Transformice is a free online strategy game, featuring cute mice and surprisingly deep strategy elements
Windows 8 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP
Transformice is a free online game that draws from a number of different genres and turns them on their head to create a truly unique and action-packed experience for players of all ages. For players looking for a social multiplayer experience, there's not lack of options available. The market is flooded with everything from traditional MMORPGs like World of Warcraft to driving sims like The Crew to loot-based online shooter in the form of The Division and Destiny. While these games may be diverse in their gameplay, the same basic principle remains constant. Take a genre beloved by fans, tack on a grinding loot-based progression system, and tie it into a complex web of different currencies. Transformice is a different beast altogether.
The objective of Transformice is deceptively simple. Each player sets out to take a piece of cheese randomly positioned on the map and get it back to a mouse hole unmolested. The navigational mechanics resemble traditional platformers with a range of moves like wall and corner jumping. Like Super Meat Boy, air physics are a huge element, but the additional angle of competing against other players adds a whole new dimension to things. This is paired with a game mode that resembles a traditional capture the flag mechanic. But these two components mixed together create a system that's uniquely its own. The number of holes and cheese available change dynamically given the maps and the number of players to create a stronger sense of balance.
Alone, the mechanics are tight enough to justify a pick up and play multiplayer game, but there's a level of persistence to things that really allow the game to shine. The highest ranking player in each round enters the next as a Shaman, and that brings an asynchronous element to the whole experience. While the core experience is competitive, the Shaman succeeds when he helps facilitate other players. That creates a delightfully cooperate aspect to the game. Shamans can summon a wide range of different objects on the map that range from platforms to anvils to balloons. All of your stats are saved persistently to your profile, and there's an extra level of challenge that comes when you earn 1000 saves over the course of your entire game experience. At this point, you can designate yourself a "hard mode" shaman. Adding another level of persistence is the fact that all collected cheese can be used to purchase cosmetic items at the store and customize your avatar.
The aesthetic is uniquely quirky and serves as a nice counterpoint to the grays and browns of modern shooters that dominate the market. It looks and plays like a classic cartoon, and that's further supported by the crazy physics system. While the controls are tight, there's a frenetic sense of mayhem that permeates ever aspect of the game and makes shamans especially fun to play.