STAFF REVIEW of Little Mouse's Encyclopedia (Xbox One)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
by Adam Dileva

Little Mouse's Encyclopedia Box art Fun fact: Did you know that an ant hill’s longer side is South orientated?

A bunch of facts like this are small tidbits of trivia you’ll learn when experiencing Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia and will be peppered in throughout this review, as there were a ton of little details like this I learned along the way. Developed by Circus Atos, Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia isn’t so much of a traditional game as it’s more of a learning tool, almost like a book you’d get from the library for one of your younger children. Relax by controlling an adorable mouse, inspecting plants and animals while learning facts about them as you go. While it’s obviously an experience meant for younger kids, I myself even learned a few things.

Fact: Apple trees can live up to 100 years.

Less of a game and more of an experience, Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is actually described as an interactive Encyclopedia, and I completely agree. Meant for younger curious gamers, you’ll wander across some interesting landscapes, able to interact with certain wildlife and learn things along the way. As you explore one of four areas, animals and plants will have a magnifying glass that can be interacted with which will pop up a fact card with illustrations or can animate many of the animals. With over 160 species of animals and florae to discover, there’s a lot for a young gamer to learn, even if it won’t be a long lasting experience. More than once either myself or my daughter commented “Wow!” or “Really?” when learning some interesting facts about some animals. I just wish there was more to the experience, like maybe nature videos or animations about certain aspects of the facts rather than some dry reading for younger children.

With four different areas to explore, your cute little mouse will start in its burrow, able to explore its underground tunnels and the flowers above ground. You’ll also travel to a forest, garden and pond, each with their own types of animals and vegetation that you’d actually find in the area you’re exploring. The pond for example focused more on water based plant and animal life as you swim around with an adorable mask and snorkel. There’s a few cute little details like this that gives Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia its charm.

Fact: A brown centipede’s rear legs are longer.

Controls are simple to grasp, moving with the Left Stick and using a button to either look at the fact sheet or interact with the objects. One issue that happened repeatedly when my daughter was playing though was that pressing the ‘B’ button backs you out to the menu and level select. There’s no confirmation of any kind, so when you accidentally press ‘B’, you’re whisked back to the menu.

Funny enough, the tutorial is literally just reading one slide before the achievement for completing the tutorial pops. Speaking of achievements, if you really wanted, you could unlock all of them in ten to fifteen minutes if you tried, so that’s a nice bonus for achievement hunters and to my knowledge, probably a front runner for the easiest 1000 Gamerscore ever.

Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia may be extremely light on content, as it can be ‘completed’ in a half hour at most, it's absolutely gorgeous to look at with its hand drawn illustrations, as if it’s almost done with paper cutouts. If you’ve ever read a book meant for children with colorful artwork, this is very reminiscent of that style. Tereza Vostradovská did a wonderful job with the illustrations, and while there’s not much of a ‘game’ substance, it was beautiful to look at and experience. The same goes for its audio, as it has a very soothing and relaxing soundtrack, something you’d expect to hear in the background if children books had background audio.

Fact: Catfish can live up to 40 years.

Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia reminds me of a few of the early books I bought my daughter when she was younger, though simply in game form. With 18 languages for support, nearly anyone can experience and learn something regardless of your native dialect. With it currently priced at $13.49 CAD (on sale), I have to admit, it’s a little steep for the longevity since you probably won’t get more than a half hour, hour tops, before the kids will want to move onto something else. Given than it’s also twice as much on console compared to its PC/Mobile version, I would certainly recommend waiting for a bigger sale.

Fact: Hedgehogs are solitary living creatures and has up to 8500 spines.

While more interactive encyclopedia than traditional game, Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia has a beautiful aesthetic with an emphasis on learning about nature along the way. For what it’s worth, my daughter said she would have scored it at 7 for its “cute art and mouse”, but by the last area even she was skimming the fact cards and wanting to go back to her regular games.

**Little Mouse's Encyclopedia was reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 5.7 / 10
Gameplay: 3.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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