Transformice (abbreviated to TFM) is an online multiplayer Flash game released on 1 May, 2010. It was created by Melibellule (artist), and Tigrounette (programmer), who later formed the company Atelier 801. It is written in Actionscript 3.0 and the flash-port of Box2D. While it started in French, it is currently also available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Dutch, Romanian, Indonesian, Arabic, Tagalog, Japanese, Finnish, Italian, Lithuanian, Hebrew, Czech, Croatian, Bulgarian, Latvian, and Estonian.
The gameplay in the game is straightforward: in a variety of maps you have to find and carry a piece of cheese back to a mouse hole. Some maps have complex puzzles involved which can only be solved with the help of the all-powerful shaman, who is chosen based on the high score. Completing maps will result in being awarded with titles and cheese. Cheese allows you to buy clothing accessories in the Shop.
As a mouse, you have only one goal: collect the cheese and navigate back to the safety of your mouse hole with or without the help of the Shaman. The mice can just move around using the arrows keys (or, alternatively, W, A, S, and D) to duck, jump, and move.
The Shaman is a mouse with the additional ability to summon objects, and in some cases must help the regular mice to overcome an otherwise insurmountable obstacle. Shamans are distinguished from the other mice by various markings on his fur and by a feather on their head. The array of objects the Shaman has access to varies from map to map: in one map the shaman may spawn their full repertoire, in the next the shaman can only draw a path by using the conjuration. As the Shaman, your controls are a bit more advanced and you will need a mouse or touch pad (a tablet's touch screen may or may not work); see the complete list of controls here.
Transformice can trace its beginnings back to April 2008, when Tigrounette released Aaaah!, a game with similar mechanics. In Aaaah!, players controlled stick figures and navigated through a dark, silhouette-based map to reach a pharmacy. One player, with the most points, would be designated as a "guide" and was supposed to help the other players reach the pharmacy by drawing a path. Players could press the spacebar to scream loudly and push away any nearby characters. Like Transformice, it had a similar online room system, but does not have an English translation. Aaaah! does, however, feature a map editor, which spawned a rather large community of custom map makers.
Aaaah! was followed by a much closer ancestor to Transformice called Fish. Fish was a short-lived flash game that was effectively an early prototype of Transformice. Instead of mice looking for cheese, there were fish trying to get back into a water bowl. The fish, however, had the unfortunate tendency to slide all over the place. Like Aaaah!, it featured multiplayer gameplay with a guide who was supposed to help the fish to the fishbowl. However, instead of drawing a path to the objective, the guide in Fish had to place physical objects in the world. In addition, the guide had no physical presence and could place objects anywhere on the map.
The objects available were very similar to the ones in Transformice. All the Transformice base objects, plus some additional ones (notably an Up Cannon gift in the first versions of Transformice) were available to the guide in Fish. Unlike Transformice, Fish listed all of the available anchors in the object pool, and did not have as many anchors available as Transformice does. In addition, the Guide had the ability to stop time for a few seconds, which made placing objects much easier without having to worry about the hopping fish. Interestingly, the fish always started on the bottom left and had to reach a bowl on the top right.
Fish was online for a few months before closing pending the release of Transformice on May 1, 2010. Transformice refined the basic concepts introduced in Fish, changing the objective to grabbing cheese and getting back to a hole, with a shaman that had a physical presence and limited powers. Several updates to the game added battle stages for shamans, an item shop, and several other small additions. Finally, an English translation was added to the game, which, combined with a viral video about the game, allowed a much larger audience to enjoy it.
List of updates is avaliable at game updates page.
- The official Transformice website
- The official Atelier 801 forums
- The official Transformice Facebook page
- The official Transformice Twitter page
- The official Transformice Tumblr page
- Transformice on Wikipedia