The Mims Beginning (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: God-like simulation
Developer: Squatting Penguins
Publisher: Squatting Penguins, Ultimate Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Switch
Tested on: Switch

The Mims Beginning (Switch) – Review

Site Score
3.0
Good: Flow of the game, tutorials for the mechanics
Bad: Controls, no saving option
User Score
1.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.7/10 (3 votes cast)

About four years ago, The Mims Beginning was released on Steam. These little creatures were in dire need and it just happened that you were there to help. Now, after all this time, the game is going handheld mode as a version for the Switch has been released. Was this the brightest move though?

Story

With The Mims Beginning, the narrative is taking place in a faraway galaxy. These alien-like creatures were living in peace until one day, due to some circumstances, they have to leave their planet. Their plan was to go to a new planet and start from scratch, with the help of the DNA orb. Upon evacuation, things went wrong and the Mims were caught in a meteor shower, making the spaceship go haywire. Some of the population got to the escape pods in time, while others are doomed to float around in space until help arrives. What’s even worse, the DNA orb is lost, together with a lot of crucial parts of the freighter.

Some of the Mims landed on a floating island and it seems that there are loads of them all around. There are traces of the orb on these pieces of flying landforms and for some reason, the creatures are able to sense your presence and they ask you for help. It is your task to guide them to the orb and to help them find a new home.

Although the story value isn’t that high, it’s all that you need to have something to keep you going. What might be a bit of a let-down is that the conversations and events are trying to be light and funny but are sometimes more childlike.

Graphics

The game is set in a really colorful world and with quite some exotic fauna and flora. Some of the islands look alike, while others seem to be from a whole different area. Overall, you can easily find your Mims in the settings as they have some brighter colors. The buildings and other necessities really fit with the rest of the game and have a more comical style to it.

Although the pc version might have been really nice, the Switch edition feels like it could have been better (especially in handheld mode). The loading screens look blurry and the same can be said in-game. The buildings might look nice close by, while the rest seems to be forgotten. In handheld mode, everything looks so small, especially the side menus and the prompts.

Sound

Music and sound effects go hand in hand in this title, as the tracks are more hearable in the background and the ambiance is more present. When you zoom in on your piece of land, you can hear more details, like the sound of water crashing down at a waterfall or the squishy explosions of fruit whenever they’re too ripe. Yes, it’s a thing in this game.

Depending on the setting or impending disasters, the music will change to something more sinister. It’s a nice change of pace, making it all a bit more interesting. It’s sad that the Mims themselves aren’t able to talk, although you can hear their screams when you accidentally put them on fire.

Gameplay

The Mims Beginning is a god game where you have to take action and guide a group of stranded aliens to find a way to a new home. To do so, there are a few procedures that are explained during the tutorial levels. When you start a new level, there are a few objectives to fulfill before you can continue to the next one. There are quite some mechanics and buildings to discover, so only the basic and necessary ones will be explained.

First of all, you need a PSI tower as this is the only way for you to have any influence on the environment as it acts as your headquarter. It has a certain reach, meaning that you need to think about where to put it. Some parts of the isle might have hidden treasures and being unable to reach it might be a problem.

After that one is put on the map, the actual work begins. The PSI tower will give you energy, which can be used for several spells to help or protect your population for example. To get this energy, there has to be electricity. Before you can build anything else, you will need fuel for your other structures. This is where the Extractors and Silos come into play. You can plant several kinds of fruits that are used for energy thanks to the grinding of the Extractor. The generated biomass is then saved in the silo, ready to use for other purposes. If you need electricity, you need to think of wind power or generators. The wind turbines will mostly do the trick, giving the juice you need for PSI power for example and other buildings like the bio lab. In this science center, you can do research for crops or livestock, which is a necessity if you want to have a healthy community. At the beginning of the story, you only have a few options to investigate but more will be added when you progress. Raising and trading chickens or other creatures can be done via the spaceships and will give you gems that are needed for a lot of the buildings. Without these, you can’t continue growing.

When you have your circle running of gathering energy, investigating and raising livestock for trading and so on, there is one specific part that can’t be forgotten: housing. Your Mims are tired after working and running around, and although you can use your healing PSI power, it’s just a short fix. In the houses, your Mims can regenerate on their own, making them ready to go yet again. Something else is the barracks, as predators are never too far away and your Mims need protection.

If you had enough of story mode, you can also go for survival. Here, you can decide how difficult the level will be and you can choose almost everything. What livestock is available, the type of enemies that are going to spawn and so on. Something to venture in when you’re familiar with the mechanics of the game.

Now, there are two main negative points for this title that kind of ruin the whole experience. First of all, the controls are plainly garbage. In handheld mode, this game is hard to play as everything is so small and it’s hard to put the buildings just where you want them to. If you think that the touchscreen will be your savior, think again. Same problem here, so you might switch between both ways of playing to try and get somewhere. Also, the cursor moves rather slow, compared to how it would play on a computer.

Because, if the lack of decent controls isn’t the issue, the next one is. You can’t save your progress during story mode. You have to finish the level or just put it on standby and pick it up again later, which is rather weird for a handheld console. Of course, you can just leave it in standby and get back to it later on, but it forces you to continue even though you might want to play something else.

Conclusion

The Mims Beginning is a god game where you have control over this group of aliens, trying to find a way back home. Originally the game was released on PC four years ago and to be honest, it should have stayed there. The graphics are doable, the sound is ok and the mechanics are easy yet diverse, but the controls and lack of saving make it you might get annoyed faster than your PSI tower is built. The port to the Switch might not have been the best choice after all.

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Rating: 1.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Mims Beginning (Switch) - Review, 1.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

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