It's Mr. Pants!
by Polly

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 presentation.

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.

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