Digital Life

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MouseCraft review

Runs on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PC
Classification: G
Price: $16.45
Rating: 7/10

MouseCraft blends two classic puzzle games - Tetris and Lemmings - to create an enjoyable new contraption.

As an eccentric feline scientist, you must assist laboratory mice to negotiate hazards and get to their tasty cheese by  using the iconic Tetris blocks to create makeshift pathways.

The mice can't hop higher than a single block and can't fall from any higher than three blocks. Further challenge is added by collectible crystal shards, which often force you to take alternate routes to your goal.

Like the best puzzlers, getting started is simple but layers of complexity are added as you progress through the 80 increasingly difficult stages. Hazards introduced include acid, water, electricity, explosives and robotic enemies to keep you on your toes.

There are also bricks with different properties to consider, including blocks made from jelly that can helpfully cushion falls and others that crumble underfoot and force you to build multiple routes. Meanwhile, bombs allow you to destroy obstacles, but are in limited supply.

Timing is often important, so it's useful to be able to freeze the action to perfectly place a block without having to worry about the rodents bumbling into danger. 

Solving a puzzle is satisfying, and some stages will make you feel particularly clever. Hints when you are struggling for a solution would have been a welcome addition, but it's rare to get stuck for long as you have to get only one mouse to the goal to progress.

An accessible level editor enables anyone to design their own stages, yet the package is sadly missing the crucial element of being able to share your creations online. Having access to a growing collection of community-created challenges would have ensured far greater lasting appeal and value for money. Hopefully an update will add sharing capability soon.