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Gamertell Review: The Munchables for Wii

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The Munchables

Title: The Munchables
Price: $19.99
System(s): Wii
Release Date: May 26, 2009
Publisher (Developer): Namco Bandai (Namco Bandai)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone” for Comic Mischief and Mild Cartoon Violence
Pros: Bright, colorful and whimsical. Addictive gameplay. Lots of accessories to collect. Lots of replay value. People of any age or skill level can enjoy it.
Cons: Have to lift the remote to make your character jump. The lock-on doesn’t always lock on to the enemy you want.”Multiplayer” is uninspired.
Overall Score: Two thumbs up, 97/100, A, * * * * 1/2 out of 5

The Munchables succeeds for the same reason that classics like Pac Man and Katamari Damacy succeeded. It’s whimsical, the controls are simple, it’s addicting and it’s colorful. It is a platformer game experience at its finest. It’s fun simply for the sake of being fun, and is the kind of family friendly Wii game you don’t mind seeing.

The Munchables

Giant vegetables pirate aliens are trying to take over, and it’s up to Chomper and Munchy to save their planet.

Welcome to Star Ving, home of the adorable and insatiable Munchables. It’s a happy and colorful place where Munchables live in peace gorging themselves on food, thanks to the Legendary Orbs (which kind of resemble… well… poop). Their peaceful nation and nature has caused the Tabemon Space Pirates to consider them easy prey, however. They abscond the Legendary Orbs, using their power to make themselves insanely powerful, and decide to take over Star Ving.

The invasion should have gone well, except there’s a problem – the Tabemon look incredibly tasty. At least, Chomper and Munchy think they do. It isn’t surprising, since all of the pirates look like fruits and vegetables. The two Munchables set off with their village’s elder to save the planet and recover the Legendary Orbs by eating all the pirates. And the pirates’ UFOs. And the Legendary Orbs.

The Munchables

Gotta eat them all!

The Munchables starts out simple. The levels have no time limits the first time through, so you can take as much time as you want exploring every inch of each area to find new pirates to eat and acorns to collect. Initially, your Munchable character will be confined to a small portion of an area due to it’s size, and only be able to eat Tabemon that are at the same level they are, or lower. As Chomper and Munchy eat, they grow larger and evolve. They’re then able to eat bigger Tabemon and explore more of the current level.

The controls are exceedingly simple. You eat with the A button. If something is too big to eat, you can attack it with B to make it break into smaller pieces, then try eating it again. You move around with the directional stick, and lock onto Tabemon or edible items with the Z button. The only frustrating part of the controls is how you make the Munchables jump. You must flick the remote upwards. It feels awkward, since the game uses no other motion controls. It’s something you get used to eventually. There’s also classic controller support.

What really makes it unique is the presentation. There are tons of food pirates to eat, and the worlds and locations you explore are bright and colorful. To keep things fresh, you aren’t always tasked with just eating all the pirates in a level. Sometimes you have to find an item, reach a location, eat a certain enemy or eat certain contraptions. It’s also quite funny and lighthearted. One of the things that made the biggest impression on me is that the Munchable character you choose will convert all of the Tabemon and items you ate in a level to “orbs”, which it will shoot out at the Elder after a level is complete. The Elder will grade you based on how many you collected.

The Munchables

The Munchables is a fun, affordable and wonderful experience for gamers of all ages and skill levels.

Namco Bandai’s The Munchables is one of the best gaming surprises I’ve had in a long time. I never expected the game to be so endearing and entertaining. I think that a great deal of its success stems from the fact that it’s so simple. Eat everything you possibly can, controlling your character using mainly the nunchuk’s directional stick, the A button, the B button and a flick of the wrist. Anyone can play and enjoy, and the unlockable accessories, character and Mirror Mode adds replay value for more experienced players. The Munchables proves that a game can be family friendly without pandering or falling into the dreaded shovelware category.

Site [The Munchables]

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