Mike & Milkbox (Free) by SangWoon Yi brings back memories of the good old Mario games while incorporating some interesting physics elements.
In Mike & Milkbox, you play as Mike, a chicken who also happens to be a detective. Mike is on a quest to stop Melanie, a villain who is trying to take over the world. On your quest you will face a multitude of obstacles and enemies ranging from spiky robot crawlers, to fireballs and spinning saw blades of death.
At its core, Mike & Milkbox is a simple 2-D platformer. You can move left and right, jump, double jump, break crates by jumping underneath them, and kill enemies by stomping on them. Of course, touching an obstacle like a spike or fireball will damage you, as will hitting an enemy from the side or bottom.
The controls are standard on-screen buttons. You have left and right arrows on the left side, and a jump button on the right side. While you can’t flip this layout, you do have the option of choosing a small or large button size. These controls worked well enough for me, and they haven’t cost me any lives yet.
From my experience so far, the game hasn’t been too difficult. You have three hearts that represent your health. Each time you touch a dangerous obstacle, or an enemy, you lose a heart. Lose all of your hearts, and you lose a life and respawn with one heart at either the beginning of the level or the checkpoint if you reached it.
Each of the 24 levels is of decent length, and will keep you occupied for quite some time if you try to complete each level to its fullest. Within each level there are three baby chicks hidden that you should try to rescue. Each level is scored based on three objectives; collecting all three chicks, taking no damage, and finishing the level within 100 seconds. This objective system doesn’t quite work the way the three-star system did in Angry Birds, but it was a good attempt to create some replay value.
Nevertheless, the level design is enough to get you to play through the game at least once. Levels become increasingly complex as you get further. Spread across four unique themes, each level houses obstacles ranging from saw blades, revolving lines of fireballs (like those in the Bowser castles in Super Mario Bros), and swinging axes. Oftentimes, you will be required to utilize the objects around you (mainly crates) to get past these obstacles.
After playing through the game, a few possible improvements and additions came to my mind. For one thing, achievements and leaderboards would add nicely to the replay value. On top of that, a store for buying new outfits or other little things would also be nice. Beyond that, more levels are a must.
Mike & Milkbox is a clever blend of a physics puzzler and a retro-styled 2-D platformer. With its cutesy artwork and bone smashing platforming gameplay, Mike & Milkbox appeals to players of all types. Currently, the developers are offering the game for free. Snag it while it’s on sale and see where the devs decide to take this game.