Cheezia: Gears of Fur is an engaging and fun platform game with some very cool physics elements thrown in. Your job is to help Manu, a mouse housed within a wall-climbing cogwheel of some kind, save some important recipes from the grip of an Evil Kiwinel bird. So, this adventure is all about food, then: cheese, mainly.
If you like dairy, and also like your games Mario-esque and dripping in cheese, this is the game you’ve been waiting for. Grab a cracker or some nachos and read on for more…
Intro and Controls
You control Manu – who sits inside a cogwheel – using the two arrows on the left-hand side of the screen to roll left or right. When you need to, there is a jump button on the right-hand side. Typically, the in-game physics work as you would expect; you need to avoid falling into the molten lake of fondue that poses a real hazard throughout the early levels. Some blocks can be broken by charging into them, which requires a double tap in the direction you want to smash. Pretty cool, and it obviously adds to gameplay and level design.
The joy of Manu’s cogwheel vehicle is that it can climb walls; all you need to do is walk into one and Manu will begin to ascend. This certainly adds to the dynamics of the intelligently designed levels as you get to climb quite a lot and it allows you access to plenty of otherwise inexplorable areas. It’s often in these hidden areas you find the recipes you need to collect. There are three in each level and they’re not always easy to spot, so it’s certainly worth spending some time and exploring every nook and cranny to find them all.
Other tasks to perform include collecting little Mousy coins. There are plenty of these dotted about, but can you find them all? Levels differ and feature all kinds of environments but each tend to be that little bit trickier than the one before it. You will encounter all kinds of obstacles and apparatus to help or hinder you but at the end of each level is a little flag you must raise.
The Super Mario Factor
You may have noticed the significant nod this level end marker gives to the world of Super Mario – and it’s not the only reference. You take out baddies by jumping on them and they move very similarly to the way the creatures move in the popular Nintendo games. Additionally there are various areas that are accessible by smashing brickwork. You do this in exactly the same way you would have done with Mario: standing underneath it and jumping. To be honest, I thought this homage to the Mario games was sincere and quite cute – it certainly makes some of the gameplay features automatically familiar.
Graphics and Sound
The world within Cheezia: Gears of Fur is a bright one, full of colour, animation and movement. The graphics are remarkably slick and controls are responsive. It’s an immersive and engaging cartoon world of gloopy cheese, spinning wheels, platforms, baddies, recipes and coins. Everything looks incredibly smooth and natural, making the game a joy to play but also great to look at. There are plenty of small animations and effect too which bring the world to life. For example, when you smash bricks Mario-style there are little clouds of dust, and when you jump on a baddie he kind of bounces off the screen.
Everything is strictly 2D but this shouldn’t put off gamers who like their graphics as realistic as possible. Simply put, if you enjoy platform games, this is a visual treat and well worth checking out.
Sound too is very polished and well thought out. I’ve played some great games in the past that have been tragically let down by terrible music and sound effects, however Cheezia: Gears of Fur is very different. The soundtrack is catchy and gentle, while the sound effects; jumping, collecting coins and recipes are refreshingly subtle, meaning you won’t be reaching for volume settings too quickly to turn it all off.
Because the game is so very easy to pick up and play, and offers rich environments, things to collect, places to explore and a cute narrative, the game is typically very addictive. Although the blurb doesn’t explain it very well this game offers the first world absolutely free. Here there are six levels which is more than enough to get a feel for the game. You can unlock 16 more levels if you buy the full game which, at £1.19 ($1.89), isn’t very expensive.
I did feel that the first six levels were quite easy and quick to complete, so I think this level count might be a little on the small size. I guess, however, that, as the game gets more popular, some more might be added as we so often see with games like this. These free levels do give you plenty to go on, though, so by the end you’ll know for certain whether you want to continue the adventure and purchase the full game.
You can’t get too far into the game without noticing the Mario themes, and there’s certainly some Sonic the Hedgehog-style rolling influence too. While we haven’t seen the small Italian Plumber splash onto Android in any official manner, Sonic already has had a couple of adventures (Sonic 4 Episode 1 and Sonic CD) ported to the Android environment, so there is some familiarity there.
There is an original Cheezia game which is a kind of cute cheese packing puzzle title. While the gameplay is completely different, if you really like the Cheezia universe, this might also be worth checking out.
There are, of course, plenty of 2D platform games on Android. Perhaps some of the best known include Cordy, Muffin Knight and Roboto. Each has proven to be very popular and worth exploring if you haven’t already. Cheezia: Gears of Fur is a superb game that adds itself well to the very best of this genre. It offers a different kind of gameplay in a familiar setting which, while it doesn’t break boundaries, is fun, engaging and perfect for both children and adults.
Cheezia: Gears of Fur is a brilliant example of great platform gaming on the Android platform. Graphics, sound and gameplay are all superb and there are some cool physics-based control features which make the title stand out. It’s addictive, fun to play and enjoyable for adults and children alike.
I think perhaps the full version of the game requires a few more levels to make purchase more appealing, but if you’re a big fan of the platforming genre it will make sense to upgrade and get the extra levels. There’s very little not to love about this gorgeous little mouse-based homage to Super Mario, and I would certainly recommend to anyone to give it a spin.