PAX Prime 2015: Second Impressions – Mekazoo (Wii U)

This was our second time taking a look at Mekazoo. Last year, we tried it out but there wasn’t any word on whether it would be hitting Nintendo consoles. We were impressed by the visuals and the concept, but there were a lot of kinks still to be worked out (and the folks working the booth at the time weren’t really equipped to interact with the public, let’s just say).

A year later, and Mekazoo looks gorgeous, plays well, and looks almost ready to hit consoles everywhere. The core concept of the game is that it’s a platformer where the player controls mechanical animals. You switch between animals on the fly according the environment you’re trekking through—or according to the challenge you’re attempting, which can mean switching creatures mid-jump—as part of your quest to save your mechanical friends. These friends have been transformed into monsters by an insectoid enemy. So, similar to Sonic the Hedgehog’s concept, but with a little twist.

This year’s demo only gave players access to an armadillo and a frog, but last year we had a chance to check out the wallaby and at least one other animal. When the game releases, players will also be able to switch into a panda and a pelican, bringing the current known total to five creatures.

At first glance—say, looking over someone’s shoulder while they’re playing—the game can seem difficult and random, but in reality the controls are very intuitive and require little in the way of a tutorial for this very reason. Certainly it will become a little more complex once additional animals are accessed, but in this demo it was quickly clear how the levels worked: Use your armadillo to roll up a curved surface and jump while switching to a frog who can then use his tongue to grab onto a ledge or object above, and swing you onto a new platform. Yeah!

The art style alone is gorgeous, very visually appealing with bright colors and neon stylization. The game is planned for release in Q1 of 2016, and should be heading to the Wii U as well as PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

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Faith
Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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