MouseBot: Escape from CatLab (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

Help a robotic mouse navigate through devious trap-filled mazes designed by cat scientists in MouseBot: Escape from CatLab.  It’s kind of like a 3-D endless runner where you constantly roll forward, and must avoid and jump over obstacles while collecting as much cheese as you can.  It’s available on nearly all current game consoles, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Even though it plays like an endless runner, there are goal ends to each of the levels.  You’ll constantly move forward, though, and can swerve left and right to avoid obstacles, as well as jump and quickly shift left and right later on as you progress.  Some of the obstacles you’ll deal with include mousetraps, spikes, mines, swinging blades, and more.  Scattered about the mazes are bits of cheese.  You’ll want to collect as many as you can (except for the ones in mousetraps), as they’ll increase your score at the end of the level.  Each level also has a hidden heart coin to nab for more points as well.  When you reach the goal, a checklist will pop up and tally your score based on if you could collect lots (or all) the cheese, not lose a life, get the heart coin, complete the level quickly, etc.

The cheese you collect in the levels and what you earn at the end of each stage can be used to buy new skins, hats, and accessories for your robotic mouse.  If you run into an obstacle in a level, you can start over at a checkpoint, but if you lose all your lives you must start the whole level over again.  Luckily the levels are pretty short.  If you can beat all the stages in the game, you can unlock an arcade mode that really plays more like an endless runner and allows you to collect even more cheese!  I love the personality this game has, as you can see the cat scientists and workers peering down into the maze as you roll.  Only problem I had with the game is that it gets a little too hard about halfway through.  But otherwise it’s a fun, cute, simple little game.

Kid Factor:

MouseBot: Escape from CatLab is rated E10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  If your robot mouse hits an obstacle, it’ll explode into metal pieces.  At the end of each world, a boss cat will cartoonishly boot a cat out of his office in silly ways, like being zapped by lightning or kicked out with a shoe before approving a new trap by another cat.  But that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may have trouble with some of the later, more difficult levels.

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