Mikey Shorts (universal) by BeaverTap Games is a definitive answer to the question we’ve all been asking: where’s the next great iOS platformer? With great controls, level designs, and a ton of replayability, Mikey Shorts is quickly becoming my newest obsession.
It took a couple levels: at first, Mikey Shorts appears to be the typical ‘collect the coins and finish quickly’ kind of platformer, albeit with a few twists – and some of the tightest virtual controls I’ve ever seen on the platform, I might add. Levels are broken up into different areas protected by laser-like barriers. The only way to open these barriers is by helping Mikey’s fellow peoples, who have inexplicably been turned into stone. Racing past them fills a bar, and when its full, its onto the next part of the stage.
But finding these stones isn’t a matter of searching around – for the most part, they’re right in front of a player’s face as they jump and slide through the bright colors of the game’s 2D worlds. But the multiple paths within each level and the open set-up of said statues gives players a certain amount in freedom in how they try to speed run through the level.
It also makes them accessible to both hardcore and inexperienced players, both of whom will have a ball running and sliding through the different levels. Plus, dying brings players right back to the spot they die, further helping out those who might struggle with a certain section of a level.
There are also tons of coins to collect in each of the game’s 72 levels – 24 world-centric levels in Story mode, and 48 unique, lengthy Challenge levels – which are used in the game’s cosmetic shop. There are over 100 different costumes players can throw together, and with addition of a ‘random’ button, means Mikey can have a completely different look every time one plays. It also gives the levels some replay value outside of speed runs, perfect for runs while exploring a level to find everything hidden in the nooks and crannies – including the golden pants hidden in the walls of every single level.
Shorts is no slouch technically, either. Each of the levels are intricately designed, and the brightly colored color palettes of every world compliment the retro character design and special effects wonderfully. It’s topped off with a predictably awesome soundtrack, which might not stand out or inspire any cover bands, but pairs well with the fast pace of the gameplay.
Sometimes everything in a game comes together to create something special, and Mikey Shorts is one of those games. With perfect controls, charming personality, and immaculate level design, this is a must-own game for any iOS owner – and hands down one of the best games of the year.