Mr. Nibbles Forever Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD


Porting a game across multiple systems is an easy and cheap way of extending its shelf-life, and reaching a number of new potential fans. For instance, not everyone in this day and age has a smartphone available to them (god have mercy on their souls), meaning a whole host of fun games like Temple Run and Angry Birds are inaccessible to casual gamers who might otherwise be interested in such games. But by releasing PC editions, with basic enough graphics and engines that run well even on the cheapest of household desktops allows even more people to play the game. Of course, not all games may deserve such treatment, but in the end, I’m glad Mr. Nibbles Forever got one for itself.


Death is a minor setback to the almighty Mr. Nibbles

Mr. Nibbles Forever, developed by Epic Shrimp and published by Black Shell Media, is the second game to bear the Mr. Nibbles title. The first game, released for free on the internet, was a flash game which had players rolling the titular hamster around multiple stages; trying to collect all the nibbles in a stage to achieve the best possible rating. This game, however, ditches all previous assets save for graphics. Opting instead to go the path of the endless runner style game, Mr. Nibbles moves consistently through a set of randomized layouts while players try to collect nibbles, avoid obstacles, and unlock different outfits.

While doomed to move eternally to the right, as is the case with most games of this particular genre, Mr. Nibbles Forever does a lot to differentiate from the genre standards. For instance, while he can’t stop he can certainly slow down to a crawl. He can also get stuck on pits, ledges, and walls without the fear of death, since the only way to die is to hit a spider obstacle, which while plentiful are never too difficult to circumvent. Being able to control your speed also allows you to make much more precise movements than in other iOS and Android runners on the market.

Yet somehow, with all these features that should make Mr. Nibbles easier than your market standard endless runner game, Mr. Nibbles is actually pretty difficult. There are two types of spider that dot every map in the game; green and purple ones. The green spiders are stuck moving up and down slowly along threads while purple spiders move until the players get close enough for them to jut out ½ an inch in your direction. These are literally the only things in game that can kill Mr. Nibbles, but expect to be seeing the game over screen quite frequently regardless. Not to say that the spiders are placed unfairly in each layout, but rather the opposite.


Some challenge stages enjoy filling as much space as possible with spiders.

Each layout contains a well-positioned variety of purple and green spiders, creating a nicely designed layout that’s easy for beginners to learn, yet challenging enough for more experienced players to feel something other than boredom. Of course, it’s not entirely perfect; with some of the spider hitboxes actually reaching further than the sprites themselves. Creating awkward situations where players can be hit for simply getting too close to the edge of a platform.

Another part of the challenge in Mr. Nibbles comes from the various in-game challenges, which unlock different costumes and nibbles snack rewards. By sending players through specially designed courses or the normal gameplay with a certain task in mind, these challenges range from “press jump once or twice” to “keyboard smashingly luck based” in terms of difficulty. But players are likely going to complete the majority of these challenges just to experience Mr. Nibbles Forever’s wide range of gerbil costumes.

If you think the Mr. Nibbles sprite is adorable, doing superman jumps and rolling around the stage, then players are going to absolutely love costumes available for unlock in Mr. Nibbles Forever. Containing a variety of adorable costumes, not only will these decorative pieces give Mr. Nibbles a hip new look, but also change the world around him. Adding filters, colour gradients, particle effects, and more when Mr. Nibbles runs; these don’t actually change anything in game, but it does give you something more to look at. Firestarter Nibbles being a personal favorite of mine, for instance, leaves behind a streak of fire and puts him in the most adorable dragon costume you’ll see this side of 2D hamster running games.


Costumes provide neat alternatives to the standard scenery.

Alternately, some of the visual effects can be a hazard to some players. Costumes like the Disco and Nyannibbles add bright lights and flashing colours to the screen, while Squire nibbles adds a black and white film grain that I found to be far more distracting than anything else. The most problematic is probably Cupid Nibbles; who leaves a trail of hearts as he moves, causes a heart explosion anytime he jumps, and randomly spurts out a heart every few seconds; causing my new desktop, with its Nvidia GTX 960, to lag horribly.

Unfortunately, once you collect every costume (regardless of how good or bad it looks), there’s not much else to do in Mr. Nibbles Forever. Instead of using procedural generation like it’s contemporaries, the game uses a set of randomized layouts that get shuffled about each time a new game is started; so eventually players will be all too familiar with every obstacle thrown their way. Worse, the limited number of layouts means you’ll likely see every arrangement of spider before you collect every outfit. Once you’ve collected each outfit and seen all that this game has to offer, there’s really no reason to keep playing.

Overall, it’s not the worst game to get ported from mobile devices to the PC, but it’s definitely one of the shorter titles. While there’s not much to it, the cute graphics and family friendly style will definitely appeal to the younger gamers in the family, and the $3 price tag means it won’t put a huge dent in your budget either. If you’re looking for something cute, or for something that your kids will enjoy, pick it up for sure. Otherwise, don’t bother.