Review – Where’s My Mommy? (Apoch Plays)

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  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Exquisite Games
  • Release Date: March 1st, 2016
  • Genre: Action, Endless Runner
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

If you’ve grown tired of crappy endless runners hitting the Steam marketplace, well, rejoice, as there’s now one centered around feces. Where’s My Mommy? is the tale of young Poopey in search of his mother after a terrible “earthquake” pulls the two apart. In his quest he travels through the colon in hopes of rescuing her before passing through the hole that no life has ever been seen from once it passes through, all the while avoiding a plethora of obstacles and memes along the way. But is this title worth the nearly six dollars US currency, or does its Binding of Isaac/Newgrounds style of artwork in the trailer stand as the only aspect of the game worth noting?

For the most part the humor is subtle, but it wears thin within the first minute or two of actual game play. Playing as a mound of excrement is a running joke we’re seeing quite a lot of, perhaps as an allegory for the Steam Greenlight system and approval process. This includes the recent fecal inspired platformer titled Freedom Poopie that has your tightly packed hero collecting items and solving mini puzzles to clear a level, as well as a number of other bodily fluid inspired entries too poorly done to make it to the storefront. For Where’s My Mommy?, however, you just have to jump over or through certain dangerous barriers. Some of them are cheeky, such as the skeletal remains of a hamster, bags of cocaine, condoms, as well as half of what appears to be Spongebob Squarepants and, well, that’s about the extent of the humor that isn’t internet troll faces on gold coins or the Lord of the Rings Aragorn meme about how “one does not simply just” to explain things such as how animal bones and diarrhea will hurt the player. There’s no need for those last two to exist here unless trying to bait Jim Sterling into covering this game which, if so, it backfired as it only attracted this reviewer (so far).

The control scheme can seem a bit daunting at first but, really, it ends up just three buttons/keys. Q turns you to liquid to pass through porous or grated objects, d hardens you to destroy the others, and both a and the space bar jump. There is a double jump option but, at the time of writing this review, the second pressing of the button to trigger it doesn’t always respond as well as it needs to, not to mention I’ve accidentally gotten it to triple jump somehow on two occasions. The instructions during the practice segments, however, show the Xbox controller scheme, and not the keyboard, so if you forget you have to play a bit of s guessing game to advance. And, really that’s the height of the difficulty across the game’s three modes of play.

Story mode is literally a casual runner experience, and where you’ll spend most of your time trying to save your mother. It’s a good way to get some practice in, though offers very little actual challenge, or anything of real interest to keep you going other than a random “Hey, look at that, how’d that get in there?” moment like the observance of a severed finger tucked away neatly. There’s also Endless mode which is literally the endless runner approach to the game with the same level of difficulty, while Sadist mode throws more difficult challenges at you. Of course, those challenges are just the same gimmicky obstacles, but more of them, and all clumped tightly together.

All that said, Where’s My Mommy? does look good for an endless runner style game, not to mention does have a fairly catchy soundtrack. There are some random elements like harmonized flatulence that may catch you off guard, as well as a man shouting “I need an adult!” in the background that I believe is from South Park, but it’s hard to tell. Either way, the audio does stand as one of the more impressive aspects, but even that isn’t quite enough to save the gameplay, or keep you going.

Where’s My Mommy? is the most basic of bare bones concepts for the style, though with a stagnant humorous set-up that doesn’t last beyond the first few minutes of playing, leaving simpler titles like Mindless Running, yet another cutesy endless runner with a story mode that only costs one US dollar, to be a far more viable option to waste plenty of time on because it knows what it is and isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with the same tools and strive to reach the same outcome. Instead of relying on you to care to ask “What else is up this person/animal’s ass?”, that one focuses on being a competent game with a simple story and proper increasing difficulty curve that makes it more a score attack experience than one simply meant to shock you or play up your childish sense of humor, something I admit to have yet still found this title bland.

To put it bluntly, Where’s My Mommy? is just boring. It’s just a one-joke gimmick that plays off the popularity of a genre that is completely over saturated the way it is. There’s little to really keep the player going except for achievements, and even then they aren’t worth the time or six US dollars for such a barren experience. Even at one or two dollars, you’re left with something that loses the power of its punchline almost immediately, leaving you having spent money for something that would have been better received on mobile devices or Newgrounds. Hopefully the developer does or adds more to this game in the future but, as it stands, you can only polish a turd so much before you just accept that fact that it is, indeed, a turd.

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.