Capsule Review: Mister Mosquito

A stealth/flight game where you play as a mosquito. Your goal is to stockpile blood from a typical Japanese family without being noticed and swatted. Each stage features a member of the family as they go about their day - the daughter as she relaxes in her room, the mother as she makes dinner, the father as he tends to his flowers, and so on. Each stage also has a number of hidden collectibles and often interactable elements - for example, you can fly into the power button on the daughter’s radio to turn it on, which will cause her to get up and turn it off. This is sometimes necessary to expose your target’s suck points - for some reason, you can only extract blood from specific designated points on your target’s body. Each target also has designated “relax” points you can crash into to calm them down if they’ve seen you and started attacking.

The constraints of the suck and relax points can feel arbitrary, but they at least provide clear gameplay goals. The game’s biggest weakness is its flight mechanics. The controls feel unpolished and awkward, and the mosquito’s strangely large turning radius means it can be quite difficult to quickly get where you want to go. Since both the suck/relax points and the collectibles can require precision manuevers, things can get frustrating.

The game’s biggest strengths are its unique premise and its charmingly banal cast. It’s weirdly refreshing for an action game to feature normal scenes of everyday family life, though this can also verge on the voyeuristic (especially in the stage where you target the teenage daughter as she takes a bath). Between stages are dialog scenes where the family members chat, first about mundanities but increasingly about their itchiness and frustration as they repeatedly fall victim to your bloodsucking. (And yes, it’s biologically inaccurate to depict a male mosquito sucking blood, but that is far from the only inaccuracy in how mosquitos - and humans - are depicted here.)

Overall, it’s a Good Bad Game. I wish the core flight mechanics had received a bit more polish, but it’s still an enjoyable experience you can’t get anywhere else.

I Stopped Playing When: Senpai-chan and I finished the game together, alternating levels. Sharing the experience with a friend made the frustrations more tolerable when we had to try certain difficult levels over and over. There’s a post-game challenge mode that replays the stages with higher difficulty but we didn’t bother with this. It wouldn’t have presented any new content, and the unpolished nature of the flight mechanics meant that mastering them wasn’t sufficiently appealing to keep us going.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.