Using one controller to control two simultaneous characters, Mina & Michi is another cutesy and simple game developed by Ratalaika Games and published by EastAsiaSoft. Which means low cost, easy Achievements worth big points, and a charming visual style built around one major gameplay mechanic.
The gimmick here is controlling both the weaker Mina with one analog stick while controlling Michi, the tank that cannot take damage, with the other. At its heart, this is a block pushing top-down puzzle game where the goal is simply to make it through to the other side. There are no princesses to save or evil to defeat although there are many common jelly enemies and boss battles. Starting with only the ability to walk around, the player quickly unlocks a few traits that become the staple of gameplay – gaining the ability to push blocks and attack enemies.
Interconnected through one large map, each portion is designated a season. Once you clear one area, take summer for example, it is onto the clearing all the puzzles in the winter season. Enemies and environmental traps, like spikes, are present in most areas but the player can usually cheese most rooms. Since Michi cannot be damaged, it is usually a good idea to have Mina take cover while the brute clears the way. There are times when both characters need to work together but most spots can be traversed moving one character then the other. The experience is designed for two characters to work together and there is a local co-op option available if you wanted to share the experience.
Looking like a GBA game, the pastel visuals and chiptune soundtrack is rather soft and wholesome. Adding to the charm, Mina has the ability to hug Michi at the tap of a button which further amplifies the fact these are two characters that simply want to enjoy their time together and go on an adventure.
The biggest issue with this puzzler comes from the slightly inaccurate controls. Controlling each character is smooth but pushing boxes on switches and rounding corners can easily get stuck. It wouldn’t be so big of a deal if the player didn’t have to quickly avoid rolling spike logs or move a crate in a very specific position. Definitely not a game breaker but something that becomes more apparent as the quest continues. Enemies do not really add anything to the experience either. They just sort of get in your way, you defeat them, and move on. The same goes for the puzzles. Most are easily solved and seem like they are there just as something to do. This is by no means a difficult game, especially if playing co-op, but could make for a perfect experience to play with younger gamers.
Mina & Michi is pretty basic but Achievement hunters will want to take note. Most Achievements can be unlocked within a very short amount of time and they are all worth large Gamerscore. For the low cost of $5, Achievement/Trophy hunters will want to keep their eye on this co-op puzzlers while casual puzzle fans will appreciate the low pressure gameplay.
Also available on PS4, PS5, and Switch.
Also Try: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Better Than: Mario & Luigi Super Star Saga (GBA)
Wait For It: Pode 2