Mimpi is a cute little white dog (think Snowy from Tintin) who walks out of his house into a fantastical new universe and then must find his way back to his owner, traveling through a series of psychedelic worlds.
A near-perfect blend of platformer, puzzle game and point and click adventure, Mimpi will challenge your gaming skills on a number of different levels. He’ll have to climb, swim, jump, dodge and solve some tricky puzzles if he wants to get back home safely. For the most part the game is a traditional platformer, in which you need to jump from object to object or traverse a series of crumbling platforms , etc. However the really interesting part and where the game really shines, is the way in which you manipulate Mimpi‘s world. Developer Silicon Jelly does a fantastic job of integrating the touchscreen, infusing a high degree of interactivity into the game and making this fantastical world feel a bit more grounded and malleable.
Mimpi is not only the name of the game’s pro-wag-anist, but is also the Indonesian word for “dream” (I looked it up) and the entire game takes place in this beautifully illustrated, dreamlike series of worlds, the reason for which is both surprisingly and satisfyingly revealed at the end of the game.
Whether it involves dragging clouds down from the sky to form makeshift platforms, or using a pulley and wheel system to drag a cliff-side closer so you can jump over to it, things are never quite what they seem in Mimpi’s colorful, trippy cartoon world. Some of the game’s puzzles are very straight forward, others will require a little ingenuity, a dash of outside-of-the-box thinking, or just a stroke of good luck to solve and progress further in the game. If you get completely stuck, you can collect free hints by picking up hidden light bulbs throughout the game. If you run out of those, more can be purchased using real money.
To move Mimpi where he needs to go, players may select from three unique control schemes, the default of which consists of a left and right arrow for movement (on the lower left-hand corner of the screen) and a third button on the lower right for jumping. These controls worked fair enough for about 99% of the levels, but I had to switch to the drag-able controls for a few of the tougher underwater segments of the game. I can’t possibly see how this secondary dragging control scheme would work as your primary movement method, but perhaps for someone out there, it does. The final control method is via external iOS game controllers (which at the time of this review have not yet been released to the public).
As I mentioned, on the whole, the controls work as expected, but some of the underwater portions of the game are super tricky and you will soon find yourself wishing you had a third appendage as you attempt to keep yourself afloat by switching between the direction buttons and tapping or holding the jump button, to avoid hitting a wall and/or objects, while using your other hand to manipulate objects on the screen. Oh yeah, and you have to do it quickly because there is lava coming at your too. I’m all for a challenge, but this felt more like a battle with the controls than a test of my gaming abilities. Because of the distance between the direction and jump controls, using a single hand for both was particularly tough to accomplish on the iPad, I’m not sure if it would be any easier on a smaller device where your ‘movement’ hand doesn’t need to traverse as much distance. If I had one frustration with the game THIS was it.
Fortunately Mimpi is pretty liberal with the auto-save checkpoints, so if you do struggle with one particular section, you won’t need to keep starting completely over.
This was a much more substantial and time-consuming game than I expected, given that it only has 8 levels. It was one of those games that once you start, it is difficult to put it down until you’ve completed the whole thing and I kept coming back to it whenever I could, until I found all the bones and completed the entire game. I’d estimate that it took me a good 3 or 4+ hours to finish as there are some downright tricky parts that require some creative thinking or a steady hand. Aside from just completing the levels, there are also brief hidden object puzzles that appear at the end of each level and a total of 72 hidden bones to find throughout the game, which unlock 24 short, multi-frame hand-drawn comics. No doubt, Mimpi offers plenty of bang for your buck (or two bucks in this case).
If it were not for some moments of real frustration where I felt like I was fighting against the controls more than playing the game, I would have awarded Mimpi half a star more. Those frustrations aside, Mimpi is delightful platformer, that really shines due to the challenging puzzle element which often cleverly utilizes the touch screen to create an immersive and well-rounded experience that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Don’t let the cute dog fool you, some areas of the game may be a little too difficult for younger kids, but for anyone else who likes a bit of a challenge, I highly recommend this game. It is worth noting that Mimpi does contain a couple of IAPs, but they are purely cosmetic (costumes for the dog) or for buying the aforementioned additional hint packs, neither of which I felt the need to buy.