When I discovered the crazy world of Mom Hid My Game, I was delighted and intrigued with its quirky humour and sometimes obscure and game breaking ways to solve a puzzle. Doing things like playing with the UI, menu options or the opposite of the logical answer were at the heart of the simple point n click puzzles. Flashforward to its sequel, this is very much more of the same thing and whilst that’s not a “bad” thing, it doesn’t land as freshly second time around.
If you’ve not played one of these games before then the premise is simple to pick up. Each level has a young boy trying to find his handheld console. Mom’s hidden it somewhere and as you click around the 1 -3 screens per level to see what can be interacted with, you’ll either work out where the console is and how to get it, or you’ll get discovered by mom. Cue your character shouting “MUMMA!” over and over and to be honest, half the fun is having mom pop out of a fridge, a wall, a drawer, the window and all kinds of silly places. It’s minimalistic looks and slapstick wit carry the game a very long way. Whilst it’s less fresh second time around, this is still the main selling point.
Where things don’t quite land as well second time around are the actual puzzles themselves. A lot of the same level designs are reused. On occasion, its on purpose to say “haha, that was the answer last time but not this time” as mom appears where the console used to be. More often is the same idea being reused though and so Mom Hid My Game 2 falls into an awkward and fairly unique trap. You know the game is going to throw you some leftfield solutions and you are going to expect them, but they are the same leftfield solutions as last time. The game feels oddly familiar and oddly… odd. The best way I can describe it is if Stanley Parable 2 came out and it just redid the exact same thing again but in a different order. Yes, it might be fun, but it wouldn’t feel distinguishable from its original form. In many ways, this sequel feels like it should have been a DLC pack.
That said, if you enjoy the wacky humour and very streamlined point n click delivery, there is still fun to be had. There’s definitely some in jokes developing as the series grows (now there’s a Pudding variant where you play as the sister not the brother too) and that’s a good thing for series fans. Controls are simple although sometimes it doesn’t register exactly where you think you’ve clicked but these are largely small niggles. The larger niggle is that these games always come with an odd bonus mini game you’ll be expected to grind for an achievement on. Whilst less boring and drawn out than the first one, this time around the minigame doesn’t add much more to the experience. Instead, I wanted to find all the mom scenes and get caught on every level! That requires a bit of trial and error – especially as the levels follow little reasonable logic. In that regard, it’s like finding a game full of short and sharp obscure point n click solutions where nothing makes sense and making that a selling feature. Again, your appreciation of this comedic undertone will make or break the experience for you.
I just wonder exactly where the series can really go from here though as its as if all its good ideas have already been recycled. I don’t mind getting more of the same of something, but in this case, there needs to be more distinction in the level designs and their solutions to not feel a bit of a copy/paste job.
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