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Mister Mosquito

As the blazing hot sun sets on the remaining remnants of summer, everyone is preparing for the onset of the fall. Students are going back to school, the backyard barbecue grills are pushed into the inner recesses of the garage, the amusement parks are desolate and empty, and the there’s a definite lack of skin at the beach. The temperature is going down, and it won’t be too long before the leaves start falling from the trees. All of these things signify the end of a season, giving us clear indication that it’s time to move onto the next phase of life. Yet we’ve become so busy that we hardly ever notice the little things any more. With our hectic lives, we hardly have time to appreciate the turning of a leaf, or the way that days grow ever shorter. We simply amble along in our daily lives, blissfully unaware of the changing world around us.

Like taking candy from a baby…

However, not everyone has it so easy. Take Mister Mosquito for example. This insignificant speck of an insect is trying his best to survive in a harsh, uncaring world. By the time the summer fades away, the poor bug will be left out in cold to die with the changing season. While there is nothing he can do to prevent his ultimate fate, there is something he can do to prolong his remaining life. Relying on nothing but instinct, Mr. Mosquito must hunt down some humans and suck out some of their blood, giving himself a hearty meal and letting him live just a little longer. He’s targeted the Yamadas, a close family living in urban Japan. He’ll infiltrate their home, waiting for the opportunity to strike and drink as much blood as he possibly can. However, taking on three human beings is no easy task; you’ll have to help this pintsized hero on his quest for survival.

Never play pat-a-cake with a human if you’re a mosquito.

Your adventure will begin in the bedroom of Rena, a typical whiny teenage girl and jailbait extraordinaire. As you test out your gossamer wings for the fist time, you’ll discover that you can fly anywhere inside of the room, exploring the tiny crevices between furniture and walls and look under beds and tables. However, you can’t dawdle for too long. Rena’s blood is just waiting to get sucked from her finely toned skin. However, you can’t just zoom up to her and start doing your business. You’ll have to distract her first. Usually it’ll involve flying headlong into the light switch, which will most definitely gain her attention. There’s also the On/Off switch on the stereo, her cell phone, and a few other things you can use can use to mess with her fragile teenaged mind. After distracting her enough, she’ll become tired and inattentive. A small icon will show up, indicating the spot where you’ll get your sucking on. Once you fly down there and begin your task, you’ll have to start rotating the control stick, letting you take out more with increasing speed. However, if you go too fast or slow, you’ll alert the lovely damsel to her distress, and she’ll crush you with her bare palm. But if you manage to suck out enough without getting squashed, you’ll clear the level, allowing you to prey on the rest on the Yamada family.

Look out, she’s got bug spray!

However, these people aren’t complete idiots. If you spend enough buzzing aimlessly around a level, your target is bound to notice you eventually. If you don’t get out of site fast, you’ll be in for one of the most daunting battles of your life. These people won’t merely shoo you away; they’ll actually get up and start chasing you around, waving their hands and stomping their feet like a kid having a temper tantrum. You’ll have to maneuver carefully and quickly, staying out of the humans’ reach. Luckily, you don’t have to stand for this kind of abuse. When the confrontation starts up, little dots will appear on your target’s body. If you ram into these specific places, you’ll calm down your massive foe and send back into their blissful ignorance. If you manage to defeat them in a timely manner, you’ll even gain a few unlockables. But if you can’t seem to get the hang of taking on these behemoths, there are a few healthy pickups hidden throughout the level. But be warned: with each successive level, the humans will do more and more to ensure your demise. They’ll turn on the air conditioners, douse themselves with bug spray, power up the bug zappers, and plenty of other nasty tricks. You’ll have to pay close attention to your surroundings if you hope to leave unscathed.

Hubba hubba!

In truth, it’s nothing more the typical urban home. Most of you have probably swatted some pest at some point in your life. But the thing about this game is that it makes you feel like you’re really there, buzzing around a stranger’s house. Though you’re this bloated and comically drawn bug on the middle of the screen, you’re really just a tiny dot in the grand scheme of things. Everything in this game is depicted to scale, from the massive lumbering humans to the little buttons on Rena’s phone. Sadly, the blocky graphics take away from the realism. It seems like a strange, immense world filled with enormous furniture and homicidal giants, but it’s nothing that you wouldn’t find in the average household. It has the television, couch, stove, beds, cabinets, phones, windows, and everything else you’d expect to find, perfectly positioned to depict the Yamada’s lovely home. Everything seems normal; it’s just that everything is hundreds of times your size. And although your foes may be out to kill you, they do display a wide array of realistic emotions and sounds, from boredom to crazed rage and everything in between. Though the presentation is a little lacking in both the graphics and sound departments, the portrayal of human suburban life is uncanny.

He even helps out with your household chores.

Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? What would you do in Mister Mosquito’s situation? How would it feel to have the whole world against you, as you try to stall your inevitable fate? Regardless of what you would do, this game does a great job of drawing you into a seemingly alien world that is closer to us than we think. Though a little slow at times, unique gameplay at incredibly quirky characters will provide plenty of entertainment. Depending on how you play, you could be in for a remarkable stealth game or a tense, action packed crusade against your giant prey. Either way, this game is fun. So the next time there’s a bug pestering you, think about how you could get rid of it. You could simply wave it off into the outside world, or you could crush it with a blunt object and brutally kill it in revenge for messing with you. The choice is yours.

7 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2005.

Gentle persuasion

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