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Transformice Review

Review; Aug. 5, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By David Telfer
Shaman mice - need I say more?

I know what you’re thinking. From the title alone, you’re thinking this is a game in which you play as transforming mice. Right? You're half right. You play as mice, that’s for sure, but I don’t see the transforming bit. And neither will you. Instead, be prepared to play one of the greatest games in which trolling really is an art.


The objective is simple in Transformice: get the cheese get back into the mouse hole before time runs out. There will be obstacles in your way: walls that must be scaled, holes that must be jumped, spinning anvil-like snake creatures that must be avoided at all costs, hidden holes that you most likely won't know exist, inverted gravity/controls ... I could go on. Oh, and Shamans.

In some levels, one or two players become the Shaman. As the Shaman, it’s your job to use your mystical powers to help guide your fellow mice to the cheese as safely as possible. You’ll have a host of powers, from simply creating planks of wood and boxes, to spawning anvils and balloons used to create flying devices. You can also summon wind. All of these tools should be used to help the other players.

Note: should. Players should get a lifetime achievement award for being a helpful Shaman because as soon as one player is given these shamanistic -- read: sadistic -- powers, he immediately turns into evil incarnate, bent on destroying his former comrades. It seems power really will go to a person’s head; assume control of the Shaman, and your only desire will be to kill and trap your fellow mice in the most hilarious ways imaginable. Need to make a flying device for them? Sure, build it, but then make it blow off the edge of the screen and kill them all! Just started a new level? Summon a cannonball and launch them all into empty pits! Is there another Shaman there, trying to guide more mice to his side than yours? No problem! Everyone loves watching two Shamans fight it out! You may not get any points, and neither will they, but it’ll make you cry with laughter and, hopefully, them too.

At times, Transformice can get incredibly frustrating. If you're genuinely in the game and want to play it properly, it can be tiresome when every Shaman is killing off the other players at the start of the level. If it's really ridiculous, then it may be amusing for a while, but the novelty can soon wear off -- in turn, you'll kill them when you become the Shaman. While you can argue that the true fun lies in causing grief as a Shaman, there are people out there who may very well want to play the game seriously, so don't be surprised if you want to play seriously and find nothing but grief or vice versa.

Transformice is a beautiful game. It’s staggering amounts of fun, whether you’re trying to play seriously or impatiently waiting for your turn as the Shaman. You do get some groups that genuinely help one another as Shamans, and the ways in which some people come up with solutions are inventive and clever. But you can have equal amounts of fun by griefing -- taunting the other mice by pretending to kill them off, only to completely block off the mouse hole and force them to sit there and wait for time to end. Call it cruel, call it whatever you will, but you won’t say it isn’t fun.


Review Score

Not Rated by ESRB

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