Michael Wermuth - "My Muppets Show" is an app for phones and tablets that was released this summer. In fact, as I was searching the Mindset articles from the last few months, I was surprised to see that there wasn't a review of this yet, so let's give it a belated review! The plot-line has Bunsen and Beaker inventing a digitizer, which players can use to digitize Muppet characters to appear on a number of stages. Scooter guides the player to let them know what to do. So far there are three stages, the main stage, the kitchen, and the roof top. Hopefully more will be added (the rooftop was added last month). I'd like to see a Pigs in Space, Muppet Labs, or Koozebane-themed stage.
You get coins and diamonds which can purchase things (and you can also use real money to buy diamonds, but it's not necessary unless you are really impatient). While a few Muppets can be purchased with coins, most Muppets get digitized by Muppet combinations, though the correct combination won't always work the first time (or first twenty times). You can also feed characters to level them up--characters get leveled up as high as level 15, but they have to be at level 4 before you can combine them with other characters.
Among the characters that can be digitized include Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Walter, and The Electric Mayhem, as well as many original characters, including Jax Strumley, Big Mo, Durwood Clapper, Kizzy, and Bloosman. I don't really like that they included original characters, given the scores of existing characters. I'm sure that including characters as obscure as Lips or Angus McGonagle would have the same effect on casual players as these new characters. And there's a LOT of characters casual fans would be familiar with who (currently) can't be digitized, including Bunsen (though Beaker can be digitized), Robin, Sweetums, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, Lew Zealand, and Crazy Harry. Though I do like the looks of some of the new characters, like Bloosman and Durwood Clapper.
Not every character in the game appears on all the stages. For example, The Swedish Chef is currently exclusive to the kitchen. Frustratingly, there are no stages where you can digitize the entire Electric Mayhem. Dr. Teeth and Janice are currently only available on the rooftop, where Floyd isn't available (he was available there for a limited time, which has passed, but it was insanely rare to digitize him). I hope the next stage that gets added can digitize the whole band. In addition to characters you can also purchase various props and backgrounds, including things from The Muppet Show and the movies such as a gorilla detector and an 8-foot prune.
When digitizing characters, it can take awhile. On the theater stage it's usually shorter, but by the time you get the rooftop, it can take half a day if not a whole day. And since character combinations do not always get the expected character on the first try it can be especially frustrating to wait a whole day and NOT get who you were expecting. The stages are often filled with things in the way, which also cost coins to get rid of and take awhile for them to fully go away. It also costs coins and can take hours to upgrade things. With the current season of Sesame Street having a curriculum in waiting, maybe there should be a Sesame Street game like this.
And for some reason while most of the performers (Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta, Eric Jacobson, and Matt Vogel) provide voices in this game, Peter Linz, Dave Goelz, and David Rudman are not in this game. As a result their characters don't speak (Scooter's dialogue is in text). I wish I knew the reason for their lack of involvement.
Despite all its flaws I would recommend adding this app to your phone. I was surprised to see that it's free, so getting it isn't a waste of money. Of course I'd like it a lot better if you could control the characters you get. It's a good game and a whole lot of addicting fun.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org