Transformice is a multiplayer game in which the heroes are the mice. You must lead a team of rascally rodents in a quest to gather as much cheese and bring it back to your nest as possible. This can be quite tricky, as the game is covered in death-traps and obstacles designed to put an end to your mousey games. You must outwit the game and come up with a way to cart all of that precious dairy product back home without losing team members.
Developer: Atelier 801
Platforms: Browser, Mobile
Do you remember those Tom and Jerry cartoons where the two would constantly battle it out? Jerry would always be stealing the household cheese and causing general mischief. Tom would have one heck of a time trying to stop Jerry, and he'd usually lose. Well, imagine this struggle plugged into a virtual game, and you've got Transformice. It just doesn't have the cat in it.
Much of the gameplay revolves around one mouse in particular: the Shaman. The Shaman is the lead mouse, and his or her job is to conjure up a few tricks to help their fellow mice out. Using their magic powers, the Shaman must be a leader and guide team members through the level without losing fellow mice along the way. This can be done by spawning items that will assist other players. The Shaman is randomly selected at the beginning of the game, but any player can become the Shaman by achieving the highest score in that round.
Scoring points is a matter of how much cheese you can bring back to the mice's hole. Players often fight each other in order to get their first and fastest, so keeping all of your players alive may be a challenge. Each player's name is listed above their mouse; when viewing the game, your mouse's name will be in extra bright white so they're easy to pick out. Should you be chosen to be the Shaman, your name will be highlighted in yellow, although it's pretty easy to tell which one you are without the added color.
There are over sixty levels in Transformice. Players can also build their own maps using cheese earned throughout the levels. You can also buy cute little hats for your mice to wear. They don't do anything special – they just look awesome. Movement is fairly easy using either the WASD or arrow keys. The Shaman's controls are a bit different and can be difficult to master, as there's a lot to keep track of. Unless you have excellent memorization skills, you'll find yourself in a bit of a mire. The game's physics will keep you busy with levitating, rotating and angling objects with the Shaman's abilities.
If you find yourself needing help, or if you simply want to communicate, the game has a chatbox where players can talk back and forth. Strategies can be laid out, as can a vile plot to overthrow the current Shaman. You see... players don't have to work together. The game can soon devolve into mouse versus mouse, and when that happens all Hell breaks loose. However, that's part of the fun of Transformice. Nevermind the screaming players in the chatbox; you're in it to win it, and winning might mean stabbing your teammates in the back a bit.
Who knew mice could be so dastardly? If you aren't fighting for your mousey life while trying to score more points than everyone else, you aren't doing it right. Teamwork does go a long way, however. More success through teamwork equals more points earned and titled unlocked. It also helps when you're able to advance to the next level because you aren't trying to kill one another. If you've got a few friends that want to join in on the fun, you can certainly all meet up in the same room and have a blast.
It should be noted that although the game seems to encourage deception and backstabbing between players, trolling will promptly get you kicked out of a room or even banned. If you don't like the room you're in, you can always change to another one. This is what most players do when a troll appears among them. Deliberately causing player deaths when you are a Shaman is absolutely out of the question and has swift consequences.
In this way, the game somewhat regulates itself. You get to choose the climate that you play in. If you happen to want to duke it out with fellow backstabbing mice, you can certainly do so. Most players, on the other hand, like to try the teamwork route to earn cheese and purchase upgrades (fancy hats included). You can even create your own room, although anyone can enter it. You may not get the privacy you want, but others will clearly get the message if you let them know they're not welcome.
In the end, all's fair in mice and war. You get to choose your gameplay style and have fun in an atmosphere of your choice. The game's challenging puzzles will keep your mind at work as you figure out how to overcome said challenges and beat all the levels. It's easy to recommend this game as an awesome online multiplayer experience, so get ready to clear some time over the weekend. Transformice soon becomes an addictive adventure that will have you sitting the hours away while your fingers fly.