Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mikey Shorts [BeaverTap Games] - $0.99

As many of you know, I happen to be a Platformer fanatic. Ever since playing the original Super Mario Brothers back when I was 6, I’ve been hooked, and I always kind of considered myself a really good player. That is, until I started playing Speedrun Platformers on the iOS, and saw other gamers scores and times, most of which still seem almost impossible to match, much less beat. But one of the biggest complaints I always hear from the more casual gamers is that the level times you need to beat in order to get 3 stars on a stage are almost always too hard to snag, and can get to be pretty frustrating. That’s where Mikey Shorts comes in. A new Speedrun Platformer from BeaverTap games that focuses more on casual gameplay. If you’ve been keeping up with our posts, you probably already know a bit about the game, but now that it’s released, here’s your chance to get a more in-depth view. 

Starting it off, Mikey Shorts has quite a bit of content. 24 Story Mode levels, spread across 6 different environments, along with 48 challenge levels. Now, the 24 Story Mode levels have possible 3 star rankings for how quickly you can complete the stages, and, like we’ve said before, these times are fairly lax, and the 3 star times allow for quite a few mistakes to be made along the way, but in order to reach these 3 star times, learning how to use the game’s sliding mechanic is essential. Along with a jump button, you’re given button for sliding. This ability can be used to take out enemies and slide under pathways. Once you get it down, running along a platform, landing on an enemy, and then going right into a slide underneath another platform will be like second nature. 
Not only is Mikey Shorts a speedrun title, but there’s also hidden shorts in each stage, which will require some exploration in order to find. Sometimes they’re hidden behind walls, other times, they’re out of sight, and you’ll need to try and jump on every reachable platform, or fall down every pit in order to find out where they are. 

Along with the 3 star time rankings, and the hidden shorts, you’re also given a medal if you can collect all of the coins in a stage. This also leads us to the shop. As you progress through the game, more and more items will be unlocked in the shop, and either be available for free, or can be bought with the coins that you’ve collected while playing the game. There are over 100 different customizable items which you’ll be able to unlock, snag, purchase and wear. Unlike most games that have a shop, Mikey Shorts does not include any IAP, and in order to get everything in the shop, you’ll need to earn it the old-fashioned way, which really seems to be a rarity with iOS games these days.

The Challenge Mode levels are an extension of the speedrunning aspect of Mikey Shorts. The 48 challenge levels are all stages which you must complete in a certain amount of time in order to get a perfect 3 star ranking. Once you start the stage, your score starts counting down. In order to get 3 stars in each stage, you’ll need to reach the end of the level before the score counter reaches 600. If you’re unable to make it to the end of the stage before the counter reaches 0, you’ll need to restart the level. With a total of 144 stars available in this Challenge Mode, and some pretty difficult levels, there’s quite a bit of replay value there.

As with any platformer on the touch screen, the controls for Mikey Shorts will play a huge part in how enjoyable the game is. BeaverTap has spent loads of time working on them, and it definitely shows. You’re given left/right buttons, as well as slide and jump buttons. These buttons are placed perfectly on the iPod, but if you’d rather have them fit your play style, or are using an iPad, you’re also able to place the buttons wherever you like, which really should be mandatory with platformers these days. But it’s not, so when developers take the time to include customizable button placement, it really stands out, and the game is always better because of it. 

The graphics and animations in Mikey Shorts are very well done. Colorful, vibrant environments along with smooth gameplay and great animations for running, sliding, enemies, statues turning back into people, and more all add to the fantastic look and feel of the game. There is only one enemy type in the game, but even so, it never feels like the game needs more. 
Level design is another great aspect of Mikey Shorts, with 3 different platforms added into the great level designs, as well as the enemies being able to be used to reach higher areas, it’s very clear that a lot of thought and testing went into making sure that each and every level’s spaces between platforms and the placement of everything from enemies to small gaps is perfect. 

GameCenter is supported, and definitely adds quite a bit to the replay value, especially if you’re interested in competing on the leaderboards. For each of the 24 Story Mode levels, there is a GameCenter board for fastest time. There is also a leaderboard for your total score through all Challenge Mode levels. Along with the 25 leaderboards, there’s also 36 achievements which you can try and unlock. This, along with the costume items, hidden shorts and coin medals, there’s loads of replay value for all types of gamers, casual and hardcore. Priced at $0.99 and being Universal, it’s definitely worth checking out. I have not had this much fun with a speedrun platformer since Mos Speedrun, which, with the amount of them available, is pretty surprising. Mikey Shorts is, without a doubt, a game that all gamers who are even remotely interested in platformers need to pick up, and is a fantastic debut title from BeaverTap Games. With more coming in updates, as well as the idea of a sequel being kicked around, it looks like BeaverTap is  in it for the long run. I just can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future. 


Again, stop with the awesome reviews, I'm running out of iTunes money!

I don't think it should be a problem, this week doesn't look too promising with the new releases... =oP

Aw man! I can't wait until 11pm to play! Stupid New Zealand, always getting first dibs on all the good games!

Again, nice review Void, and fully agree, simply fun and entertaining.


I decided to take a chance on this because of your glowing review. I tried League of Evil and Mos Speedrun, but they just didn't click with me. Mikey Shorts does and I'm so glad I bought it. Thank you for the great review!

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