Normally, I'm the last person to give any kind of shit about a puzzle game. I don't
like Tetris, I don't like Dr. Mario, I don't like Columns, Puzzle Fighter, Twinkle Star
Sprites, or Bust a Groove. None of them. So why is it that I'd be reviewing a puzzle
game now? Because I need to senselessly bash something to feel better about myself?
Well, to be honest the title and main character alone were the only reasons
I began giving any kinda crap about this game. IT'S MR. PANTS!!! That name just screams
greatness whatever genre the game is. And apparently Rare heard about my distaste for
puzzle games and decided to make one with a title and main character that would appeal
only to me. Their plan fucking worked!
Not only did I find myself enjoying this game within the first few moments, I found myself
playing this game until 4am the next day. When I first started playing, the game's
charm instantly blew up in my face like a frag' grenade. I was greeted by the ever
friendly and always jovial Mr. Pants.
"Hello, everybody," he said with a smile as he
juggled multicolored blocks in front of me inviting me in for slice of puzzle game pie.
And as I proceeded inside, I was greeted and asked to register my name while Mr. Pants
himself seranaded me, attempting to lighten my mood and wash away my nervousness.
I was then asked to choose from one of many different game modes the game has to offer.
Knowing little of the game, I chose to simply solve some of Mr. Pants' "Funky puzzles."
I was then presented with the playfield. Some blocks laying around, a child's drawing
as the backdrop and a set of blocks dropping onto the playfield just waiting for me to
shove them around and drop them wherever I pleased.
The concept was simple. Line up the colored blocks to create square shapes clearing the
entire field of blocks. The main game's premise doesn't get any more complicated than
that. The methods you'll need to utilize in order to accomplish this feat however, soon
become more involved and you'll be forced to try, try, try, and rethink your strategy as
puzzles become larger and the initial block arrangements get messier and messier.
After ten or so puzzles, I found myself pretty enthralled with the whole thing. Mr.
Pants could tell I was enjoying my stay and continued supplying me with progressively
harder messes to clean up. By the time it was 4am, I'd cleaned 36 rooms full of nasty
multi-colored blocks and found it very hard to pry myself away. Mr. Pants urged me on,
however my body was urging me more toward sleep. Mr. Pants didn't like that I had to go,
as I could tell from his exclamation of "Awwww!" But, I made a promise to return soon
to have a go at clearing out some more messy block rooms with him.
Before retiring for the evening, I thought I'd go ahead and write up my positive experience
with It's Mr. Pants. I've never enjoyed a puzzle game a lot until now. The closest I
ever came was Klax waaay back in the day. It's Mr. Pants is chock full of visual and
audio charm, but it can get annoying. Most of the music is there for filler and
unfortunately there's no way to shut it off without just turning off the audio completely
on your GBA (or emulator...whatever). The graphics are decidedly cutesy and
look as if they were drawn by 5 year olds (a-la Yoshi's Island), but it makes for a good
The game features some variety in gameplay modes. You can just have a go at the puzzles
head on, or you can dive into one of the few timed puzzle modes the game has to offer,
where you'll be racing the clock and a quickly diminishing playfield to rack up as
big a score as you possibly can. You unlock postcards by completing puzzles in the
normal puzzle mode, but as for unlockables there's not much else besides unlocking all
the puzzles in the game's normal mode.
It's Mr. Pants is a damn good puzzle game that may be off-putting at first, but once you
get past the insanity of the game's fascination with underpants and the oftentimes
annoying audio there's a lot of fun to be had.
And if "It's Mr. Pants" isn't the best God damned name for a videogame and a videogame
character ever, then I don't wanna live in a world where it's not.