|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 26, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As I said earlier, it is a simple concept but there is also some hidden depth present as well. If you come upon several enemies with lower levels than you (conveniently displayed above their heads), instead of just pressing the A button several times to consume each of them separately, you can hold the button down and then let go to perform an open mouth slide. Not only does this make quicker work of your foes, it will also speed up the stomach meter filling and leveling process.
Running into higher level enemies can also work to your advantage since you can use the B trigger to attack them, which breaks them into smaller and easier to consume versions. Of course, youll still have to be quick about gobbling up these smaller pieces, since they will eventually Voltron back together into their higher level form. Players will also find power-ups throughout the games levels, which can help things out such as one that turns your blob into a buzz-saw to quickly break up higher level enemies or a vacuum that allows you to swiftly devour any nearby lower level foes.
Besides the basic concept of consuming adversaries to gain size and increase your level there are a few other things to do in The Munchables as well. Most levels contain some fairly basic puzzles to be solved. These usually involve basic ideas such as buttons that require a certain level to use, which should help younger players make their way through game. There is also a mild amount of platforming involved, despite being somewhat difficult to control due to being forced to shake the Wii-mote in order to achieve lift, which rarely gets frustrating or causes death/backtracking. Each level in the game also contains a good number of hidden items to be found, which once collected will unlock character customization items.
Players will also be treated to some entertaining encounters with imposing bosses at the end of each island. In order to reclaim a coveted legendary orb, youll need to dispatch with the likes of Brocco-Lee (a massive head of broccoli) and Rice Baller (a gigantic sumo wrestler made of rice). These bosss patterns and weaknesses are fairly easy to identify and exploit, making them easier for younger players, yet they still manage to remain satisfying to those with more experience as well.
While thematically The Munchables is definitely aimed at a younger audience, its simplistic but satisfying gameplay and oddball nature should appease players of all ages. The controls mostly work well, its look is vibrant and colorful even if not graphically impressive, and the gameplay is easy enough for beginners but still maintains some hidden depth tucked away for more experienced players. This game can also be a pretty lengthy experience if youre looking for full completion, since youll unlock a mirror time attack mode after your first time through. Sure, youll just be making your way through mirrored versions of the same levels youve already played but it is still fun, and the option of trying to get the best rank with the clock ticking away provides a serious challenge. If youre a younger gamer or are just looking for something fun and a little different, you cant go wrong with The Munchables.
CCC Staff Contributor