It's Mr Pants

Format: GBA

4 005209 049955
Age Restrictions: 3+
04 February 2005

Hello! And welcome to my world of Pants. You may know me: the name's Mr. Pants, and I'm here to show you the brutally funky sights of Pants Land. In what little spare time I have between the exclusive underwear design contracts, I've been putting together some challenges just for you, my gibbering fans, so you'll probably want me to spill the beans on those in due course. Don't go expecting them to be easy, but at least you'll be able to ask my friends Helpo (I know - you have to wonder about the parents these days) to lend a hand with some of his zippy tips. Pants on!...

It's Mr Pants is a funky strategy game with bags of humour. From the second you switch on your Gameboy Advance you know you are in for something a little different. The music is funky, the sound effects are amusing and you just know that the developers had a great time designing this release.

The game mechanics are reassuringly simple, so that anyone from puzzle warlords to uncoordinated mouth-breathers can play. Mr. Pants drops Tetris-like shapes onto the board. Your job is to move that piece to join up with others of the same colour. Once you have a shape, made up of one colour, that is at least two blocks long and at least three blocks wide (with four 90 degree angles) that block disappears and scores you points.

The main game offers you a board with a few shapes already on it. You then have a set number of blocks, that are dropped onto the board one at a time, on offer to help you clear the board. If you mess up, and you will, the puzzle is repeated until you successfully complete it. But don't worry if you become frustrated, as Helpo will wake up and show you were to move a certain block. Each time you ask for his help he watches you and tells you if you put the block in the right place. Only when you mess up does he take the block off you and place it in the correct position - then he goes back to sleep.

There are some simple rules to follow. For a start, shapes have to be made in single colours, and pieces of the same colour can't be dropped on top of each other, either fully or partially. You can dump different colours on top of each other, which could kick off a crazy chain reaction if you're lucky or smart, but it could just as easily bring your progress to a grinding halt. Also, in some modes the sinister crayon snake slithers around the perimeter of the board, and will happily squirm into the middle and put an end to your game if you don't keep kicking him back. And there are combos. And bonuses. And multipliers. And secret shapes. And all sorts of different freaky backgrounds and annoyingly hummable tunes.

These tunes are just a small part of the childlike humour that will have you giggling like a school girl for hours. Mr. Pants himself comes up with some great lines of dialogue... including: "Poo! Smelly!", "Disposable pants!", and the annoyingly toe tapping song that he sings. Ah! Now you see what amuses us reviewers at Sci-fi-online Towers.

For those who are a little tired of Tetris, It's Mr Pants is the new must own GBA game. But be warned... once you pick it up you won't be able to put it down.

This game is anything but pants. Fantastic fun.

Nick Smithson

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