Since Angry Birds exploded on to our iDevices in a fit of feathers and colour, there has been a dearth of multi-level casual games on the iOS platform. The subsequent successor to the throne was Cut The Rope — a game that also had a gazillion levels with an addictive play-style.
The most recent game that I have come across that takes a stab at this formula is House Of Mice. You play as a mouse that is trying to collect his three cheeses – like in Cut The Rope – before finally blowing up the Cheshire Cat waiting at the end of the level, who is your goal for completion — like Om-Nom in Cut The Rope.
I think that you can already see which game this most resembles. There are some definite similarities between House Of Mice and Cut The Rope. The level select screen is similar, as is some of the core gameplay. But there are also some key differences.
This game is quite heavy on geometry. Instead of relying on gravity – like in Cut The Rope – you must fire your balled up mouse (I know how odd that sounds) into objects and off the walls to collect the cheeses and complete the level. Throughout the game you are trying to guess the angle at which you need to propel your mouse to achieve the desired effect. House of Mice is very heavy on trial and error.
I quite enjoyed the graphical stylings of this app. It reminds me aesthetically of Tom and Jerry cartoons — which I assume is the desired effect. The characters in the game have a lot of life to them, and I can see a lot has been done to give them a real sense of personality. I quite enjoyed this aspect of the game.
House Of Mice is challenging and I like that too. Some games are just too difficult – sometimes for the sake of it – but this title gives a good amount of challenge and therefore playability. I quite frequently have to attempt a level multiple times before I can complete it, but this has yet to frustrate me.
House of Mice features an impressive 80 levels, which is an awful lot of game. For only $0.99, this is great value for money alone.
To move your Mouse around the level you ‘flick’ on the touchscreen. This can be quite fiddly at time,s and considering the gameplay mechanic, it can be quite frustrating. Due to the fact that the angles you must achieve in each level are so precise, you must feel like you have complete control over your character — however I did feel that at times that I didn’t have full control. You feel like you’re directing the little guy at the same angle each time but a slight movement will completely destroy the shot and what you were hoping to achieve.
Suffice to say, it’s very useful to have a restart button easily reachable on-screen.
Controllability is a big thing for me. I feel that this would be the same for most. The way a game feels to play and how it reacts to your touch is the most intrinsically important part. If you cannot play something easily then your enjoyability of it will suffer. I don’t feel that House of Mice is ruined by its controls, but it can make the game unnecessarily difficult at times.
Very few games are without their flaws, and I always try my best to find them. But House Of Mice gives you great value for money and it’s a title I do recommend.
My favourite type of iOS game are the addictive ones – with a lot of levels to keep you challenged – and without a doubt, this is one of them.
It’s pleasing to look at and, in some aspects, a new take on an existing genre. If you enjoy games like Cut The Rope, I would suggest giving this one a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.