It’s once again the month of November, where men everywhere — whom normally don’t grow mustaches otherwise — are challenged to suddenly begin growing facial hair as fast as they can. The point of this endeavor is so that all of their friends will stop and ask them why they’re suddenly growing a prodigious ’stache, all so that they may in turn tell them that it’s being done for Movember. This — in turn — then allows the person to segue into an explanation of how Movember is the once a year drive to remind people about male health issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health issues, and other dilemmas.
However, something went horribly wrong when a variety of over-sized barber tools came to life and began violently shaving the mustaches off of participating Movember Men everywhere! Now tons of men are flocking to your personal barber shop in order to sample your recently patented method of instantaneous ’stache restoral, in which you fling already grown mustaches directly onto your clients faces! You’d best be careful — however — for those giant living barber tools have followed all of your clientele back to your shop, and they’ve now set their sights upon your very own prize winning ’stache!
Thus goes the setup to Mo-Town (out now, $0.99), Lucky Mask Games’ recent iTunes release that seeks to help mobile gamers everywhere become more aware of the Movember fundraiser efforts. Furthermore, Lucky Mask Games has additionally promised to donate half of their proceeds from each purchased copy of Mo-Town towards Movember’s noble fundraiser efforts. Now obviously — while this is all fine and dandy — what we as gamers are most concerned with is not which charity a game is specifically supporting, but how well the game itself manages to hold up.
Mo-Town plays out stylistically in a manner similar to numerous early eighties arcade games — such as Bubble Bobble, or Burger Time — wherein you’ll find yourself trapped within a variety of single screen stages, always fighting against both time and adversity. In order to progress forward you’ll need to collect the requisite number of combs, which each person pleasantly mustached will drop once you’ve managed to give them a victory high-five. Combos will be extremely vital for achieving your quota before times expires, as each successive high-five — wherein your own ’stache didn’t get buzzed along the way — will cause your next glorious high-five to produce more combs than the last one did.
Players will control their customizable barber — more on that later — via a virtual analog stick on the screen’s left hand side, coupled with Jump and Throw buttons on the screen’s opposite end. Pushing up when standing next to a barber’s pole will immediately cause your hero to rapidly climb right up it, whereas pressing down will cause the hero to fall through whatever platform he’s currently standing on (except for the screen’s bottom). Although you can’t jump through ledges at the screen’s bottom, falling through a pit will lead to either yourself — or one of your mustache seeking clients — getting safely teleported back up to the stage’s topside. Finally, you can high-five anyone — whom has already been properly mustached — if you quickly bump into them before an evil fly-by appliance manages to maliciously rip their freshly attached facial hair right back off.
Since combs only last for mere seconds after being created — and stages have very tight timers as well — this leads to a mad dash to quickly ’stache and high-five dudes as fast as you possibly can, all while staying one step ahead of the randomly appearing clippers. For even if you can successfully ’stache every bro you see like a total boss, it will still all be for naught should your own facial fuzz get obliterated after just three impacts (since apparently union rules prevent you from throwing your magical mustaches at yourself). Once you finally lose — either at the hands of the clippers, or because you let the timer run dry — you’ll be taken to a game over screen where you’ll see how well you placed amongst other barbers the world over, and additionally get to further customize yourself.
Although the graphics in Mo-Town are arguably as simplistic as the game’s ’stache and celebrate premise, the game does afford players complete control of their mustache-minded avatar. Players will be able to individually control their avatar’s hair style, color of hair, skin color, hat style, outfit style, and — perhaps most importantly of all — even determine their very own mustache style. Although players will initially begin with only a tiny assortment ’staches to work with, more can be unlocked over time via the mustache points earned each time the game ends (and only via this method, as there are no IAPs).
iFanzine Verdict: If you loved the simplicity of older arcade games — such as Bubble Bobble and Burger Time — and furthermore have a hankering to throw ’staches at bros everywhere, then Mo-Town — by Lucky Mask Games — certainly has you covered.