The Munchables

October 13, 2009

My son once described The Munchables as the game with the vegetable space pirates and the guys who eat everything. Oddly enough, that is probably the best way to actually describe the game to someone who has never played it. Taking on the role of Chomper or Munchy, the greediest Munchables, you have set out to retrieve the Legendary Orbs of Star Ving from the Tabemon space pirates who have stolen then. Let’s find out how a game with vegetable space pirates stacks up.

The game begins by allowing you to select either Chomper (for the guys) or Munchy (for the girls). The Munchables is broken up by different planets each with 2 levels and a boss level. You’ll progress through each stage battling pirates of varying levels. Combat is pretty simple as you can outright eat any pirates of a similar or smaller size by pressing the Eat button or you can break apart larger enemies into more manageable sizes by attacking them first. Your character grows and evolves as his/her stomach gets full as indicated by the on screen display and is able to eat higher level pirates. You also have a few special items at your disposal such as the vacuum that turns your Munchable into a sort of Dyson vacuum sucking up any nearby pirates. Along the way you will also be collecting hidden acorns. If your Munchable happens to take damage from one of the space pirates, the number of pirates you’ve eaten on that stage will decrease and you’ll shrink to your starting size momentarily. Taking damage in this shrunken size will end the game. Shaking the Wii Remote shortens the length of time you are vulnerable.

Surprisingly enough, Namco Bandai included the ability to use the Wii Remote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller, or even the GameCube controller. We opted to use the Wii Remote controller option. Your control scheme is determined by the controller you use to start the game at the title screen. An unnecessary option as the Wii Remote control scheme works very well, but a welcome one for fans of more traditional controllers. The controls were tight and responsive in every regard with the exception of jumping which could be a little frustrating at times.

Initially, the concept of the game sounds a little juvenile and may draw a parallel to a parent trying to get their kids to eat their vegetables, but The Munchables has been surprisingly entertaining to play. The combat is quick and easy and the levels are short enough that they don’t begin to feel cumbersome and drawn out. The replay value is also quite high as you replay older levels to try and increase your score and get the highest grade awarded for every level.

The Munchables is an interesting niche title that combines vegetable space pirates with aliens that eat their enemies and it just seems to work. It’s got a variety of controller schemes to please everyone and even though the story is shallow it’s a real blast to play. It is definitely a niche title that not everyone will want, but the upside is that it has already hit the bargain bin so I have no problem recommending you pick this up even for the occasional play. If you’ve got kids, it’s definitely something you’ll want to check out.

Plays Like: A common adventure game
ESRB: E for Everyone; Comic Mischief and Mild Cartoon Violence
Pros: Fun; Quirky
Cons: Shallow story; Jumping is a pain

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.