Impressions: The Munchables

I admit, at first I was quite skeptical about The Munchables, seeing as it brings to mind the delicious pizza treats I enjoy, and the crackers and meat combos from my school days. Still, I am very much a glutton for everything cute and inviting. Ever apprehensive about the Wii’s expanding library, I took the plunge. After giving it a fair shot, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it actually is. Granted, it’s no game of the year, and it will get looked over as fun games often do, but its strange mixture of Katamari Damacy meets Pac Man is actually quite brilliant.

Commanding a hungry bunch of creatures, you must take down the evil Don Onion and his band of space pirates by eating them. You’ll start out with smaller enemies (who are, coincidentally, food items), then as you grow larger you’ll work your way up to eating the bigger threats. Sometimes, simply gobbling them up isn’t enough, and you’ll need to run into them in order to break them into smaller, more manageable pieces. This is often one of the most enjoyable parts of the game, as you employ the Wii remote for minimal motion control. You’ll lift the remote to jump, and the B button in order to make a lunge at bigger creatures. The motion controls take a backseat here, unless you manage to get captured or injured by one of the bigger enemies. Your avatar will then be caught in a small shockwave that you must escape via the deadly waggle! I applaud the devs in avoiding some of the pitfalls that most Wii titles fall victim to here.

Lather, rinse, and repeat, until you’ve grown big enough to combat the final boss within an area, which often involves slapping items thrown at you right back at the enemy. Most of the bosses are variants on some kind of horrible, evil broccoli monster, grape monster, and various other laughable forms. Each planet you’ll travel to contains the same exact mechanics, save for different level design. If you’re one of those people who gets bothered easily by sameness, then you might find this a turnoff. However, different locations are themed in different ways as well. For instance, you’ll travel to worlds made out of candy, worlds that have a volcanic theme, and other surprises. In this planet-esque navigational system, you’ll be reminded of Super Mario Galaxy. I know I was. Each planet is comprised of several size limitations that you’ll need to overcome, then the final boss, and then it’s off to the next location!

The light platforming mechanics are simple and very easy to master, so you’ll breeze through the game if you are a seasoned gamer well-versed in games such as Mario or even Klonoa.  It’s all in good, simple fun, with cartoony and vivid graphics. An entire palette of pastels, bright colors, and soft, whimsical imagery accompanies a quirky soundtrack riddled with thumping bass beats. You won’t be forgetting the title menu’s theme for quite some time, so be forewarned.

It doesn’t use motion controls as a crutch, as the only required motion controls are for escaping from an attack or to jump up to a higher area. Though it is extremely easy and quite short (it can easily be completed in under 8 hours), I’ve had a blast with it. It’s refreshing to play a Wii game I don’t absolutely abhor these days (aside from the lineup of established worthwhile games), and I’m not just saying that to be a Wii-naysayer. I truly haven’t had that much fun with the library lately. With this game, I’m inspired to actually use the system rather than let it lay dormant on top of my media shelf, though that’s the LAST thing I would rather do1 Pick up The Munchables – it’s pretty affordable, and I can guarantee it will put a smile on your face.

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