I don’t know if many of you remember Kirby 64, and more specifically one of its multiplayer minigames. It revolved around walking on a square arena, using color-based attacks to flip over enemies in front of you. Nintendo’s new Switch exclusive, the currently Japan-exclusive Battle Sports Mekuru, is more or less the spiritual successor to that minigame, with a bit more polishing and just a bit more of actual content.
Mekuru is a multiplayer-focused game (though you can still play solo, which is very boring if you do so) revolved around moving your character (that looks way too much like those godawful Metroid Prime Federation Force marines) and ground-pounding the arena in order to increase the size of your territory, represented by one of four colors. If you pound the ground right next to your opponent, you can knock him/her out.
The rules are just that simple.You can customize the round by setting the time, the type of score (percentage of field in your possession, a “deathmatch” of sorts, etc), and the type of arena, which can include, or not, some traps or gimmicks to help you conquer more terrain in less time. When you’re walking on your terrain, you walk in a decent speed, but when you’re on someone else’s turf, you walk at a paralyzed snail’s pace. Your pace when in other turfs is infuriatingly slow, but then again, it’s the game’s way of telling you to try to conquer more terrain.
The game’s best aspect is its soundtrack. Granted, the amount of tunes isn’t the best you’ve ever seen (you won’t find anything in large numbers when it comes to this game), but the tracks that are present in this game are some of the catchiest I’ve heard.
A very short game always results in a quite short review: there’s not much else to say about Mekuru. It’s quite fun for a few minutes and it’s replayable, but there’s no campaign, no unlockables, no achievements so far (they will be added soon), no extras. It’s all about very quick and very simple fun multiplayer minutes, almost always followed by you closing down the game and moving to another one. For 1,000 yen (less than 10 dollars), I didn’t feel robbed.
Of all those minuscule games to come out for the Switch over the past few weeks, however, Mekuru kinda stood out, though. It’s much better than Rudymical and way better than that disgraceful Vroom in the Night Sky. And boy, is this soundtrack great or what?