thatguy0130's Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem (Nintendo DS) review

It's like Lemmings but somehow better.

Are you a fan of Lemmings? You know that old game where you try and get as many green haired creatures through the door as possible by assigning them jobs to help them clear a level.. Well if you are a fan of those games then you should definitely check out the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series. New to the franchise myself, this Mini-land Mayhem is my first brush with this long running and successful Nintendo creation. Being a fan of Lemmings, I was pleasantly surprised at how they took that same basic logic, and boiled it down to make quite an entertaining little piece of gaming goodness.

In this series (assuming they are all about the same as this one) you are charged with helping mechanical Mario minis get to an exit by manipulating the environment. You can create bridges and stairs move warp tubes and all kinds of other little things to get your minis safely to the door. The only real objective is to get them through however there are also bonus objectives for every level such as obtaining all the collectibles within the level and clearing it in a decent amount of time. These bonus objectives are incredibly easy to achieve and really I don’t know why you wouldn’t just go after perfection instead of seeking just completion.

Noticeably this is a handheld franchise. It is broken up into easy to manage level chunks. Each has a theme and introduces a new thing to manipulate. There are 8 levels in each chuck of which 2 are unique where you also have to get a particular mini through the door first or you have to take a team of Mario, Toad, Peach, or Donkey Kong minis each through their corresponding door. After completing these levels you will be confronted with a boss battle. These are classic Donkey Kong style get you guy to the top of the screen to knock Donkey Kong out and rescue the lady in distress. What makes it different is that you have to get your mini up 3 different areas and they must be facing the correct way in order to clear a boss battle. And no, they never get Daisy (?) Donkey Kong always swings to safty.

It's hard to find any real faults with such a simple and addictive little game. I suppose you could say that it is easy and being so easy it tends to be short. The difficulty really only starts to get going when you are on your 6 level chuck and by then there are only 2 to go. Interestingly enough there is also a pretty decent level creator which also allows you to share levels over the internet and try other creations. It is a way to prolong the time the cart sits in your DS but really Nintendo has never really known what to do with the internet. At any rate, this is not a bad little game for your money if you are a fan of Lemmings style games, if not, well you could just try it anyways. Who knows, you may just discover you have been missing out.

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