Also on: PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Orange One
Developer: Triangle Studios
Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask is a waterslide-based platformer. Remarkably, it?s not the first game of its kind to exist, since the same developer put out a game last year called Slide Stars, with the only difference apparently being that Mickey Storm is a new IP, and Slide Stars featured moderately popular YouTube and TikTok influencers.
Now, I never played Slide Stars, but it sounds (and, indeed, probably is) horrible. And while I wouldn?t say Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask is the worst game I?ve ever played, it?s still bad enough that it makes me wonder why anyone would think that waterslides are a great basis for a platformer.
To be fair, Mickey Storm isn?t a platformer in the most traditional sense of the word. Rather, it?s a platformer that?s got a strong Trials influence. As you manoeuvre yourself across a series of waterslides, you also have to keep yourself balanced atop your innertube, or else you wipeout and need to start over again from the last checkpoint.
To be less fair: it doesn?t make a difference, since Mickey Storm?s controls are so bad they make it impossible to enjoy the game.
The problem is that the physics are all off. Water, improbably, flows uphill — but the eponymous hero of the game can?t really go that direction, so he needs to ride jumps and build momentum in order to make some pretty big leaps from slide to slide. Unfortunately, if he doesn?t make a jump on his first try, you?re pretty much screwed, since it?s nearly impossible to go back and build sufficient momentum. Even If you use the Trials trick of rocking back and forth, it?s not enough to make it onto a ledge that?s just out of your reach.
It also doesn?t help that jumping sucks, especially if you haven?t yet unlocked the double-jump. It was pretty common for me to reach a trampoline (you know, that old water park mainstay), just miss it, and then spend the rest of my time trying — and failing — to get high enough to bounce onto it. And even then, the trampoline jumps are kind of weak, so I still wasn?t guaranteed to make it where I wanted to go.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask is that it?s very clearly aimed at young kids. It?s been years since I was a kid, but based on the few young kid gamers I know, I can?t imagine many would have the patience to deal with terrible controls like these — particularly when there are plenty of much better, much fairer platformers available to them.
For that matter, I don?t have the patience to deal with Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask?s terrible controls. Or anything else about it, really. It may look bright and shiny and welcoming, but it quickly becomes clear that there are far better platformers out there.
Orange One provided us with a Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask Switch code for review purposes.