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Hurr Durr, the Bugs Have Genders BAD GAEM!

  • Frogge
  • 08/07/2018 10:33 PM

Mownt by Moleman zDS and PsiSteve
Length: ~1 hour

Before we start please keep in mind the review title is satire. I do not actually think the game is bad just because it has bugs that have... gender. I mean, to be honest, that's completely unnatural and not something that could POSSIBLY happen in the wild and you definetly do not see it in almost every single piece of media because obviously it would hinder stories drastically, but I can give Mownt a pass because the developer, like, wrote a review on something I worked on once so I must repay the debt and lie about how much I love this game.

I mean... what? Did anyone say anything? I certainly didn't!!! Onto review! VUZAZALS????

So on a more serious note, one of Mownt's immediate strong points is its visuals. Zadas has an extremely recognizeable, unique yet loveable aesthetic to his games that is no less present in Mownt. I mention this a lot to zds, but I absolutely adore how smooth and amazing his cliff tiles look in particular, this being especially apparent in the upcoming cope island remake. Everything from the giant clovers to the pools of syrup look absolutely wonderful and help make this world of tiny bugs really come alive. The only real shame here is that I would have loved to see more of this world, and each area is extremely short, but with igmc's hour long gameplay limit and one month timespan, I can excuse that some things were cut out and could have been fleshed out better. I believe the character sprites and battlers were by steve rather than zeeds, and it's easy to tell the difference because I've seen how both of their art styles look like (zodies' character sprites tend to have a very different body shape than the ants in mownt and the battlers just look a lot less detailed than his stuff) but in-game their art really mashes pretty well. If I hadn't seen what their art styles looked like before, I definetly would not have been able to tell that two different artists worked on the graphics. The mapping too. Maps are filled with detail and yet they never feel crowded. Each area feels unique and memorable despite their simple design.

I guess if I were to complain about something here it would be the occasional pixel clash. I mean the battlers were larger than the battle backgrounds and the font looked weird due to the outline... that sort of stuff.

Not sure if bug or feature. (Pun hella intended)

While nothing in the soundtrack stood out enough for me that I'd go back and listen to them, I still really enjoyed zuuds and steve's almost orchestral sounding works. Not to mention, the text blips were a great little touch. My only complaint here would be that it was a little weird how most enemies did not have a battle theme and the overworld music just kept playing in battle with them, but it's something I can easily look past.

The gameplay is where Mownt really shined for me. I heard the name of the 'ally system' going into it, but I expected it to be something in a similar vein to games like Suikoden where you recruit party members you want and stuff. Mownt's take on the concept is actually a whole lot more unique than that. Usually these allies will not be a single person but rather a group of people that give you an extra skill to use in battle. These skills are actually extremely useful but take up your ally points. If you run out of ally points in a battle, there is no way to get them back until the end of the battle where they will go back up to full. Your HP works the same way, you will fully regenerate after every battle. Unlike your ally points, however, you can regenerate during battle too, just not via items.

It's a great concept. Of course, Mownt being a short game, it's not explored all that much, but still a lot more fun than your average turn based battles. One thing I should point out is that the game is extremely easy. I enjoy me some easy games, but if that's something that bug you off, you might want to avoid Mownt as you likely will not dying more than a few times at most.

Other than this, the game is, strangely enough, a choice making game! There are 6 default endings you can get. There are several options you have at the start of the game on what to do that will affect these, such as choosing to get married or going to war or getting yourself banished, et cetera. After getting an ending, you actually get to keep your progress. In fact, rather than via battles, you level up via getting endings in this game. Some routes may require you to beat other routes to get stronger first. After you beat those 6 endings... well...

As soon as I saw this empty space here, I knew...

This image is from JelloApocalypse's Welcome to Wattpad video by the way. Credit where credit is due. Go watch the vid, it's funny. Totally not sponsored™

Yeah so this ominous empty space in the area where you can view which endings you've gotten is actually dedicated to 2 more endings you unlock after getting the first 6 endings.

Now there are a few things in the story that were a bit iffy to me. For one, the narrator, presumably a self insert of zalidadoodles himself, pretty much makes the game unnecessarily meta. Those two endings are unlocked by him giving you clues to get them and I just really wasn't a fan of this. I didn't feel like I learned from those 6 routes to get further along into the game, I feel like I was just outright given the option to proceed by the developers when they wanted me to.

Other than that Mownt presents itself as something very deep and emotional and some people seem to view it as such, but I could never really see this, but once again, I think the rules of the igmc are to blame here. It feels very watered down so that it can be no more than an hour long, like they basically simplified every scene. Once again, this is forgivable, but I'd love to see this game fleshed out on more someday. Well, as is the case with most igmc games. I mean, it IS technically about trying to make great games that are short and most will leave you wanting more, Mownt being no expection. Other than that, the lore isn't bad. For how simple it is the plot still manages to be entertaining and I never really found myself getting bored. Even when I accidentally ended up replaying an entire route I did not feel particularly frustrated because they were simple and quick and would not take much of my time to beat again.

Now my other gripe with the game would be how unpolished it is. Of course, once again, the igmc is probably to blame here. I came across multiple bugs not to mention there were a lot of scenes that just didn't feel like they were playing out very smoothly. There was a complete lack of character animations to show them dying after getting hit. Weirdly enough there was this weird black bar on the menu? Speaking of the menu, it looked very... awkward. I don't see why they couldn't have just moved the commands window down like everything else and had it high up at the top of the screen while everything else was at the bottom. You know, that sort of thing. I didn't feel like I was playing something very professional game with a great amount of production value, but I never did feel like was playing babby's first rpg maker gam either. By the way, weirdly enough, I never actually figured out what those pink orbs did. I assumed they were heals at first but you heal after every battle, and then I checked to see if they were money, but my money didn't go up when I collected them so I guess not.

Oh yeah, and this ''-3'' didn't disappear after battle for some reason.

All in all, Mownt is a fun short experience that could have been polished and fleshed out better, but got the job done well for a game jam game. I give the game three and a half ants (that are gendered?! what blasphemy is this zabibafoobles?!) out of five.