Review: NRL Mascot Mania and AFL Mascot Manor

Two new games clearly aimed at the Aussie winter sport market, get the big thumbs up

By Charlie Brown

Game: NRL Mania/AFL Mascot Manor
Publisher: Tru Blu Games
Console: Nintendo DSi

Unsurprisingly, these two games were published in Australia, by Australian company Tru Blu Games. Coming half-way through the footie season, Tru Blu have probably got their release date right, but do the games deliver? Well, as they are not aimed at my age group, I decided to call in our extended network of gamers, brothers Oliver (8) and Elliott (7).
So what did they think of the games? “Awesome,” says Oliver. “They rock.” Elliott agreed, “I really like both games.”
Although, at a pinch, both being New South Wales’ boys, the NRL Mascot Mania game was their favourite, they still felt the AFL version was just as good, even if they didn’t recognise some of the teams and mascots.

Both games are interactive, whereby gamers play one of 16 club mascots in either code, which has a special power. Each mascot fights against another mascot in what are called “boss” battles. Being aimed at the younger gamers, Oliver and Elliott found the violence incidental, and they both liked it that you could hit an opponent and they shrink down in size, as opposed to getting bloody.

You can also collect cards of players in both games, which help unlock mini games, including a game of either rugby league or Aussie Rules.

Any mascot favourites amongst our two young reviewers?

“My favourite mascot is Boom from the Melbourne Storm,” said Oliver. “He seemed to be the best at beating the other mascots. My favourite mini game was called slipping and sliding (I think), which is when you slide down and are supposed to get all the coins. Then you go into a swimming pool, and swim around and try and get the coins before time runs out.”

“I like Toki from the Warriors,” said Elliott. “He was a lot of fun. I also really like collecting the cards. I got an Adam Goodes one from the AFL game and a Steve Price from the NRL.”
Was it hard to play?

“I think it might be hard for beginners,” said Elliott, “but I found it a cinch.”

“Same here,” said Oliver. “I really liked the action that it has.”

I had a quick go on it myself, and found it very easy to navigate. There are over 48 levels to get through, and while I didn’t go that far, there were a few challenging aspects to it that I really enjoyed. Overall, a good little Aussie number.

Oliver rating: 4.5 shacks out of 5
Elliott rating: 4 shacks out of 5