Game Reviews

‘Of Mice And Sand – Revised’ Review: The Best Laid Plans

on

Quick Take: In Of Mice and Sand - Revised, players take control of an ever growing group of mice traversing a vast desert full of creatures that want to eat them, with he hope of one day finding the mythical El Dorado -- the promised land.

I love a good resource management game. Being in control of a select group, collecting materials, crafting, refining, making decisions for the collective; I love it all. In the new game Of Mice and Sand – Revised, managing an ever-growing team of mice trying to traverse a harsh desert landscape in search of El Dorado, a lost city of myth, puts the love of this type of game to a test. But luckily, the follies of the game design are overshadowed by the play, and there is some fun to be had here.

Of Mice and Sand originally hit the Nintendo 3DS last summer, and is now on the Nintendo Switch as the “Revised” game. Players take control of a few mice in a rail car — or ship — and through the adventure, collect materials and treasure — called scrap — to upgrade the car, with various rooms and furniture and tools, as the car travels from various locations and outposts. At each stop, there is a market and a pub for gossip and quest givers (all done through a simple menu interface) and then it’s back on the rails for the next adventure. Managing fuel is a key competent in Of Mice and Sand – Revised. Each stop has a fuel depot, but you have to keep the funds coming in to pay for it, so crafting items to sell or completing quests is necessary to keep the game moving forward.

Of Mice and Sand - Revised Review

As time goes on, the player finds themselves breeding mice, having to house and feed them, directing them to various jobs, like engineer, builder, or cook, and it can begin to really tax even the best managers. The dangled carrot of El Dorado even begins to lose its power as the day-to-day dealings with your team of mice takes center stage. And there are enemies who want what you have, so of course there’s a combat mechanic in the game, so players have plan for that as they direct their mice to various roles.

The graphics in Of Mice and Sand – Revised leave much to the imagination. Not truly 8-bit, yet not 4-bit, the mice barely look like mice (you kinda have to squint to see it), and the train car looks like something from a late-1980s DOS-based game and less like a game on a hot new current game system like the Switch. But really, it doesn’t matter. The fun factor supersedes any need for graphics, and if fun is not enough, there’s the amazing soundtrack. For a piece of music that plays constantly during the game, the tune never gets old, and in fact, I find myself humming it in everyday situations now. It’s a testament to how good of a song it is, and easily marks the best feature in Of Mice and Sand – Revised.

Of Mice and Sand - Revised Review

Of Mice and Sand – Revised is a fun, oddly relaxing game that swallows up your free time without you even knowing it. Kind of like how a few unchecked mice can eat you out of house and home in real life. The simple design and art direction hide a rather robust resource management sim, and that pleasant music helps to distract you from the clock, until you realize that hours have wasted away and yet you are still no closer to El Dorado. Developer CIRCLE Entertainment must have known that, and unleashed this time killing rodent joy ride on us all anyway. Who knew that managing mice could be so deep and addictive?

Of Mice and Sand – Revised is available now on the Nintendo Switch, and the original game is available for the Nintendo 3DS. Both are available fro the Nintendo eShop. This review is based off a review code provided by the publisher.

SCORE: 3.8 out of 5

Recommended for you