Played on: Mac, via itch.io
An inventive twist on the tile-pushing genre.
Mimic is a free demo, essentially a proof-of-concept. And what a concept it is! Part Baba Is You, part Super Mario Odyssey (come on, a very small part!), it’s a PICO-8 cart which will, hopefully, follow in the footsteps of Celeste and become a full-on phenomenon.
Gameplay involves moving around a 2d grid, one turn at a time, aiming for the target coin. You can only move over certain landscape tiles, and you’ll occasionally come across a pushable object or two. So far, so normal. What differentiates Mimic is your ability to take on the guise of certain creatures, also present in the level—hence the rather tenuous Odyssey comparison.
When you’re acting like a butterfly or a fish or whatever, you’ll be able to move over alternate landscape. That’s pretty much it, except to mention that your method for transforming into another creature is based on a pattern of moves—a body-swap rain-dance, if you will. Observe how something else moves, and mimic (!) its behaviour.
The mimicking dance you undertake is maybe a more unusual mechanic than the core concept of metamorphosis, and it becomes more and more central to the levels’ puzzles as you progress. Sometimes you’ll be able to change the pattern itself, and judging exactly where you need to end up is key to continuing your journey.
It’s a little tricky to learn exactly how to transform at first, since you need to complete a full cycle of pacing back-and-forth to do so. I also found it slightly too easy to accidentally transform now and again but, really, this is just another dimension to the puzzle.
This demo is, understandably, light on features. A big omission is an inability to take back a move, which would be frustrating in a more complete version of the game—hopefully, this would be rectified. You also can’t really select a specific level but, hey, there are only 11 (12?) for now, so this isn’t too much of an issue.
Since first playing Baba Is You, I’ve rather pessimistically thought that it’s taken all the good tile-moving ideas; the latest update which branches the gameplay into many different mechanics only reinforced this—or so I thought. Thankfully, Mimic (and others, including Patrick’s Parabox, due out in 2022!) dispel this.
Mimic is an exciting concept and I can’t wait to see what it transmogrifies into next.