Disclaimer; For the purposes of transparency this review was carried out using a code supplied to me by the game’s director. This does not affect my judgement of the game.
Back in March 2017 I was at Tobacco Dock in London for EGX Rezzed. There I played a range of games, one of which was The Mimic. The Mimic is a puzzle game with a bit of a different gameplay mechanic. It really interested me as a game so I gave the devs my contact details so that when the game was ready for review we could review it. They recently emailed me with a code to the game, and I have to say; I really enjoyed what I played.
The Mimic sees the player playing as an engineer, trapped in an outer space facility. In this facility, a creature was being kept in containment. Known as the Mimic, it is understood this creature is a highly successful predator. Six months ago the creature broke out of containment and, seeing it as his only chance of survival, the facility’s chief engineer locked himself in isolation. With the supplies now finished, the engineer must flee the safety of isolation and find a way out of the facility. Even then, the Mimic is always one step behind him.
See the issue is that the Mimic mentally links itself to it’s target. Because of this mental link the creature is capable of mimicking the target’s movements, allowing the Mimic to always be close to it’s target. This mental link poses another issue; if the Mimic dies, so does the target aka you. If you get too close to the Mimic, it will kill you. Later in the game the engineer discovers that he may be able to stop the mental link with the Mimic, and so that becomes the new objective of the game.
The gameplay of The Mimic is relatively simple on paper; get from the start of the level to the end of the level without dying (either you or the Mimic). Now obviously being a puzzle game it isn’t actually that simple. There were many occasions when I would trap myself down a dead end with the Mimic, resulting in my death. There are also environmental obstacles, such as the facility’s defence system, that get in the way. Luckily the game doesn’t punish you that much for dying, because you will die. A lot. It just comes with the territory of The Mimic. You simply start at the last checkpoint (which will sometimes be the beginning of the level). Levels aren’t that long so it isn’t too gruelling, however you can feel that you have lost a lot of progress.
The game starts to get complex as some parts of the world have to be interacted with by a certain character: certain pressure plates or panels can only be used by the Mimic adding to the complication. The game also uses a portal mechanic, where interacting with a portal swaps the positions of the two characters. This is most well used in the levels featuring the trains, in which the player must teleport the Mimic backwards and forwards so as to avoid the lasers on the tracks. Not avoiding the lasers kills you or the Mimic, either of which results in a death for the player. Other gameplay mechanics include swapping the inputs of your keyboard so that left becomes right etc. These make the level tricky to navigate, however you quickly become used to them. Luckily the Mimic can’t jump so you find yourself trapping it by small walls to allow you to move as freely as you need to.
In terms of graphics The Mimic isn’t anything game changing. It is however a very nice game to look at. There is a lot of imagery that really sticks out, especially the sections of the game where you have to navigate the facility’s defences. The red of the defence system is a nice contrast to the darkness, and makes for a very impressive image. In terms of audio there isn’t really much to say, other than it does the group it is meant to do. There is just this ominous music to remind you that there is danger literally right behind you. It suits the mood of the game perfectly.
To sum up The Mimic, it is definitely one worth checking out if you enjoy puzzle games. It definitely makes you think about every move before you make it, something I feel personally is essential in a puzzle game. The creature adds a whole new level to the complexity of the game, meaning you now must worry about the actions of 2 things rather than just the player. Add to this that the game features 2 player local co-op and I think that all in all The Mimic is a must play for fans of puzzle games!