Published on December 30th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Marvin’s Mittens Review
Genre: 2D Platformer
Release Date: Dec. 3, 2012
Marvin’s Mittens is an unusual 2-D platformer that may relate to your inner child. In fact, this game is perfect for anybody with young children. With a sketch storybook style, simple controls, and whimsical gameplay, Marvin’s Mittens will remind you of your favorite bedtime picture books.
Marvin’s Mittens is a 2D platformer similar to the Mario Bros. series. However there are no enemies or boss battles. The game is all about collecting, exploring and finding a missing mitten. The game shines in all of these aspects that enemies and combat is not needed.
The game’s story is simple and allows the player to use the gorgeous backdrops as inspiration for Marvin’s grand adventure.
One day while Marvin was playing in the snow, something came by and swiped one of his mittens. In pursuit to find out what happened to it, Marvin goes through the woods, caves and abandoned train tracks in search of his missing mitten. Marvin’s guidance and help comes from snow elves. With their aid he explores the wonders of his backyard each day until his mom calls him back home.
Marvin’s Mittens is a simple platformer filled with imagination. Equipped with a sled and a special jumping ability that allows you to jump higher and glide for a short amount of time, you will be able to explore the tallest tress in the forest.
In the mist of exploring, you will encounter wildlife. Confronting the wildlife at a distance will allow you to sketch the animal. But if you move too close, the animal will run away before you can sketch it, and you will lose your opportunity to document your findings. However, the animals do return the next day of your exploration. Collecting the 21 total animal sketches will have you exploring every corner of the scene before you move onto the next one.
Each area to explore offers snowflakes to collect which are used to direct you where to explore. Each scene has more than 60 snowflakes. Some require precision jumping and gliding providing a little bit of difficulty for what is a mostly easy game.
However, the difficulty of the platforming should not deter you from playing Marvin’s Mittens. Yes, the game is extremely easy — it is meant to be easy. Marvin’s Mittens is filled with the same whimsy and adventure found in most beloved bedtime stories. It is filled with adventure while providing a warming comfort you may not have experienced since the last time you were read a story in bed.
To convey a storybook feeling is not an easy feat, but Marvin’s Mittens accomplishes this not only with its visuals but with its soundtrack as well. The game’s music changes based on the environment. The melody is calming yet appropriately fitting for the tone of the game. Going onto your sled the music changes to a more upbeat melody that perfectly matches the moments you decide to go sledding down a huge hill, or make your way through a scene to continue where you left off before Marvin’s mom called him back inside.
One of the most unusual features of the game is the save system. You only have a limited amount of time to explore before Marvin’s mom calls him back to the house. However, you will have plenty of time to explore before having to go back. Once called into the house, the screen automatically goes into the game save. Marvin is asleep in bed dreaming about his adventures while you navigate through the save options.
The game continues as the “next day” as you leave from your house once again. The further you go into the game, the more shortcuts will open up for you to quickly get back to the area you were just at. The snow elves also provide an in-game save spot. At these spots you can decide if you want to go home or to continuing exploring.
Marvin’s Mittens is a great game for players of all ages. It is fun, whimsical and filled with charm. I wish the game was packaged with an actual storybook (physical or digital) to make it an excellent bed time tradition of gaming and reading to my children of Marvin’s adventures. Finally, having the timed sessions, with Marvin’s mother calling him back to the house, provides an excellent time limit for younger children being introduced to games.
Marvin’s Mittens is simply beautiful for children, parents or any gamer.
+ Storybook graphics
+ Introduction game for children
– Not multiplatform
+/- Should be a companion for an actual book