Mikey Shorts Halloween really should not be considered a standalone game, although you do get to jump and collect gold coins through four new levels. If you haven't downloaded Mikey Shorts as of yet, I highly recommend the game. It's a title that relishes in its 2D simplicity and doesn't try to over  complicate matters with extremely difficult game play.

The original's story, which has Mikey rescuing people who were turned into statues, actually threw me for a loop back in August. Placing an intriguing theme into a fun yet seemingly uncomplicated platform release was really unnecessary, as the playability of Mikey Shorts is really its selling point. But at least Mikey Shorts was trying to put a spin on the "let's collect as many gold coins as possible" genre. And for that primary reason, it immediately won me over. Since Mikey Shorts Halloween's main goal is to give fans extra levels as well as gain new players to its franchise, nothing is drastically changed. Did you like Taken and Taken 2? If so, that more-of-the-same-attitude is best served with this release.

With his latest adventure, Mikey is running amidst a darker backdrop and instead of freeing shiny, happy people, our resident hero is rescuing spirits from their catatonic slumber. The cheery music from the original takes on a creepier tone with this Halloween outing, and the rainbow colored world of the original has been essentially painted black. But don't think this adventure is strictly an existential and bleak experience. If you ever get bored of replaying the same four levels, just remember your scores give you the chance to shop for an entirely new look. Personally, I love the bunny ears, but with the under the face feature you can even give your character cat whiskers, a handlebar mustache, or a duck bill.

The controls are also a huge selling point for me, as you use your left thumb to move Mikey backwards and forwards. The blue button enables you to slide, and the red button gives you the ability to jump. Whenever I'm tired of dragging my finger across a screen or furiously tilting my iPad to navigate a character, I head for more streamlined, less fussy pastures. Although you should be able to complete all the levels of Mikey Halloween within minutes, there is one jump at the end of the game which may give you problems. Placing that little thorn on your side is a great move by the developers, since making it mind numbingly easy would have been a minor letdown.

It's not fair to judge Mikey Shorts Halloween as its own entity, or even as a sequel to Mikey Shorts. This is another brief adventure for the statue freeing do-gooder, and for that I'm totally grateful. Hopefully, a Mikey Shorts Xmas is also in the offing.


App Store Link: Mikey Shorts Halloween for iPhoneiPad | By BeaverTap Games | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 11.5 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating