I like to think that my reaction to playing Mousecraft for the first time is the same as the first time someone enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; "I like this a lot more than I thought I would." You see, much like the famous sandwich combination, the game from new studio Crunchy Koalas combines elements of two well known puzzle games; Lemmings and Tetris to create something fun, all on its own. It may not be the most fancy game, and it gets a bit challenging fairly quickly but Mousecraft shouldn't be overlooked by anyone looking for a new experience.
The combination of Lemmings and Tetris works surprisingly well in Mousecraft. Your basic job is to get a series of mice to cheese at the end of the course, but as you may have expected, it's a bit easier said than done. Their paths are often blocked by large gaps or other obstacles and its up to you to guide them to safety through a series of Tetris like pieces. It's a deceivingly simple formula that seems like someone should have come up with it before as it feels incredibly natural and easy to learn. Because both elements of the gameplay are already going to be known to most who play the game, it won't be long before you're moving through the game pretty quickly.
Be warned though, Mousecraft takes a turn for the difficult very quickly, and that easy feeling you had in the earlier sections of the game will be long gone. In the later levels the mouse's path gets blocked by everything from exploding Tetris blocks to robotic enemies and even a few surprises that are just too good to spoil here. Amazingly, Mousecraft's huge difficulty spike never feels cheap and always manages to stay on the right side of challenging and there were only a few instances where I became became frustrated enough to take a break from the game. Don't get me wrong, there are a good number of times when I got a lower ranking for being a fraction of a second off, but it just made me want to go back and play that level over again to try to do better.
That being said, the game can be get very repetitive very quick. Throughout the entire experience, you're doing basically the same thing, albeit with different pieces. Mousecraft comes packed with a ton of content but that won't matter much if you tend to get tired of the simple mechanics before long. There's also a pretty robust level editor that I'm a bit ashamed of how much time I spent with it but it added a ton of content to the game and if the game gets a good enough following, could extend the game's life a huge amount. Again though, you're going to need appreciate the simple nature of the game to fully utilize the level editor.
There's a story to Mousecraft, but you'd be forgiven if you ignored it completely. You play as a mad scientist cat named Schrodinger (after the famed physicist); sort of. Schrodinger more or less just kind of hangs out in the background watching the experiments happen and doesn't really have any lasting effect on the game rather than just being there. It might be more accurate to say that you're playing as the machine conducting the experiments over the kitty scientist. There's some sort of a subplot here that involves you collecting crystal shards to please someone enough to fund your research more but it too is more of an afterthought than anything else.
I was very surprised at just how much fun I was having with Mousecraft and perhaps more importantly how much I cared about these little mice I was virtually in charge of. It (almost) seamlessly blends mechanics of two legendary puzzle franchises to create something entirely it's own and worthwhile. It may not be the best looking game on the market but with it's deceivingly difficulty and huge amount of content, Mousecraft is a game that shouldn't be overlooked by anyone looking for a great puzzle game or just a different experience.