Mischief Makers (Nintendo 64) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 21.12.2006

Review for Mischief Makers on Nintendo 64

Mischief Makers (known as Yuke Yuke! Troublemakers, in Japan) is a 2D platformer developed by Treasure (known for a variety of innovative and enjoyable games including Wario World on the GameCube) for the Nintendo 64. The title features a variety of puzzles as well as full throttle action sequences and has a strong following from fans to this day. At the time Treasure were well known for their often gimmicky but enjoyable game design that provided them with a near cult-status among dedicated fans. Does Mischief Makers live up to the legacy, though? Read on to find out or yourself!

You, the player, take control of intergalactic robotic maid Marina Liteyears employee of Professor Theo who lives on the peaceful world of the Nendoro's. As the game begins your loveable Professor has been kidnapped by the sinister 'Empire', as soon as Marina becomes aware of this fact she sets out on a perilous adventure to rescue him. From here on in the game is split up into over levels located on Planet Clancer, which funnily enough is inhabited by hundreds of 'Clancers'. These funny looking creatures are you primary opposition throughout the game (with the exception of numerous huge bosses, more on those later!). Despite this seemingly well developed history of locations and characters, you might be surprised to hear that the plot plays a rather small part in the game itself, rather the best moments come from the interesting and well developed gameplay mechanics.

Screenshot for Mischief Makers on Nintendo 64

Being a robot-maid, Marina is pretty tough (for a girl). She comes equipped with a portable jetpack that allows her to zip around levels in the blink of an eye as well as ascend to high-platforms with ease. Aside from traditional platforming gameplay mechanics, Marina's primary method of attack is her ability to grab almost everything in sight, be it foe, inanimate object or deadly projectile. Not only this, but she can also shake a great many of these items often revealing hidden goodies or disguised paths through the level. If a good fondle doesn't tickle your fancy, though, there is also the option to dash at enemies using the aforementioned jetpack accessory. At certain points in the game, the player is given the chance to briefly play as Teran, a character who on the surface appears to be just another Clancer but is in actual fact one of the good guys. By turning into 'Blockman!', Teran gains the power to punch, block and hang from ceilings as well as double jump multiple times in the air!

The games' 60 stages are split into five different worlds, with 12 levels in each world respectively. Each level takes a slightly different approach to design compared to its peers. Whilst some focus primarily on action centric tasks such as disposing of all Clancers, others force the player to tune their brains into puzzle mode and think strategically about how they are going to progress. The first few levels of the game are set out as tutorials to allow you to get to grips with the controls and gameplay technicalities. As well as these traditional levels, Mischief Makers also throws out a great selection of screen-sprawling bosses at regular intervals. Unfortunately these boss sections highlight one of the game's biggest faults; the challenge rating isn't particularly high at any point. Bosses for example, whilst looking big and dangerous generally have a specific weakness that once discovered can be exploited over and over again for a rather speedy resolution. Similarly, once you have a good grip of the controls and a decent insight into the sort of puzzles that have been included it won't take you long to get through the bulk of the games content.

Screenshot for Mischief Makers on Nintendo 64

Thankfully this is remedied at least to some extent, by the inclusion of gems throughout each stage. These come in a variety of colors and are worth different amounts depending on their rarity. For example, each stage conceals a single yellow gem that although not essential for completing the game, gradually provides a more complete ending the more you find. For every yellow gem you find, between one and three seconds are added onto the final cut scene of the game, it is in this sequence that character developments are revealed for both the heroes and the villains amongst others. In addition to this, grades are awarded depending on how quickly you are able to complete any given levels' specific tasks. As you might expect these work in just the same way as your old schoolteacher might mark an essay, with 'F' being the worst and 'A' being the (almost) best, for those with true Super-Sonic-Esque gaming skills there is also the much sough after 'S' rank to earn. Only by attaining at least an 'A' rank on every single level can you unlock the final yellow gem and subsequently the full ending sequence.

Screenshot for Mischief Makers on Nintendo 64

Graphically Mischief Makers looks a little lackluster compared to similar titles, and certainly goes little way towards exploiting to full potential of the N64. Of course this is to be expected to some extent given the 2D nature of the title. Regardless of this there is a very unique and appealing style that runs throughout the game and that cannot be found in any other title. Everything from the inanimate blocks to your friends and enemies all encompass an eerie facial design complete with large drooping eyes (that often glow) and if it weren't for the overall happy-go-lucky nature of the title, wouldn't look out of place in some horrifying clown filled nightmare. As well as everything looking like it just fell out of an Edvard Munch painting there are some attractive backgrounds and altogether 'pretty' scenery. Unfortunately animation is fairly basic but at least there are some nice effects strewn throughout, altogether an appealing visual package but not particularly technically impressive.

As is often the case with Audio, you're either going to love the music and sound effects in Mischief Makers or you might just find them incredibly nauseating and repetitive. For the most part background music is well suited to the overall style of the game and is notably catchy and often quite memorable to boot. Disappointingly many of the stages throughout the game repeat the same music time and time again which hardly goes anyway to impressing those who disliked it the first time they heard it! Indeed, even if you are like us and enjoyed the music in the game you too might come to be bored of it after continuous play. On almost exactly the same note, the various sound effects used throughout the game, including voice snippets for the main character are also well suited to the game but can be quite overwhelmingly 'cute'. To be honest, if that doesn't sound like it appeals to you then there is always the option to just go ahead and press the mute button. Whilst the same cannot be said for the overall style of the game, be content that the core gameplay is unique and enjoyable enough to distract you and your cold, black heart from the beauty of the world of Mischief Makers should you desire.

Screenshot for Mischief Makers on Nintendo 64

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

To conclude, Mischief Makers is a great blast from the past for those of us that loved it way back when, rest assured the title is just as enjoyable now as it was when it was first released. Despite being a little on the easy side, MM is a great stylistic creation and a very unique title that you won't find anywhere else. Worth investigating!






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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