Review: Pony Platforming Project 3 1/2

The title screen for MFA 1 1/2
Pony Platforming Project 3 1/2

 If you remember when Minty Fresh Adventure was released back in April over two years ago (has it really been that long?), Mark Sprague mentioned that he was planning on releasing an expansion of sorts to the game, but it kind of got pushed out of the way in order to focus on finishing the much more ambitious Minty Fresh Adventure II by the end of the year. Of course, we all know how that went, and in order to keep us distracted from asking where his game went Mark has gone and finally tossed PPP 3 1/2 to the masses...two years late.

Ah well, at least it's something. In case you're wondering how the expansion turned out, I've written a review of sorts below the break.

 In the original Minty Fresh Adventure, it was possible for Colgate to stumble across a sock lying on the ground in the Cave of Wisdom and drop down a pit for a miniboss encounter, after which she would rescue a sock-obsessed pony named Minty. This expansion reveals that she was apparently trapped in said cave for several years while searching for missing socks, and after all that she's apparently still foolhardy enough to go back in there to see if she can find the rest of them. One wonders why she doesn't just go buy some more, but that would make for a completely different kind of game that may or may not be appropriate to post here.

 Since this is basically a standalone expansion pack, it's pretty much a given that the gameplay will be very similar to that of Minty Fresh Adventure's, and it's pretty much just that without the time-stopping mechanics and the giant weaponized toothbrush. In its place Minty has the ability to...throw candy at things. It doesn't sound like much, but she can use to heal herself if thrown straight upwards and tame various creatures à la Little Nemo: The Dream Master (with the exception of skeletons and spiders, who are damaged by them as if they were normal projectiles, and the unmountable bugbears). Mounting them can provide Minty with several advantages such as faster movement speed, double-jumping and better damage absorption. While not strictly necessary for a simple run of the game, they are incredibly useful for the most part and are vital for completing certain sidequests.

Not quite as hilariously awesome as beating the game as a toothpaste tube, but still pretty neat.
 Those who expected something completely different will be somewhat disappointed, however. It's pretty much MFA with some different gameplay elements, a completely re-arranged Cave of Wisdom and some fairly decent bossfights. The expansion is fairly short as well if one just attempts to head straight to the end without interacting with any of the other characters or bothering to pick up any of Minty's socks, but then one would be missing out on the humourous dialogue and the possibility of earning a better ending. At least the replay value is fairly high for a game of this length, thanks to the aforementioned sidequests and multiple endings. The cutie mark achievement system also makes a return from some of the previous games, thankfully enough, and I hear there's actually a reward for getting them all...

 I'd put a rating on this along with some more in-depth criticism if I had the time and this were a full game, so I guess this will have to do for now. Perhaps I'll expand upon this once I've returned, but in the meantime enjoy the game/expansion thingy!

- Tuxxy

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