The visuals seem intentionally dated to conjure that nostalgic feel of 3D platforming’s heyday. But whether they’re intentionally dated or not, the simple aesthetics are perhaps a little too simple, and when blown up on the big screen via Apple TV, it really is like travelling back in time to the late ‘90s. Some may actually see this as a strength however.
The gameplay is fun, involving steering your wheeled mouse vehicle through CatLab’s traps and obstacles, collecting cheese along the way. Collect enough cheese, and you’ll unlock the next level.
Cheese blocks are scattered among obstacles that are satisfyingly sharp and menacing, with buzz-saws, rolling spiked wheels, explosive mines, and not surprisingly, plenty of mousetraps. No doubt there are some interesting surprises ahead, as even in world four, the difficulty is ramping up with new and interesting ways to die.
While your vehicle can’t actually stop, turning does slow your progress sufficiently to be able to time your run, which is essential to survival.
I have what looks like a billion levels in front of me yet, and I’m certainly having enough fun with MouseBot to be looking forward to what’s ahead.
Discovery is not your only incentive to continue though. Collecting 100 blocks of cheese will earn you a random prize, which is either a new paint job, or a cosmetic accessory such as hats, shark fins, and so on. Very cute.
MouseBot is free-to-play with a currency for continues and save points, and if playing on iOS, you would be watching ads when your currency has run out. This is one of the major advantages of playing these ad-supported games on tvOS – there are no ads. Thanks Apple TV.
MouseBot: Escape From CatLab seems aimed at a younger crowd, with its cute visuals and relatively simple gameplay, but again, it’s early days, so I’ll reserve any final judgement for my full review.