It's Mr Pants Game Boy Advance
Developed by Rare
Release Date: Out Now
It’s Mr Pants, an introduction.
Mr. Pants, that Rare mascot and game cameo celebrity has finally a game to call his own. It’s Mr Pants is a simple, yet addictive, game about making rectangles and squares, of a single colour, with the shapes to hand in order to clear the grid. Looking at the screenshots the game looks deceptively simple but it soon becomes challenging. Indeed the game even looks like it was created just for the younger gamers out there but the puzzles you’ll encounter on the higher difficulty levels will certainly make most of us scratch our heads and retry them several times.
What's the game about?
There’s very little to say here apart from the fact the game is a simplistic and addictive puzzler. The game has three modes for you to play, Puzzle, Wipeout and Marathon. All three modes see you having to create complete rectangles or squares (they have to be at least 3x2 blocks in size though). In Puzzle mode you’ll begin with some shapes already on the 13x13 grid and on the right side of the screen you’ll have a panel that shows you the next shape that will fall. The idea is to use the shapes that fall (within a given time limit) to make the shapes on the grid squares or rectangles. The trick is that the shapes are different colours and whilst you can overlap the shapes of a different colour you can’t overlap those of the same colour. Puzzle mode requires you to clear the grid of shapes (using a fixed number of falling pieces) in order to complete the puzzle. In Wipeout mode you’ll have more shapes scattered over the grid and you’ll have to clear the grid, using as many pieces as you like, within a 2 minute period. Finally there’s the Marathon mode which basically gives you 5 minutes to make as shapes as possible. There is a catch however. A ‘crafty crayon snake’ will wrap itself around the edge of the screen and spiral it’s way inwards until it’s takes up all the grid space and if this happens it’s game over. However clearing shapes from the grid will reduce the length of the crayon snake by the amount of blocks in your shape (a 4x5 shape will remove 20 blocks from the snake for instance).
What's good about the game?
In a nutshell the game is simple to learn and difficult to fully master like all good puzzle games should be. After only a short play the game gets under your skin and you’ll find yourself retrying those failed levels again and again until you finally work out the solution. The game offers 3 save slots so if there are others in your household who appreciate puzzle games you’ll be able to share the game with them. You can even play as a guest player which means your friends can give the game a try without taking up one of your save slots. There are reportedly 200+ puzzles in Puzzle mode and various pieces of artwork that can be unlocked as you play through the Puzzle mode.
What's not so good about the game?
Ultimately the longevity of the game and the lack of a multiplayer mode are its main downfall. The aforementioned 200+ puzzles won’t actually take that long to complete once you’re comfortable with the game. That said though, the puzzles are split over 3 difficulty modes and on the highest difficulty setting a lot more thought is required than on the Easy and Normal difficulty levels. The game really needs a multiplayer mode though. Both the Wipeout and Marathon modes would have made good multiplayer modes (they are not as entertaining as the Puzzle mode for a single-player) and it’s a shame that these modes have remained single-player modes only.
How does it look?
The game has a charming simplicity about it that might deceive you into thinking it’s a children’s only game. Mr. Pants is a stick man who wears Y-fronts (as well as a bowler hat) whilst Helpo is a light bulb with stick arms and legs. The artwork for the backgrounds is usually a crayon like scribble which looks quite basic but completely fits in with the rest of the game's visual style. The shapes themselves are all made up from square blocks and are usually squares, rectangles, L shapes or simply a single block. The blocks do have simple patterns on them though which prevents them from being dull one-colour efforts.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Being a Game Boy Advance game there was never going to be many problems for deaf gamers and apart from the odd verbal quip from Mr. Pants (that isn’t subtitled) there are no problems to report. All information throughout the game is given in text including the hint messages that can be obtained from Helpo, the little character who will give you advice if you restart a level more than a few times.
It’s Mr Pants may appear to be a comical children’s puzzle game thanks to the wacky characters and the simplistic, crayon like artwork that’s been used in the game. However on closer examination you’ll find a solid puzzle game that’s very addictive and at times really challenging. It’s a very good game to play for 10 minutes or so at a time and thanks to its addictive nature you’ll find yourself equally as happy to play the game when you have more time on your hands.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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It's Mr Pants is an enjoyable puzzle game that most fans of the genre will appreciate. The game's artwork and presentation gives off the appearance of a child's game but in actual fact the game will appeal to gamers of all ages. It's disappointing that there are no multiplayer modes though as the single player game will not last for a great deal of time.