A Video Game Review: Mech Mice – Defend Roden from the Dark Union

ToysBulletin.com reviews its first computer game.


Readers have been asking for us to review not only mobile apps from time to time, but to review an occasional video/computer game.  Today, we are going to review the first one, and we think you will find this an exciting game for youngsters of all ages.

Hyper Hippo Productions and Oktobor Animation have combined forces to create “Mech Mice.”  It is currently intended for any browser, and it worked perfectly on our Desktop Mac.  It does also require the loading of the “Unity Web Player,” which only took a few minutes, and provides superior graphics for the game.  We did some checking and it is considered completely safe.  The author describes the game as a “squad based tactical” game, where mice take turns doing battle with fierce cybug armies.  The game is brand new, having been released in October 2013.


According to the backstory, mice had been the most hunted animals on the planet, until one day they discovered a crystal shard.  The shard enabled the mice to gain valuable knowledge and become technologically superior.  There are now known as “Mech Mice.”  However, with this new power, they have been constantly under attack from the cybugs of the Dark Union.  Now, they must defend their homeland, Roden, and the shard.


Each chapter of the game includes 8 distinct levels of play.  Each level becomes a bit more difficult to complete, since the cybugs get larger and more powerful as the game progresses.  Players can add additional units to their squad, many with impressive new powers and abilities.  The game did remind us of a somewhat simpler version of “Skylanders,” the popular video game from Activision.

The basic game can be played by first entering a user name and password at the website.  The complete first chapter (all 8 levels) of the game is free.  If you decide to continue, additional chapters can be purchased for $7.99, with each chapter providing approximately 2-4 hours of game play.  If additional units are purchased (each with a unique new ability), they cost $2.99 per unit.  All payments are made through PayPal.


The game first requires a player to select one of two modes of play, story mode or adventure mode.  In story mode, your battle squad is chosen for you, while in adventure mode, you can select your own squad.  The first challenge is just ahead as you enter the opening landscape presented in Chapter 1-Level 1.


We will go ahead and describe the opening challenge, and the mechanics required to move and fire a weapon at the enemy.  Your first orders are to repair 3 radar towers, meet up with Flank, the heavy unit, and look around, reporting anything unusual.  You are commander of the mission, and an image of Blaze, an adviser, appears from time to time at the top of the screen, providing information and tips as you progress through a level.


You will immediately see an ever-changing grid of hexagons appear on the surface.  The first thing to learn is that any hexagon containing a red circle can be shot at, and any hexagon containing a green circle can be activated.  If the hexagon is blue, with no circle inside, the player can move to that circle.  Movement, activation and shooting are done by simply pointing the curser on the desired hexagon and clicking the mouse.


Of course, in this opening level, the radar towers contain green circles, and Flank is also waiting on a green circle.  However, just as you reach the third and final radar tower, 3 cybugs pop out of the ground, each on a red circle.  When enemies appear in the game, the players must take turns with them, as they also get a chance to move and/or shoot at you.  Your player can shoot back at the red circle, and Flank also gets his turn to help.  Neither you, Flank nor any of the cybugs can fire at the same time.  They must wait for their turn.  This is a particularly important feature for younger players, who might otherwise get flustered trying to fire back faster than their enemy. 


You and Flank can and probably will incur some damage during the battle with the three cybugs.  The two of you will see a small healing flower (in a green circle) that can restore one of you to full strength.  After battling and defeating 3 additional cybugs, the two heroes arrive at the swirly portal (in a green circle), completing Chapter 1-Level 1.  As the game progresses, the challenges get more difficult and the cybugs get stronger and smarter. 


We at Toys Bulletin were extremely impressed with the overall quality of the game.  The colors, graphics and animation were first-rate, while the movement was so simple and yet so precise.  The shooting and action sounds were top notch, and the challenges and unit selection process were also well thought out. 


Our only minor complaint was the lack of a complete set of rules that described the game play.  Instead, the game provided advice in the narrative at the top of the screen.  The intention may have been to have players simply try things and see what works, but we could easily have missed some simple command from the keyboard that might have created an additional game action.


We enjoyed “Mech Mice” immediately and it only got better as we progressed a bit farther through most of the opening levels.  It is certainly worth a look.  Load the game and play it at MechMice.com.
— RJ Cullen

Posted in Apps and Video Games