By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun arcade side-scrolling platformer for young and old.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Doesn't have any messages for gamers, positive or negative.
Positive Role Models
Stars a bunch of robotic animals that use abilities to make their way through levels. We don't get to know their personalities, motivations, behavior traits.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn. Best controlled with a gamepad on PC.
Violence & Scariness
Mild fantasy violence, such as an armadillo that can roll up into a ball, smash into a boss, like a giant toad. No blood, gore.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mekazoo is a platforming game. It challenges players to change between different robotic animals throughout each level to reach the eventual goal at the end of the stage. Aside from some mild cartoon violence, such as smashing into boss characters to destroy them, there isn't any inappropriate or controversial content.
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What’s It About?
MEKAZOO is an old-school platformer game that fuses fast-paced 2D side-scrolling fun with colorful 3- visuals and two-player cooperative (co-op) play. There isn't much of a story, but you start the game as a robotic armadillo, one of the five mechanical animals, or "Mekanimals" you can change into after you defeat a boss character, each with its own abilities. Like Sonic the Hedgehog, the armadillo is fast and can roll up and take loop-the-loops and curves with ease. The frog, on the other hand, lashes out with his tongue to whip insect-like enemies or latch on and swing between platforms. Then there's the wallaby, which can bounce over obstacles and flatten foes, a flying pelican, and a tough but slow panda who can break walls or floors. Players can swap out the character when they come across a section that requires different abilities.
Is It Any Good?
This game manages to appeal to a wide range of gamers both old and young with its engaging gameplay and simple plot. A fun throwback to early '90s platformers, Mekazoo might sound like a large pile of rehashed ideas resurrected for nostalgia's sake. But between the slick neon jungle graphics, ability to change between Mekanimals, and great music, it feels like a fresh experience for kids and kids at heart. The cooperative mode for two local players challenges each one to work together, switching out their two Mekanimals -- at the right time, no less -- to avoid obstacles, collect medals and gems, and navigate through the often challenging levels.
Speaking of challenges, the controls work fairly well on consoles, but PC gamers shouldn't try using a keyboard for this type of game, as it won't be easy. In fact, controls are the biggest issue and aren't as responsive as they should be for a fast-paced platformer. Another minor issue arises with creatures that are close together but aren't recognized by the game as two objects that can't occupy the same space. Finally, the game is very short -- you can complete it in a weekend, but at least it's affordable, and you can play again with someone beside you. For under $20, this charming platformer is a blast from the past with a modern twist.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why platformers like this aren't very popular anymore. Is it the flat 2D level design that seems dated -- even with 3D characters like these -- or is it the simplistic arcade gameplay? While this game appeals to nostalgic types, could this appeal to a new and younger demographic, too?
Talk about favorite characters. Is there a character you like best out of the Mekazoo characters? Is there a reason why games include multiple characters for games that are mainly single-player experiences?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: The Good Mood Creators
- Release date: November 15, 2016
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Bugs, Horses and Farm Animals, Robots, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: March 16, 2020
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