Sunday, 20 July 2014

One To Watch: MouseCraft [PS Vita]

Here's a quick question: What do Schrödinger's Cat, Mice, and some tricky Tetris-style shapes all have in common? Well, they are all part of a new wacky puzzle game called MouseCraft, which has been developed by Polish indie studio, Crunching Koalas, for the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita.

The game is a kind of hybrid of two great gaming franchises - Tetris and Lemmings.  Players must help the main character - a cat named  Schrödinger - to fulfill his scientific experiments by guiding a trio of mice along a platform from A to B.  This may sound simple, but it is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

Players must use a set of  Tetris-style blocks, which can be picked up, rotated and arranged in a way that creates a safe pathway for the mice. The game only requires players to get one of their three rodent charges all the way to the goal for a new level to be unlocked. Along the way, the trio of mice have to collect several blue crystals and other items which Schrödinger sells to fund his experiments.

Any mouse who makes it to the end of the level without dying will receive a cheese-based reward, but there are a tricky selection of obstacles and hazards which must be overcome if the mice are to get their paws on the coveted cheese prize.

There are eighty different levels to complete, which are split across four different stages, but each of these stages contains many obstacles, including enemy rats, pools of water and/or acid, and various forms of electrocution to contend with.

Don't worry though, players can unlock several special blocks as they successfully complete each level. For example, Bomb blocks will explode in order to clear the pathway ahead of difficult or wrongly-placed blocks, Jelly blocks will cushion the mice's landing if they should fall and Crumbling blocks slowly disintegrate when placed, to allow the mice to get past an area more easily.

Some block shapes can also be rotated in such a way to create steps or stairs leading to higher platforms, which can help the mice to locate blue crystals that would otherwise be unreachable. Nevertheless, all blocks must be placed carefully if your rodents are going to cheat death. Mice can jump off a singular block without harm, but will fall to their death from a platform that is any higher than three blocks.

The different types of blocks and the way the shapes can be rotated to intersect each other is brilliant, and seriously adds to the replay value of the game, and there is even a fun and easy-to-use Level Editor mode, so that creative players can attempt to construct their own challenging levels once the game's core stages have all been completed.

Unfortunately though, the Level Editor mode has one slight flaw: There is no online sharing features in this game, which is a bit of a disappointment, as none of these player-created levels can be shared amongst fellow PS Vita users.

In conclusion, MouseCraft is a very fun game, which will provide an adequate number of gaming hours for most people. The colourful cartoon graphics and witty style help to make the game very entertaining.

Furthermore, the game is subject to Sony's Cross-Buy policy, which means that if you purchase the game in one format, it becomes automatically available for download on any other formats that the player might own as well. Thus a PS3 and PS Vita owner only needs to purchase the game once in order to play the game on both consoles, making MouseCraft very good value for money.

If you like zany gameplay, brain-bending puzzles and cute cartoon characters, then this is most definitely a worthwhile game for your collection. Overall Mini Gamers Rating: 8/10.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Club Nintendo Members Left Disappointed By Lack Of Limited-Edition Merchandise...

This year's rewards for members of Nintendo's loyalty program, Club Nintendo, have been announced today, and those who accumulated enough virtual coins during the past year can select from a handful of free downloadable games.

However, unlike in years past, there are no special limited-edition items being offered to members, and the rewards are nothing that can't be easily purchased by non-Club Nintendo members, which has left some members feeling extremely disappointed.

To reach the Gold or Platinum status, you needed to earn a certain number of coins between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. Coins are earned by registering game and console purchases on Club Nintendo, as well as completing surveys.

In the past, Club Nintendo members have been offered special merchandise such as calendars, soundtracks, carrying cases, commemorative pins, and posters, and even a real-life duplicate of Mario's red hat in 2009.

The full list of this year's rewards for Club Nintendo members follows below.

Platinum Status rewards:

•Game & Wario (Wii U)
•NES Remix (Wii U)
•EarthBound (Wii U)
•Dr. Luigi (Wii U)
•Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
•Fluidity: Spin Cycle (3DS)
•Dillon's Rolling Western (3DS)
•Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS)

Platinum and Gold Status rewards:

•Ice Climber (Wii U)
•Kid Icarus (Wii U)
•Super Mario Bros. (Wii U)
•Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Wii U)
•Donkey Kong 3 (3DS)
•Wario Land II (3DS)
•Metroid (3DS)
•Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3DS)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Review [PS Vita]

Those intrepid intergalactic explorers, Ratchet and Clank are back! The Ratchet &Clank Trilogy is set to bring three of Ratchet and Clank's first three space adventures to the PS Vita for the very first time!

This special collection features Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked & Loaded, and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. which were first developed for the PlayStation 2 between 2002-2004, all of which received very popular reviews at the time.

So how do the three games shape-up on the PS Vita?

Well, the games look beautifully remastered. The touchpad is now used for Ratchet's trademark Strafing move, which does take a little bit of getting used to, but the rest of the controls use the D-pad and buttons, and thus will be extremely familiar to fans of both the original PS2 and PS3 titles, as well as the PSP Ratchet & Clank titles.

The actual games remain unchanged from the originals, and still feature all the hilarious cutscenes, witty dialogue, dramatic battles and special in-game events that fans experienced with the home console versions, but this time fans of the series can take their games on the move if they wish.

Overall, this is an extremely good port of the games, unfortunately though, the cutscenes also remain unchanged from the original PS2 versions, so they look extremely blurry at times, but the interactive portions with each game do look stunning on the Vita's OLED screen.

If you are a fan of Ratchet & Clank but have never had the chance to play the PS2 games before, or if you simply want a way of taking your favourite Ratchet & Clank games out of the house for a while, then this is definitely a good collection to have. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 8/10.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

England Lose World Cup Yet Again... The PlayStation World Cup, that is!

England faced another crushing defeat last night at the 2014 World Cup. Not the actual World Cup, of course, but a virtual one. The FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) saw Englishman, David Bytheway take on eighteen year old, August Rosenmeier, from Denmark.

The two finalists reportedly played a very good game, with Blytheway choosing to play as Germany and Rosenmeier playing as the host nation of Brazil, but utimately, Blytheway was unable to get ahead in the tense PlayStation battle, which finally saw Rosenmeier beat his English rival 3-1.

Now in its tenth year, this was the first time the FIWC Grand Final took place at the same time and in the same country as the FIFA World Cup. Unlike the real World Cup, however, the FIWC started with almost two million entrants who were gradually whittled down to just twenty competitors that were then invitedto Rio where they battled it out in several rounds of FIFA 14. Footballers such as Dwight Yorke and Ronaldo were also present to offer encouragement to the competitors.

This was the third Grand Final for August Rosenmeier, who, as well as winning the FIWC trophy, will receive $20,000 (approximately £10,500), and will even get to meet some of the real football teams taking part in this year's World Cup competition.

The 18 year-old expressed his utter delight at winning the Grand Final: "I can’t describe how it feels to be champion. Denmark isn’t here at the World Cup but we showed them we can play football on the virtual pitch. It was amazing to receive the trophy from Ronaldo.” [Sourced from:]

The online tournament takes place on the PlayStation Network and can be accessed through the latest version of FIFA 14 on the PS3. For more information on the FIWC, go to:,, or

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

New TMNT 'Movie Tie-in' Game Announced [3DS]

Activision have today announced that they are developing a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) game for the 3DS. The game, simply titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set to tie into a new movie about the crime-fighting amphibians, which is reportedly due for release in cinemas in August 2014.

In the game, Shredder's Foot Clan Army have chosen to team up with mad genius, Baxter Stockman, whose own robotic mutants are terrorizing New York City, and only Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello can protect the innocent public from this devastating evil.

Players can choose to play as any of the four main characters. Each turtle has a unique fighting style and set of abilities, which means that the game has tons of replay value. Players can also swap between the characters. For example, Raphael uses brute strength, whereas Michelangelo has super speed instead,which can be handy when dealing with different aspects of the game. Unfortunately the game does not feature a co-op mode though, which is a bit of a shame.

The game has been developed by Magic Pockets, the developer behind the previous TMNT 3DS game, and this game promises to be just as fun and exciting as its predecessor. Players will start with low abilities, regardless of which character they choose to play first, but new abilities and power-ups will be acquired as players progress through each level in turn.

If you are a fan of the TMNT franchise, or if you want a new fast-paced, hack-and-slash type game to play, then this is likely to be the game you were looking for. Watch this space!