Namco Bandai takes a little bit of their Katamari formula and turns it into another strange, yet likeable game involving of collection, weird alien vegetables, and larger than life growth. The Munchables might not be the hit Katamari was, but it’s still an enjoyable romp into a world where space shrooms and a giant talking steam of broccoli makes sense.

The Munchables from Namco Bandai is a strange journey into an unexplainable world with the main purpose of eating your way to victory. Unlike Pac-Man, the Munchables will have you eating a lot more than power pellets. For a quick reference you would have to mention Namco Bandai’s now classic growth roller, Katamari Damacy (2004). The Munchables, like Katamari is just as strange, with its own unique twist on a similar gameplay style. Anyone who has picked up the controller and rolled around as the Prince of All Cosmos will probably get a kick out of the Munchables... Both Katamari have a similar sense of style and bulldozing gameplay. If you've played both it is almost impossible to not see the resemblance.

To start from the begging, The Munchables starts with a vibrant kaleidoscope intro that should get you in the mood for the strange action in Munchables. It’s ok that the Munchables is a little strange, well, make that a lot strange. As we all know games don’t have to make sense to be fun, and having fun is what The Munchables is all about. Furthermore, that is what the Wii console is best known for and the title couldn’t be represented better. However, whatever you do, don’t try to make sense of the madness you will encounter in The Munchables. From the design of each character to the entire concept of the game this is one big chomping odd-ball. When you get an army of alien vegetables attacking a planet anything is up possible.

This outlandish concept gets players prepped for the game even before it starts, and once it does, getting into The Munchables is simple. Any level of gamer should be able pick up and play The Munchables with ease. The motion controls are simplified to a few buttons and a few Wii swipes have a good response time to make the action seemless. Along side the easy controls is a set of objectives that never become too complex and you won’t have to do any Wii-Fu to get the job done. The Munchables just feels right when hopping around the Munchables universe on the Wii.

The goal behind this gnawer is to eat up the alien vegetables that have attacked the planet, and in turn freeing the planet from their hostile green thumb. With instructions from your Elder you will transform from a carnivore to a vegetarian as you drive the alien presence back to their home planet. How you do this is by eating everything up in sight. As you eat, the more you grow... the bigger you get the bigger things you can eat. That’s the basics behind the Munchables, and Namco Bandai takes this concept and runs with it. See, games don’t have to be a replica of Hollywood to be fun. The strange works just as well.

There are two characters to pick from in the game with neither effecting more than appearance. From the menu you can switch between Chomper or Munchy (how original) as you go to town on the alien veggies. Besides picking a character, you’ll have a few other moves that you need to use like jumping and attacking. Vegetables that are at a higher level then you will need to be bumped down into smaller bits before you can digest them.

The Munchables also mixes the gameplay up a bit with a few platforming styled jumping and puzzle aspects along with hidden acorns that spread across each level. The Munchables also uses boss battles as a big part of the game. Bosses dwarf the player’s chomper and provide a distinct strategy to overcome. They are never too challenging, but they provided a good divider between levels and an excellent focal point for the games narrative.

The Elder will also reward the player for achieving good scores during a level. These are accessories that spice up your characters look. This is when the Munchables becomes a game worth replaying. Levels can be replayed at anytime so you can go for a high score, or find something you have missed in the previous run. Munchables has an interface that lets you check out an encyclopaedia of enemies you’ve chomped down, and you can also replay the in-game cinematics, or listen to one of the funky musical tracks in the game.

In the terms of graphics, Munchables is what you have come to expect out of a Wii title. Every year it’s getting harder and harder to judge Wii titles along side their console brothers; however what the Munchables lacks in horsepower it makes up for in imagination. The design is just off the wall wonky the is different then any other title on the market. Without using any visual tricks, the Munchables gets the job done. However, the real story here is the audio contribution.

The Munchables is one whacked out audio experience. From the messed up muted bleeping from the Elders voice to the interesting selection of backing tracks, The Munchables comes off like laugh-out-loud comedy gold. Even if it wasn’t intentional the audio in this game rocks! The tracks really fit the uncanny nature of the game, blending in a whole heap of styles into one robotic-toned groove. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a soundtrack this original in a game which is a pleasant surprise. Kudos audiotech expects over at Namco Bandai, The Munchable is one-of-a-kind.

The Munchables fills up the Wii’s belly with its own brash unobtrusive gameplay that is easy to love and highly original. Taking a page from the Katamari, The Munchables fills the void of the strange and wonderfully weird. Namco Bandai has figured out it doesn’t take much to put a smile on a gamers face, and that is exactly what The Munchables does. If you’re interested in trying something a little new, I highly recommend checking out The Munchables.

Gameplay:7.0, Graphics:6.0, Sound:7.5, Innovation:7.0, Mojo:7.5  Final: 7.0 / 10

Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 06.16.09
  • The Munchables is as original as they come
  • Easy gameplay and responsive controls
  • Perfect game for younger gamers
  • Fans of Katamari, will love this one
  • Music has its certain groove-tastic beat
  • Expect nothing more then standard Wii production
  • Might be a little too left field for some
  • Simplistic, Simplistic, Simplistic


The Munchables

Namco Bandai
Namco Bandai
May '09