There are some names in the gaming industry that are so gargantuan that they really need no mention. While chatting to a friend of the site I realised that nearly all the games they play are from a core group of developers. This got me thinking, or more accurately browsing my own gaming collection.
As you may expect from someone of my age who writes about games all at the time my collection is rather diverse and spans many publishers or developers. Then I noticed a developer who’s games I’m always nagging friends to play after stumbling upon one of their games on the Nintendo Switch.
That game was MechaNika, it’s developer, Mango Protocol. So today I’m going to highlight Mango Protocol and shine my little spotlight on there releases.
Mango Protocol bill themselves as an interactive art studio who’s objective is “to create innovative, marvellous and fun experiences utilising ground breaking visuals that will endure until the end of time”, they are based Barcelona, Spain and their journey began in December 2012.
From the games they’ve released so far they are certainly living up to that objective. Mango Protocol are a relatively small team, which amazed me to be honest. The team consists of 4 people, Mariona Valls (Art Direction), Javier Gálvez (Production & Narrative), Jordi Garcia (Design) and Èric Verdalet (Programming). The teams care and passion are evident in their games, i’m yet to encounter a single issue in any of their releases (well, aside from my brain refusing to work out what to do next, I’m looking at you Library Books) which is high praise indeed given the state of some releases from the more behemoth studios.
Speaking of games Mango Protocol have released, thus far it consists of 2 absolute gems that I’ve played to completion and one that is currently downloading. It’s important to point out that what follows aren’t reviews if Mango Protocals games, they are brief descriptions I’m hoping will peak your curiosity enough for you to download and play.
We’ll start at the beginning and when we come to the end we’ll stop.
The first Mango Protocol game I discovered was Mechanika. At the most basic description Mechanika is a point and click adventure game. It’s protagonist, a 7 year old girl called Nika. Nika is smart, not smart for her age, smart for the species. Nika has a problem though, somethings just aren’t awesome or cool. It’s ok though, Nika has a plant to deal with such things, it’s a strange plan. I won’t spoil what it that plan is but the word ‘strange’ is a great way to sum up Mechanika in general, in fact to sums up all of Mango Protocols Psychotics universe.
The game is entirely hand drawn and it’s the charming visuals are what initially attracted me to the game, it looks unique and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s aimed at children. You’d be forgiven, but boy would you be wrong. When the wonderful Nika bumps into some sex workers I realised just how unexpectedly strange this universe was going to be. You’ll meet many wonderful characters during your time with Nika, my favourite of which was Agatha, this worked out well as Agatha is the star of her own game “Agatha Knife”.
After playing Mechanika and successfully convincing some friends to play I naturally bought “Agatha Knife”.
Agatha Knife is again, a point and click adventure game. Remember when I said that this universe is strange. Agatha takes this to a whole new level. Agatha works, sleeps and lives at her the butchers shop her family owns. This is fantastic as Agatha loves spending time with her animal friends, the only issue arrives at night when the insomniac Agatha has to slaughter said animal friends. Naturally the animals fear Agatha, torn between loving her animal friends and her passion for eating meat Agatha needs a solution. Luckily Agatha finds religion, not any particular faith, but the idea of faith itself. The solution is simple, create a new religion to fix all of Agathas problems with a little help from Marilyn Manson (you’ll see).
Mechanika and Agatha Knife are both set at the same time so you can visit both characters in each others games and see how the characters view each other, such an odd friendship between two such wonderfully weird girls. This also means that it doesn’t matter in which order you play them, that’s certainly not the case with Mango Protocols third release.
The third game from Mango Protocol is “Colossus Down” and it’s a big departure from their first two releases even though it is set in the same universe and features the same characters.
Colossus Down (hmm wonder where that name came from) is side-scrolling action beat-em up featuring Nika and Agatha, now this is where we enter spoiler territory for Mechanika and Agatha Knife so proceed with caution. Nika has completed preparation on her Mech and Agatha is the Prophetess of Carnivorism and both are fully set to enforce their destructive delinquent desires upon the world.
I’m super excited to play Colossus Down and no doubt you’ll see more about it here soon.
The world and characters of the Psychotic universe are utterly charming and so strange that only experiencing them for yourself can fully portray it. I whole heartedly implore you to give any of Mango Protocol games a try and you’ll fall in love with them as much as I have.