Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Review: Mom Hid My Game [ Nintendo Switch eShop ]

There are sometimes games that come along and pretty well defy expectations and categorization, and Mom Hid My Game is one such title. While, on its surface, it is a sort of puzzle game what makes it special for me has less to do with the paces it put my brain through than the laughter that it inspired. Strange, silly, and often outright absurd, KEMCO is sharing this budget title with Switch owners just in time for Christmas and just about anyone should be able to have a few hours of fun with it.

Spanning a mere 50 levels, and likely completed in only a couple of hours, the goal in the game is to reclaim your game system after your mother has hidden it. While it is initially pretty simple, and none of the puzzles are terribly taxing overall, the joy is in the process and even the failures along the way. There is a trial and error element to it, without a doubt, as you try to determine what you need to do to get your system back without accidentally revealing or summoning your perpetually disapproving mother. The thing is, her sudden appearance is often a big piece of what makes it so fun.

If it seems like I’m being vague that’s very much on purpose, to reveal too much would be to rob you of the process of discovery. If you feel stuck you can always get a hint, and on a few puzzles where a new mechanic or concept was introduced this was actually essential (I don’t think I was told you could sometimes use a D-Pad). For the most part the levels range from simple click and solve, to finding an object to use properly for interacting with something, to sequences that aren’t too far from being like a micro game in WarioWare titles. However, since this is a no-pressure affair with no stakes for getting help or making mistakes it’s no big deal, the emphasis is always on the fun of the process and the resolutions.

You’ll note by looking at screen shots that it isn’t a visually sophisticated affair. The thing is, the hand drawn and almost paper cut-out style of it actually suits me just fine and is appropriate to the game. You may also recognize that this has been available on mobile platforms as well. While this is true I find the budget pricing very reasonable and this way you may be able to laugh at the game with a friend… or for the sake of more irony perhaps your mom.

Mom Hid My Game isn’t meant to be taken seriously and in many ways it is less a game than it is a series of bizarre skits. With that in mind it is more difficult to score than usual. Approaching it in terms of gameplay there’s not much to speak of so it would struggle. However, keeping in mind its apparent goals I’d say it has executed them extremely well and if you’re looking for a very “out of left field” piece of entertainment for a few hours I’ll happily recommend it.

Score: 8.5

  • Enormously strange and silly
  • A game both parents and people who have parents should understand well
  • A budget price

  • Not really much of a game so much as an experience overall
  • Only lasts a few hours
  • Aside from showing to a friend virtually no replay value