The Munchables is an undeniably cute action-platformer with a charming exterior, focusing on simplistic mechanics and a fun premise that encourages you to stuff your face full of piratical produce. Though many will find its brevity, shallowness, and low difficulty underwhelming, it should still enchant the younger crowd.
The game opens on planet Star Ving, where the adorably gluttonous munchables--odd little ball-shaped creatures that put professional eaters to shame--frolic and feast under the watchful gaze of an all-knowing onion. When they're not too busy eating, the munchables are protective of legendary orbs, which are vaguely important ice-cream swirls that evil space pirates like to nab. Confused yet? You will be. When the vegetable- and fruit-based pirates fuse with the orbs, they become delectable monster treats that the munchables can devour in a quest for freedom. Clearly, the plot is a disjointed, confusing mess, but its zany style and intermittent insanity hold a certain appeal.
Feast your way through a colorful world full of wrathful produce.
In your role as a munchable, the bulk of the action is fun and extremely straightforward, and takes place in moderately expansive 3D environments with potential for exploration. Brief platforming segments are successfully paired with comfortable controls and a decent camera, though you can't maneuver it, which is occasionally frustrating. A functional, if sparse, combat system revolves around gobbling up monsters and filling your iron stomach with potent pirate mojo that increases your size as you gain levels. Growing enables you to reach new areas (including secrets) and to tackle large enemies with a basic rolling attack, reducing them to cuter, edible versions. The truly fiendish should enjoy ingesting multiple pirate lackeys simultaneously for combo points and bragging rights, while dining on local village housing and occupied UFOs provides additional chuckles.
Item collectors should appreciate the cleverly hidden acorns scattered throughout each stage. Acquiring all of a stage's acorns, or even feasting on enough pirates, unlocks goofy accessories that you can decorate your munchable crew with. These include wizard hats, fish scales, and flashy Native American headdresses for a little variety. Accessorizing adds a touch of fun customization, which might motivate the obsessive types to repeat a few stages.
Though the gameplay's stark simplicity is an attractive aspect, it also poses few challenges and becomes highly repetitive. An almost complete lack of combat and character progression is disheartening; new abilities are greatly needed to spruce up the bare-bones combat system and lessen the monotony, since you'll experience almost everything Munchables has to offer in your first five minutes. There are a few bonus items you can use against enemies, such as a vacuum that conveniently sucks up and demolishes foes, but while they provide brief bits of variety, they're rarely integrated into the gameplay, making them unnecessary trinkets that soon lose their charm.