This late in the Wii U's lifecycle the low expectations for good Nintendo Web Framework games are becoming the norm. Where we were once shocked at the poor quality of a number of these low-budget indie titles, we now roll our eyes and shrug. But when a title is hyped by its developer as its pièce de résistance, the end result had better be good and worth the wait. So SUPER ROBO MOUSE, long touted as the apex of RCMADIAX's Wii U output, had a bit more to live up to than the developer's other titles. Unfortunately it's a messy, cheap, frustrating experience that fails to meet its billing.
In Super Robo Mouse you play as a robotic mouse and have to collect pieces of cheese around mazes in order to open the exit to another level. The mazes are filled with traps and hazards, like spinning blades and turrets. The mouse dies from one hit and has to start over from the beginning; that's fine in theory. We love challenging games like Super Meat Boy, for example, which bases its gameplay around frequent deaths and restarts; yet the mazes in SUPER ROBO MOUSE are too large and too full of cheap deathtraps. Using the joystick to move the mouse makes for imprecise, floaty controls, while dying also means losing any cheese collected; with no checkpoint system this gets tedious (and frequently rage-inducing) rather quickly.
In terms of content there are three worlds here, though the variations feel primarily like palette swaps. There are enough stages to justify the price tag, certainly, but the design and gameplay issues mean that getting to the end isn't necessarily enjoyable or worthwhile.
The presentation of SUPER ROBO MOUSE is about on par with the quality of the gameplay. There's one looping song and no sound effects, which are important in a game like this as they can help the player learn the patterns of the various traps. The GamePad is used for menus and a cheese counter and nothing else - there's no off-TV play, which is unbelievable for an experience that feels like it belongs on a smartphone.
The visuals are all variations on a bland tile-set, while the titular mouse has no personality. Astonishingly, we experienced slowdown throughout our playthrough; these basic graphics should be better optimised. The slowdown certainly doesn't help when you're trying to avoid getting killed by a spinning buzzsaw.
Super Robo Mouse doesn't deliver the goods. There are other challenging, twitchy action titles on the Wii U eShop that provide a stronger presentation and are more fun to play. Save yourself a broken window and lost controller and spend your money on something else.