Mischief Makers – Definitive 50 N64 Game #46

The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games

Shake shake! The constraints of genre labels can be misleading. Mischief Makers is called a 2D platformer – and, yes – it does have you running and jumping through a series of 2D stages – but don’t let the label fool you, this is no Mario game.

Mischief Makers spins the tale of Ultra-Intergalactic-Cybot G Marina Liteyears, the robotic maid of Professor Theo, who has been kidnapped while visiting the planet Clancer by some kind of evil empire. Also in the mix are, rebel Clancers, talking Clancer Clanballs that don’t do much of anything until shaken, and many many blocks who might be Clancers too, they have their faces, anyway. Umm, it’s pretty crazy, but don’t think about it too hard, it’s more fun that way.

Not one for punching or head-bopping, Marina’s primary weapon is her grab. Enemies can be picked up and thrown, and same goes for many of their own projectiles. Environmental obstacles are most often overcome with a grab and shake of a Clanball, spherical objects which do… just about anything. Some Clanballs can be moved and then leaped off of, others rearrange the environment or make items appear.

Despite the game’s familiar settings – desert, volcano, snow, etc. – Mischief Makers’ 52 levels feel wildly unique and creative. They can be as long or as short as the gameplay demands, with some taking you on extended puzzle platforming journeys, while others only lasting as long as a quick brawl.

For extra challenge, each gives you a score based on your clear time, and there are special gold stars hidden in each. The number of gold stars you’re able to collect will determine how much of the final cutscene you’re able to see, and achieving an overall score of A or higher will get you something extra special.

Mischief Makers looks like a weird mesh of graphical styles, and lacks the cohesive look of other pre-rendered platformers, but that issue is no match for its quirky story and unique gameplay.

Mischief Makers was the first Treasure game to appear on a NIntendo system, but it would certainly not be the last. We’ll get to one other, sinfully good title from the developer, later on in this list.

Let me know what you think of Mischief Makers and the Definitive 50 in the comments section below. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe. Special thanks goes out to burrhe, who recommended this game for the Definitive 50. Check back next week for entry #45 on the Definitive 50 N64 games.

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