Crash into me.
Imagine, if you can, that you're standing in line for one of Tokyo's trendy eateries behind a massive crowd of annoying, hive-minded losers who can't even dress themselves because they've bought up every last neon suit between here and Akihabara. Now imagine that your dream has come true and you get to give these douches the ol' heave-ho.
That's Tokyo Crash Mobs in a delusional, goofy nutshell. Nintendo lets Mitchell run a Warioware scheme through to its natural conclusion, but maybe those oddball minigames were mini for a reason. Can the gameplay support Mitchell's absurd premise or is Tokyo Crash Mobs just too weird?
In all three styles of puzzle-gameplay, Tokyo Crash Mobs challenges players to match like-colored scenesters in order to get rid of them. Throwing a green scenester at two other greens causes them to scurry off, meaning lining up big combos is key to obtaining a high score. Clearing one trio only for a second, third, and forth trio of jerks to scurry away is incredibly satisfying. These marble-style games aren't new, but I can guarantee you haven't seen them played out with hipster-doofuses before.
Grace throws these annoying jerks while Savannah rolls them. In one sequence, you might use Grace to clear the static line ahead of you. In the next, Savannah might be the only thing standing between the scenesters and their march closer to the big red button, which if they reach will fail your mission.
The two protagonists eventually pair up and deliver helpful items to each other. These range from a UFO that abducts all of a certain color on screen or an umbrella that sets up killer combos by simplifying four colors on screen to two. Of course, smart item use takes a back seat to efficient elimination of the field. You'll be judged against how many shots it takes to pass a level, as well as how long it takes you to clear the field.
I probably wouldn't enjoy Tokyo Crash Mobs as much as I do without the semi-lost-in-translation humor. It might seem odd, but I can relate to Grace and Savannah's heroic plight. I want everyone else to get out of my way, leave me alone, and generally stop dressing the same (that is to say, "stupidly"). Still, I wonder if everyone will feel the same.
The reality is that I have always liked active-style puzzle games like Bubble Bobble or Tetris Attack, so Mitchell and Nintendo have scored points from me, but if that's not your thing, don't stay for the presentation. As endearing as Grace and Savannah and the herd of scenesters are, don't expect some involved, exciting plot.
Still, I have to underscore the way Tokyo Crash Mobs maintains a truly unique sense of gameplay and aesthetic. Sure it's kind of stupid and not all that innovative, but it helps to define the burgeoning Nintendo eShop as a place to find wacky, nonsensical games that are willing to take risks. Even a jaded critic has to see that an environment like that will continue to breed creativity and fun.
If you like puzzle games, it's easy to recommend Tokyo Crash Mobs. If you don't… well, why don't you get the hell out of my way before I throw two more tasteless jerks at you?