Fat Mask – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade Puzzle Brawler
Developer: Paper Cult
Publisher: Paper Cult
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Fat Mask – Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Great for local multiplayer
Bad: Repetitive
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Fat Mask is the first official game made by Paper Cult, a studio in Montreal, Quebec. Imagine games such as Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine or Tetris, Towerfall: Ascension and any slightly chaotic platform brawler. Now cram them all in levels with a slightly retro feel and a definitely retro-like soundtrack. This is Fat Mask. At first glance an original, colorful game with a great soundtrack.

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Story

As far as the story goes it’s easy to be fairly blunt about it. There is none. No background story, no hints on any of the characters’ developments, it’s just a case of what you see is what you get. Fat Mask is the name of one of the characters. A blue, obese like character accompanied by the other characters you could pick. There’s Marc André: a koala like character, Double trouble: a purple protagonist consisting out of a party of two, and Carbage King: a slightly annoyed looking (self-proclaimed?) king. Everybody on your couch can pick either one of them, or you can go solo to improve your skills and try and beat some highscores.

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Graphics

There are bright blue, green and red blocks available at the levels. They all have eyes though this is not too clear. You can pick any block up, though none of them hold different properties. They are simply made to differentiate. Whenever you get three blocks paired, a timer starts running around the pair you made by showing a colored moving line that slowly closes the combo. You can either ‘’close a combo’’ by waiting till this timer runs out or by hitting a block that instantly closes it whenever available. When closed, the blocks transform into something called a monster which will take the color your character stands for. Monsters have no purpose except for filling up the playing field until new blocks appear. The graphic design is simple, though quite effective. However, this also makes them quite replaceable. The best part about the graphics is maybe the animations. They look smooth and work well together with the gameplay. They give the characters the biggest aspect of feeling alive. Last but not least, there is also a general timer indicated by red bars which are being dragged across the entire screen from both sides to the middle. When they reach the middle and fill the screen, time’s up. A more original way to integrate timers into the game.

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Sound

There are a few great background tracks in Fat Mask. Since it’s a small game there are not that many in general but they all sound like they come from a long gone age of true retro games and really complement the game and its levels. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that this concludes in the soundtrack being sold separately (not on Steam itself yet). The sound effects are also quite recognizable, or at least well made. The classic pickup sound of coins and score getting added to your bank, the confirming sound of doing something well, they all work great.

Gameplay

All together Fat Mask could best be described as a party platform puzzle brawler. The brawling is not there in the sense of fighting like in Super Smash Bros, but more in the competitive nature of the game.
The objective of the game is to get the highest score possible by throwing blocks at other blocks, creating combo’s that give you points. Due to the fact this objective never changes, playing alone only gives you a small percentage of the fun you could have with some friends. Throwing blocks at other blocks with the same color, just to have a friend being faster and stealing your combo really amplifies the gameplay.

If you wanted, you could play this game with three other friends on the same keyboard. A bit inconvenient maybe, but it would work. Even better though would be to plug in controllers since the controller support works really well and actually enhances the gameplay experience. The game itself, however, really feels like it’s supposed to be a party game.

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A few other things that worth mentioning. The picking up and throwing blocks is well made and feels natural. If you are aiming towards a certain block it snaps the character towards it, which keeps some frustrating moments at bay and keeps the pace in the game.
However, in the game’s trailer they show some power-ups, none of which are actually found back in the game itself. A shame, cause even though the game is a nice party game to play and the controls are nice, it feels like it’s missing some aspects to make it truly good and enjoyable at the long term. Eventually, it’s just the same repetitive game. Pick up a block, throw a block, try to maybe steal a combo from another player and watch the clock so you can be in time before the game ends.

Conclusion

Even though Fat Mask is quite a good game for a short time, so far it feels like a mini-game that you are repeating each level. The levels itself are slightly varying but because no new gameplay, blocks or pickups are introduced whatsoever it can make the game feel quite bland. Hopefully they will introduce some of these things to an update sooner or later, cause the game has a certain potential in it, and if you would like to have something to do with some friends for a short amount of time it’s a good choice, especially if you can catch it for a few bucks. It’s a good first attempt at a game for a small company, but there is plenty of room for improvements to be made.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Fat Mask - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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