Sawbuck Gamer

I Want My Mommy

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Maybe the kid in I Want My Mommy should have picked a less boring place to get lost.

By Anthony John Agnello • November 21, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

I Want My Mommy presents a conundrum. On the one hand, helping this little blue frog boy find his mom is the right thing to do. He’s lost and alone after his spaceship crashed and the locals kidnapped his mom. You’re in control of the wayward youth. Between him and his momma lie myriad spike-filled, tennis-ball-gun-equipped hallways. After falling on a nasty rock, the kid’s got the ability to create localized black holes from purple crystals. He’s dealing with a lot! The heart bleeds.

On the other hand, helping Ensign Frogulous is a chore. At first, waltzing through the one-screen challenges is a pleasure. The jumping is all about gravity manipulation. Some corners of the world invert gravity or skew it at 90-degree angles, which puts the ceilings and walls into play. Once the aforementioned black holes come into the mix, the challenges are compounded. You might have to sling yourself across the room by orbiting holes and deactivating them at the right time. Plus you have to account for all the moving parts. In one room, a tennis-ball machine needs to be aimed at the switch that opens a door, but you also need to move between two crystals to get the black holes going.

It’s just not very much fun. It’s hard—the game demands exact precision—but there’s no reward. Instead, there’s just another room to traverse with no aesthetic flair to speak of. Mommy is a twist on Terry Cavanagh’s gravity-twisting game VVVVVV with the addition of black holes and higher emotional stakes—you control a child rather than the captain of a downed spaceship. But while Cavanagh’s game was also exacting, it offered plenty of surprises. Sorry, kid. You’ll have to find your mom on your own.

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  • Brainstrain

    Did the Gameological hordes crash the site?

  • boardgameguy

    that game had a strange ending.  i don’t if that was their plan from the start, but if it was, whoever kidnapped the mom probably had the right idea

  • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

    Sorry for not commenting on the article but I have a question:

    Is there a forum somewhere where all gameological commenters can just shoot the shit? I know we have a steam group, but I was wondering if there were other avenues.

    If there isn’t, Teti, that’s a great marketing opportunity.  Little Debbie Presents, the Gameological Talkbox Room.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       Other than the “What are you playing this weekend?” threads, nah, there isn’t a general shit-shooting space.

      • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

        they should put one together.  This is as good a game discussion group as can be found anywhere on the internet.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           Yeah, there are definitely times when I think “Oh! The GS folks would want to hear about this!” but realize I need to wait until Friday or until a vaguely related story that gives me an in-road. I’m not sure what the most elegant solution would be…Maybe they could cross-post the Hater here – that seems to pretty much just turn into a forum.

        • Sleverin

           In response to Girard firstly but Kyle in a roundabout way, I would love this idea.  I’ve been a lurker on here for a while and y’all seem like a good group of folks.  But I notice that the comments sections go kinda offline right when I get home from work or during a whole weekend.  So much wasted potential on our gaming subjects!

  • kippkate

    Whoop browser game!