Mom Hid My Game! is a very strange game. Very strange indeed, and if anything that does to some degree weigh in its favour. While I’ve certainly been no stranger to experiencing the pain of having something I love hidden away as punishment by a parent in the past, never in all my years of playing video games did I expect to actually see one based around this simple concept. In any case, KEMCO has taken the idea and run with it in what will be remembered as one of the Nintendo Switch’s oddest releases.
Mom Hid My Game! is a point and click puzzler that can be played either with standard controls or using the touchscreen in Handheld mode, the latter of which feels like the better fit. The game is split into fifty puzzles or situations where the aim of each is to simply locate your games console successfully. This will involve interacting with the environment in order to either search or use items. Things start off very simple equating to little more than tapping on some objects to see if the device is hiding behind. Soon after though, more obstacles will be added to the mix like the mother who upon running into will result in a hasty game over screen. As well as contending with adults, you’ll also need to pick up handy items and use them to further your searching or avoid them as they try to hinder you.
Despite each puzzle being restricted to the one room, the variety of situations you end up finding yourself in range from the obscure to the downright insane. We’re talking feeding a giraffe, golfers hitting balls at windows, runners crossing a finish line and even more weird occurrences that I won’t spoil here. Part of the fun of Mom Hid My Game! is in discovering the next strange situation you need to contend with and while the solution won’t have you too stumped for long nor marvelling at any eureka-type answer, the solution is just satisfying enough to keep you engaged.
Things may start as trial and error in nature, poking things just to see what happens but as you start knocking out the puzzles one by one, you’ll soon start to figure out the way of thinking the game requires of you. Of course not every choice will yield your hidden console, some even leading you to a game over screen, but for the most part you’ll fly through the game seeing the end within an hour or so. This is a short experience and that’s probably a good thing, the gimmick of it all wearing out its welcome toward the final stretch.
Crazy Horizontal Bar is the only extra outside the game’s main story and is nothing more than a one or two turn distraction. The only reason you’d likely return is to watch someone else experience the insanity and watch their reaction. What also stings a little is that the game (albeit with slightly fewer puzzles) is free on smart devices. Sure, the price isn’t exactly sky high on Switch but I couldn’t help but keep thinking that even a small cost is more than nothing at all.
The overall presentation of the game can be described as functional at best. The animation is crude while the actual visuals look like something you might expect from a basic web browser game. The music too is repetitive and simple. Yet despite all of its shortcomings, the game has a gutsy charm about it that you can’t help but strangely warm to. Sure the music is catchy in an annoying sense but it matched the silliness of the experience. Yes, the game looks rudimentary but again it all goes with the crazy tone.
Mom Hid My Game! is a weirdly wonderful experience that goes to some truly unpredictable places. Despite its simple presentation, there’s still a quirky layer of charm that you can’t help but gravitate toward. The fact a version of this game is free on smart devices isn’t an easy fact to ignore, however, if you’re in the market for something brief, super strange and fun for under a fiver on the Switch then Mom Hid My Game! might fill that void.