Mini Maker: Make a Thing by Casa Rara
A horse walks into a bar. Barman says, “Why the long face?” Maybe the horse played Mini Maker: Make a Thing.
It didn’t take long for me to wonder if I was missing something with this game because it became tedious quicker than a Marvel movie and that, dear reader, is quick.
Motivation Takes a Vacation
So, the game sets you tasks: design a magical horse, design a hot air balloon, design a pot plant. Cute little people request these things for no apparent reason and, presumably, the journey is the reward here because any XP earned for doing what they ask – and there are no criteria to meet – just expands your options minutely every time. More colors, more limbs, more heads, more bucks to buy stuff at the shop. But why?
This is a pretty and colorful kids’ game (see: glorified tech demo) that tries to fatten its skinny limbs with a progression system so thin and so pointless that it’s like thinking rags on a skeleton will help combat the cold. It would appear to have been added to create a false sense of depth, though it dissolves like wet paper with little prodding. I could hardly discern what I was adding to my inventories – pieces, colors, and “wow” (don’t ask) – from job to job, and most of the time, I couldn’t tell what the thing was until I stuck it to my statue and then was unable to undo the move if I disliked it.
Colorful Yet Flavorless
Things randomly fly and shoot into the screen towards my artistic endeavor from time to time, and when I click on them, they sometimes reward me with money; at other times, with an arrow that, for example, might embed itself in my masterpiece, prompting a countdown wherein I have five seconds to click on it in order to remove it or it…stays there. Are these high stakes or petty distractions?
All of my things eventually looked like something found in Salvador Dali’s toilet bowl, which is, I believe, the main aim of Mini Maker: just to produce…things. I’m encouraged not to really make anything look realistic; everything is supposed to be a weird, confusing, colorful mélange of whatever. And that’s fine, or would be if it felt in any way satisfying.
With some patience, undoubtedly, certain beautiful oddities could be produced by people, but since my available items are random and regularly have nothing to do with any vision I might have for my project – such as being forced to decorate a ship with human limbs and a TV set – and most items and tools not available from the outset like, say, Dreams for the Sony PlayStation – it feels entirely like my creativity is stifled immediately. And for what purpose?
And then, when I’m finished making my piece of crap, it disappears into the ether. There isn’t even any kind of museum where I can line up my previous creations to admire my mediocrity in all its horrific glory.
A child might have fun with this for 10 minutes. If you need me, I’ll be in the corner, drinking cocktails with the horse.
Mini Maker: Make a Thing is available via Steam.
Watch the trailer for Mini Maker: Make a Thing below: