Smart Mouse’s high concept premiss made me smile, it really did. The deal is, you’ve got to help an escaped lab mouse nab hard to reach pieces of cheese by strategically placing various objects around environments for him to scurry along. Sadly, however, as I breezed through the game’s meagre offering of 20 easy peasy challenges, my initial enthusiasm rapidly started to wane.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Smart Mouse (out now, $0.99) isn’t a bad game by any stretch of the imagination – its 2D backdrops, a kitchen and pantry, while rudimentary, are quite detailed and look fine, and the controls and physics work well – it’s just that there isn’t enough content to really sink your teeth into (the game can be completed in under 15 minutes!).
The average level plays out as follows: You begin by dragging and dropping a number of items onto the map in order to bridge gaps, construct ramps and avoid mouse-traps. Once you’ve done that, little mousy pops out of his hidey-hole and dashes across the screen. If you’ve solved the puzzle correctly, he’ll reach the cheese unscathed. If not, it’s curtains for our furry friend, as he’ll run straight into a trap or fall to his death. It might sound like fun, but the fact that the solution to each and every problem becomes blatantly obvious within seconds robs this title of any real challenge or sense of achievement.
While it is a briefly enjoyable distraction, overall, the game really would benifit greatly from the inclusion of more levels (stages set within the lab or a maze might work well), more complex puzzles and, well, more everything really, because at present the slim pickings on offer here wouldn’t satisfy a mouse let alone your average iPhone gamer.
iFanzine Verdict:Despite a clever concept, Smart Mouse’s undemanding puzzles, bland visuals and slight running time make for an underwhelming and wholly unsatisfying little game. It’s definitely got potential though, so let’s hope TapTomic build on it in future updates. Worth keeping an eye on.