Ah, licensed games. I played many of them during my youth. Most were bad, but a few were diamonds in the rough. One that wasn’t a diamond (except in one aspect)? M&M Minis Madness, a 2000 mediocre platformer created for the Game Boy Color solely to advertise the relatively new ‘Mini’ line of M&Ms. The ‘plot’, if you can call it that, was that the Mini M&Ms have accidentally been unleashed and are wreaking havoc in the M&M factory, and it’s up to four regular M&Ms to bring them under control. Each of the player M&M’s has a special ‘talent’ you can make use of. Red can do a spin attack. Yellow can bounce. Green has a projectile attack (or something). Those abilities sound useful, right? But wait…didn’t I say there was a fourth M&M you can play as?
Oh, yeah. Blue can swim. That’s it. His special talent is that he doesn’t die the second he touches water.
“Well,” you might say. “Why can’t swimming be useful?” Because there are only two or three levels (out of twelve!) that have any water whatsoever. The other 80% of the game? He’s completely and utterly useless. The other three can be used in any level. Why? Why would you design a game like that? If one of your four characters is only useful around water, you would think that you would, I don’t know, actually include some more water. I know I shouldn’t expect much from a licensed game designed to sell candy, but this has always bugged me.
Despite the mediocrity of the rest of the game and its design choices, however, there is one aspect that is perfect – the music. Composed by a young Jake Kaufman, of Shovel Knight and Shantae fame, the soundtrack is full of bangers. The best one, ironically, is from the Mixing Room – the only set of levels where Blue has any use.
Well, that’s it for my M&M-themed video game rant. Have a great night, everyone!