There's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.
There are some weird video games out there, kids. SkullMonkeys, for example. But also Mischief Makers, a bizarre sidescrolling platformer for the N64 developed by Treasure. This gem puts you in the role of Marina, the robotic assistant of one Dr. Theo. The good doctor is kidnapped by the "Empire" while on a trip to the planet Clancer, and it’s up to
Shake, shake! Shake, shake!
So many things to shake, so little time.
Mischief Makers might be the most bizarre, surreal game on the system. Almost every object on planet Clancer, from people to buildings to family pets, has a creepy “sad face” mask with red, glowing eyes. You will both rescue and mercilessly destroy characters with these masks. Thus, Mischief Makers blurs the line between good and evil, or something. Quite often, the only way to tell good guys from bad guys is whether they’re shooting at you or not. Sometimes, though, there are other subtle hints. For example, giant bees and burrowing centipedes don’t often have
It's like Marina and that guy are playing soccer with somebody's head.
Because this is a Treasure game, you would rightly assume that Mischief Makers involves running and, to a large degree, gunning. In fact, this is not the case.
*insert inappropriate "angry dragon" joke here*
Combat is shake-based; almost every object in the game can be grabbed by
On this game's "oddball" meter, this is about a 4.
From a graphical standpoint, Mischief Makers has aged rather poorly. Its sprite art was excellent when it was first released...in 1997. Now it just looks disjointed and pixelated. The backgrounds have certain dated scrolling effects that look forced today, and character sprites are clearly based on pre-rendered models that have been pixelated - like in Donkey Kong Country - but the quality isn’t as good (and this is an N64 game). The game's soundtrack is quirky, and you never get sick of Marina saying "Shake, shake!" Seriously, you'd think it would get annoying, but it doesn't. It's endearing.
Still, Mischief Makers packs in the content—you’d be hard-pressed to find a 2D platformer with more variety, and if you find it in a store for cheap, I recommend picking it up, and then, inevitably, shaking it.