GDC 2016: Mekazoo will take you for a ride


During GDC, I had a chance to play dozens of games over the course of five days, but one that really caught my attention was Mekazoo. It’s what happened if Sonic the Hedgehog and Samus Aran had a bunch of kids, with each having different skills and moves. Oh, did I mention that those babies are an armadillo, frog, wallaby, pelican, and panda?

Just a few minutes into the 2.5D platformer, I felt like I was playing a hybrid of Sonic the Hedgehog, Metroid and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. The playable build featured one lengthy neon-tinted stage filled with moving plants, bouncing mushrooms and random enemies spread about with two of the five different animals playable. Learning to take advantage of each animal’s abilities is key; the armadillo morphs into a ball and can gain a boost of speed to smash through enemies or travel up inclines, while the frog uses his tongue to grab on to poles or flying enemies and swing to different areas.

It took me a bit of time to get used to the controls since you could switch between the frog and the armadillo on the fly, using their abilities to reach different areas of the stage. It took some time to get the muscle memory and reflexes down right since the timing was limited. Once I was used to the controls, I was just swinging around trying various paths to reach the end.

Mekazoo was an experience where the gamer and kid in me loved and wanted more of. You could really feel the elements of games you grew up while still giving you something new. The stages are pretty vast, giving you different paths to explore which depend on the character(s) you are using. Some requires some skill to reach, or you can skip it altogether. The visuals for the game were great. I loved the look which had a Metroid Prime like feel to it, complete with a great music that fit the games flow.

Good Mood Creators didn’t have a firm release date yet, but it plans to release the game later this year on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.

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