Truly adorable video games don't come around often so here's one that turns the cuteness up to 11.
Melbits World is a local co-op PlayLink game. This means 2 things: you can't play it solo and you need to control it with an app on your tablet or phone. Obviously, many gamers won't be able to enjoy it either because they don't have a friend to play with or they don't have a mobile device. However, if you do have the means to play it then let me tell you; it's one incredible game!
You play Melbits World by guiding little perpetually moving cuties to the goal of each stage. Along the way, there are many hazards to avoid and goodies to collect. Up to 4 friends control the stage in various ways by tilting their mobile device, tapping a button, sliding a control, spinning a wheel, etc. Performing these actions makes coloured parts of the stage move or activate such as through toggling blocks, making fans blow gusts of air, rotating balancing beams, launching chums via springs, and much more.
As you progress through each stage, you'll be impressed by how many clever scenarios and mechanics are consistently introduced. Enemies known as viruses can eat your Melbits or infect your mobile device and force you to shake it in order for the virus to get out. However, the most significant hurdle is the stages themselves. Melbits are silly little critters so they'll walk off cliffs, get crushed by blocks, and even hop on each other's heads if you don't guide them out of harm's way. The resulting gameplay dynamic is surprisingly challenging yet effective communication and quick thinking will be enough to overcome any tough situation.
I've played countless adorable games in my decades of gaming and I do have a soft spot for them but I'm fairly certain that Melbits World may just be the cutest game I've ever played. Sure, Nintendo has characters like Yoshi, Kirby, and Toad but I don't even think they're as cute as these charming monsters. Watching them happily march around stages only to witness them gleefully dance to the win screen ditty whenever you complete a level will make you want to punch a pillow it's so cute. Plus, the music is simply delightful and the Melbits' vocalisations as they say "Hi!" and such are absolutely ridiculous. I didn't even mention how lovely the stage visuals are. So cute!
I don't have much negative to say about Melbits World. The most substantial issue I can think of is that it only contains 4 themed worlds: Hobby Island, Arcade World, Chill Bay, and Art Wave. That being said, there is a great deal of replay value because each world contains a bunch of stages that feature collectible (and adorable) seeds as well as presents that contain items you can dress the Melbits up with. Did I mention how cute this game is? Additionally, playing through stages again may have you and your friends control different parts of the stages so it can feel like a whole new experience. That being said, I still wish there were more than only 4 worlds.
Another small issue about Melbits World is that failure can sometimes feel unfair and frustrating. For example, if you're playing with only 2 players, each player has 2 controls. Therefore, if you have 2 of the same control (for example, 2 sliders) then it's hard to remember which one controls each corresponding onscreen contraption. You'll also experience more than a few accidental failures such as by having Melbits fall on top of each other or unintentionally making a virus turn around right into a Melbit. It can be irritating stuff.
Melbits World is the cutest game that I've ever played. Not only that, it's also impressively challenging and a fantastic co-op experience for up to 4 players. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys local multiplayer with friends.
- + Simple yet challenging co-op gameplay that rewards communication and quick thinking
- + Incredibly adorable graphics and sound
- + Variety of fun mechanics and stage designs
- - Failure can be quite frustrating
- - Only has 4 worlds to master