It’s easy to look at a mobile port and complain about the fact that it’s a mobile port that has been released on consoles. In fact, it can be understandable to an extent why you’d want to complain. However, the Switch does genuinely feel like it could be a great home for some of the better mobile offerings out there. I’ll probably even consider doing a Top 5 of what mobile games I’d love to see on Switch (expect at least one game in the Super Stickman Golf series to be on there). Is Danger Mouse: The Danger Games one of those games? Well…no.
Danger Mouse: The Danger Games falls in line uncannily with a lot of other games based on cartoon licenses in this aspect. Despite being a primarily 2D series, the game insists on being in 3D sans cel-shading. As a result, it tends to look unpolished, especially when some animations look stiff. The environments are also bland variations of the same city look. Not a very interesting looking game, to say the least.
Why do cartoon-based games often have lousy sound design? Danger Mouse suffers from voice clips constantly playing during the race. All the characters participating in the race (They don’t have to be onscreen to be heard) make obnoxious one-liners that get old fast. It’s horrendous when multiple people use the same character. It’s a shame too, because there is some catchy music buried underneath the noise. The music is probably ripped right out of the animated series, but I like it. If only it wasn’t drowned out so much by the nonsense going on.
Danger Mouse: The Danger Games is an auto-runner where you race up to three other people alongside linear roadways. Obstacles aplenty lie in your path and you’d have to use your reflexes (or maybe some items) to get by without running into anything. Similarly to Rento, the Switch version can actually do cross-play with mobile devices. Even though the game hasn’t officially been released yet, I got to race against Android/iOS players in real time. The game itself also reminds me of Sonic Forces: Speed Battle in a good way. Though simple in design, the obstacle courses have decent variety to their layouts. The game also paces itself well enough to not be slow but still allow you to react to threats in time. I’m not exactly sure there’s enough variety for $4.99, though, especially given the mobile versions are free-to-play. Local split-screen is a nice addition for relatives willing to give this a shot, but online play is the definite star of the show. Even then it is a shallow game that, given its mobile origins, is only really meant to kill minutes and nothing more. Well, aside from grabbing cash.
You’d think that the microtransactions from the mobile version wouldn’t be present due to the $4.99 price tag on this Switch port. Unfortunately, Danger Mouse seems intent on carrying over the extra ways to nickel and dime players if the Shop function directing me to the Nintendo eShop is of any indication. This saddens me. It effectively devalues the game by relying on the hopes that people buy their way to the good stuff, leaving objectives to be a boring grind despite you already having paid for the game. Kids, don’t beg your parents for this junk or steal their credit cards for it. It’s not worth it. This kind of thing is usually implemented to rely on the gullibility of customers. I refused to request Mujo for review for this reason alone, and it hurts to know Danger Mouse isn’t that far off in that regard. And don’t say “It’s optional”. It plays mind games on you. It tries to convince you to consider paying more. It’s shady, I’ll never support it, and hopefully you don’t either.
Overall, Danger Mouse: The Danger Games is an alright-at-best experience hindered by its presentation and its need to devalue itself. There is a lot that could have been done with the base gameplay to make it more exciting the further you go into it. And they could have done away with the slow grind-y nature of the progression to make the $4.99 purchase that much more worth it. But they didn’t. I did have mild enjoyment out of the game, I truly did (once I blocked out the obnoxious voice acting, anyway). Would I have played this game on the Switch if I didn’t receive it for free? Heck no!! I may have compared it favorably to Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, but that is a free-to-play mobile game. I knew they’d want people to pay money to get the better stuff quicker, but I paid no mind nor cent because I’m able to enjoy what I could for free. People like myself simply expect more from a premium Switch offering than that.
Also, the “it’s for kids” justification is weak when you consider the fact that franchises like Sonic exist in the first place. Kids don’t just love cartoon characters. They love great games that will last. Games like Danger Mouse: The Danger Games does not have that staying power, let alone in the house of Mario where it’s expected to be viewed as a paid app.
Review copy provided by 9th Impact