Marvin's Mittens tells the story of a young boy's journey through a gloriously magical winter wonderland.
Winter is coming, and for many people that means sub-zero temperatures, blustering winds and snow, snow, snow. It's a wonderful time of the year in its own way, especially for children, who can revel in all the joys of early night-times, sledding and snowball fights without having to put up with the aggravation of shoveling the walk or cleaning off the car and driving to work in horrible weather.
It's a feeling captured to picture-perfection in Marvin's Mittens, a charming indie platformer arriving – appropriately – this December. The eponymous Marvin loses a mitten while making a snowman and feels compelled to go searching for it the next day. He sketches, with admirable skill, many of the woodland creatures he meets on his travels, but it's not long before his adventure takes him to some very unexpected places.
I'm not entirely certain what an "experiential platformer" is, but Marvin's Mittens isn't about intense action, mega-combos or racking up huge high scores. Instead, you'll explore the world around you at your own pace, uncovering its secrets and, eventually, discovering what happened to your missing mitten. The over-bundled Martin can’t jump particularly high (at least at first), so reaching some places will take a little imagination, but hyper-dexterous thumbs are definitely not required. There are challenges, however, like hidden collectibles, sled jumps and shortcuts that bring new parts of the world within reach.
Much of the game's charm comes from the hand-painted graphics, not to mention a soundtrack that's perfectly suited to the material. It's intensely nostalgic, especially for people (like me) who spent days and nights like this during their own childhood. It looks absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait to get my hands on the full game. Marvin's Mittens comes out for the PC on December 10, and is also up for voting on Steam Greenlight.