Some games just scream fun from the start. Mega Coin Squad is one of those games!
Now I know what you’re thinking – it IS a bold statement. All I can say is that in my opinion it is an accurate one and here’s why. On paper the idea of a game where the aim is to collect thousands of coins sounds as dull as dishwater, but Big Pixel Studios have taken this basic premise and made Mega Coin Squad. This fast-paced action-platformer is so intense, so over-the-top and so enjoyable that it’s making me feel like I’m back in the nineties playing my Mega Drive.
Mega Coin Squad is set on Mega Coin Island which is split into four zones; Green Valley, Desert Plains, Snow City and finally Lava Land. Each of these zones have their own unique look and feel. Snow City, for example, consists of snow and has icy floors that you skid on. The zones themselves are then split into four stages. The first three stages have procedurally generated landscapes, coins and enemies. To complete them you must collect and bank a target amount of coins. These stages also have three optional objectives: complete the stage under a certain time, bank all the coins in one go, and lose no lives. If you complete them you will get a diamond that can be used to upgrade/unlock power ups. The final stage in each zone has you battling against mutated enemies to unlock the zone’s Mega Coin. Once you have completed a stage you can revisit it at any time via a very Mario-esque looking map. This is useful as the further you progress into the game the more coins you need to collect to complete the stage, so revisiting stages allows you to collect any diamonds you may have missed and then upgrade your power-ups.
So you know about the gameplay but what about the players? Well you have five characters to choose from; Mikey, Stef, Chunk, Data and Mouth. This collective ensemble of “Goonies” all have different reasons for making their way to Mega Coin Island. They have varied attributes when it comes down to speed, acceleration, power and weight so they do feel slightly different when you are controlling them.
Speaking of the controls, the layout for Mega Coin Squad is simple enough. You move the player around with the left stick, jump with cross, shoot with circle, bank all the coins at the piggy bank with triangle and perform a vertical dash by pressing square or horizontal dash by moving left or right as you hold square. You can also use the shoulder buttons for dash and shoot which is what I found myself doing more often than not.
Once you’ve had your fill of single player mode there is a local couch multiplayer mode to tackle where it’s everyone for themselves in a variety of party mode type games. The modes you have available are Bank the Coins (similar to the single player game), Death Match (pretty self explanatory), Mega Coins (bank the Mega Coin before other players kill you a-la capture the flag) and Hold the Rainbow (you earn coins while holding the rainbow). You can opt for a quick match which randomly selects the above game modes for you or you can create your own custom tournament.
The visuals are of a 16-bit pixelated retro style nature. Think of classic SNES and Mega Drive games like Mario and Sonic. Mega Coin Squad does take a lot from the early Mario games when it comes to the sounds, but that’s never a bad thing.
As you would expect from a game about collecting coins a few of the trophies are obtained by doing just that. There are also trophies for completing the game with each of the characters as well as a speed run trophy. By far the hardest in the game is the ‘Not Today’ trophy which will have you tearing your hair out as you try to complete the game without any continues or retries. A close second is the speed run trophy.
Mega Coin Squad is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in a while. The single player mode is so much fun, with its larger than life characters, humorous commentator shout-outs and its addictive gameplay, and by the time you’ve had enough of it all you’ll have collected so many coins that even Scrooge McDuck would be envious. Add to that the local couch multiplayer with its four different modes to enjoy and you’ve got yourself a bargain.
NelMaNo Rating – 8.5/10