the foundation of what they’re sitting on, they will fall down and squash such things as mushrooms. Other things in the maze (jellyfish) will float up if you remove the ceiling above them. Yet other things (bullets) will travel to the right or left if you remove the walls preventing them from flying free. There are locks and keys, railways that demand you travel a particular path, tunnels that take you from the very bottom of the map to the very top, and all sorts of puzzle dynamics that I’m sure you’re already familiar with.
It’s the aesthetic that will make you smile, though. The animation is Claymation. A Claymation mouse running around a Claymation map to eat Claymation cheese while setting up Claymation chain reactions is charming as heck. The music is a somewhat lo-fi guy playing an acoustic guitar while whistling a happy tune.
The game is charming as heck. If you like puzzle games at all, put this on your wishlist. You might forget about it for a while, sure. But the Winter Sale is right around the corner…
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))