What's in the booooooooooox?! In Issa Norakumo's puzzle game Mimicry Man, translated by vgperson, you're on the side of eeeeeeevil. In your case, you're the titular Mimicry Man, leader of those annoying sentient snapping treasure chests who attack unwary heroes, and your job, granted by the Dark Lord himself, is to set a trap for the chosen hero with the legendary Solar Sword... ! Too bad you stink at your job. See, you need bait to lure the hero in, and he may be a doofus, but that dirty stick you had in your chest was obviously not the Solar Sword. Turns out you don't have to be the brightest crayon in the box to control an army of mimics. Now you've got to go on a journey to find the Solar Sword to lay your trap, but it's going to be a long road, because you've got to work your way up from that humble stick by trading with people all over the world. And by "trading" I of course mean "offering them their desire so they come close enough to devour". Obviously.
When you get right down to it, Mimicry Man Doodle God with a little deductive work. You hop to different locations, each with their own types of hapless prey, and try to figure out who wants what. See, each round, a monster or a person will appear, and if you think you know what they're looking for, you can plop it in your chest and they'll come over, dropping a different item when you gobble them down. The dialogue for each character will usually give you a clue as to what they're looking for, though sometimes they'll accept more than one thing with different results. If nobody seems to be buying what you're selling, so to speak, it might be time to visit the Fusion Pot, where you can combine two items to create a new one... bread and meat make a delicious sandwich, for example. If you're stuck, you can visit Mimicel, God of Mimics and totally not the Dark Lord in a cheap disguise, and he'll give you a random hint in exchange for any item. Luckily, the game will keep track of everything you unlock in the Item Index, so you can always refer to it when you forget something.
If you're thinking all this sounds pretty cute and clever, well, you're right on both counts. Mimicry Man is a sassy, charmingly silly little puzzle game whose cutscenes and dialogue enliven its gorgeously illustrated characters. The tone is light throughout, and even a little, well, naughty, since one young boy who's waiting for Santa is also waiting for a little, uh, adult reading material. Of course, if you're also thinking this all sounds repetitive, well, you're right again, because Mimicry Man is in a lot of ways, a grindfest. Many items can only be found after several different trades, and many more still have multiple uses, prompting you to churn through areas and prey over and over and over. While most people will give pretty obvious indications as to what they want, if not where to find it, some not only offer no hints whatsoever, but want items that you would have no reason to offer them in the first place, which means you have to give items to Mimicel until he spits out a hint for them. Still, Mimicry Man is such a great concept and fun little diversion with its goofy plot (not without its own twists and turns!) that it's an easy charmer, and trying for 100% item completion is a task in itself. It's simple but fantastic, tongue-in-cheek entertainment with simple gameplay that will keep you snacking on unwary prey right til the end.
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