North American box art
Mister Mosquito, spelled Mr Moskeeto in PAL regions and known in Japan as Ka (蚊?, lit. "Mosquito"), is a video game developed by ZOOM Inc. for the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console. The game was first released in Japan by Sony on June 21, 2001 and the following March in other territories as part of the Eidos Interactive "Fresh Games" label.
The player controls a mosquito named "Mister Mosquito", the game's titular hero, who has taken up residency in the house of the Yamada family, life-sized humans that serve as the protagonist's food source in the game. The goal of the game is to stock up on blood through the summer so that the mosquito will survive the winter ahead. The player is tasked with sucking blood from specific body parts of the family members without being noticed. If the player is not careful, the human will become stressed and eventually attack.
The gameplay revolves around one thing: sucking blood from the Yamada family while they go about their everyday business. However, the player can only suck from a designated body area which will only be available at specific times. Each family member follows a set looping pattern of movements. By following these movements, the player must fill a quota of blood for each stage. The challenge in bloodsucking is that each victim has a "stress meter". The player must make sure that the victim stays unaware. Sucking too fast or too slow will increase the victim's stress level. If Mister Mosquito is swatted while sucking blood, instant death occurs. If the player is noticed by a victim while flying around, Battle Mode begins, involved like boss battle. The victim tries to attack Mister Mosquito through various means. To calm them, the player must hit a number of pressure points, relieving them of tension. Once they are relaxed enough, they return to their business.
The game is made up of a series of stages which must be unlocked in order by completing each previous stage. Players can choose their own path though each stage. At the start of each stage is a briefing detailing the room where the stage takes place, the victim and area(s) on their body from which blood can be sucked, and any prevalent dangers. The rooms in each stage are fully explorable. Each room has items hidden in obscure places which can bring various benefits.
Mister Mosquito was first announced in March 2001 just prior to the Tokyo Game Show. The tentative title of the game was Ka: Yamada-ke No Natsu (蚊 ～山田家の夏～?, lit. "Mosquito: The Summer at Yamada Residence"). The game was published in Japan by Sony on June 21, 2001 Eidos Interactive published the game in North America and PAL regions on March 13 and March 22, 2002 respectively, under its "Fresh Games" label. According to Eidos' Kevin Gill, the company chose to release games like Mister Mosquito because they are often called "quirky" or "odd" with "brilliant" gameplay that are otherwise unlikely to be localized outside Japan.
Reception and legacy
In 2008, Game Informer named Mister Mosquito one of "The Top Ten Weirdest Games of All Time". The game was also included by G4 on its own list of weird games. GamesRadar included Mister Mosquito on its list of "The Top 7... games that are cheaper than therapy" as a cure for entomophobia and on its list of "Rubbish animals that got turned into video game heroes". Contributor Matt Cundy comically summarized in the latter list, "Given that mosquitoes kill millions of people every year, we'd have thought a game that put players in control of such a notorious serial killer would have met with more controversy".
According to Famitsu, Mister Mosquito was the fifth best-selling video game in Japan during its release week at 41,006 copies sold. Approximately 160,210 copies were sold in the country by the end of 2001. The game was released as part of Sony's PlayStation 2 the Best line of budget titles the following year. Sales of Mister Mosquito in other territories were apparently much poorer. On July 3, 2003, a sequel called Ka 2: Let's Go Hawaii (蚊2 レッツゴーハワイ?) was released only in Japan. The game takes place in Hawaii, after the Yamada family wins a vacation from a local shop. The gameplay is essentially the same as in Mister Mosquito, but adds a number of new features. It allows the player to suck blood from any part of a human's body, not just designated points. Pressure points now allow the player to suck more blood from certain points. Finally, a new relaxation point system gives the player the opportunity to calm down an attacker if he is being chased. In 2004, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine named the sequel as one of several Japanese and European games the publication wanted localized in North America.
- Zoom staff. "Work History" (in Japanese). Zoom, Inc. Archived from the original on October 25, 2005. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Sony staff. "蚊 | ソフトウェアカタログ | プレイステーション® オフィシャルサイト" [Software Catalog | PlayStation ® Official Site] (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- IGN Staff (March 13, 2002). "Fresh Games Ship To Retail". IGN. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Amazon staff. "Mr Moskeeto (PS2)". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- GameStop Staff (March 7, 2001). "Sony's quirky new mosquito-based PS2 game". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- IGN Staff (March 30, 2001). "TGS 2001: Updated Tokyo Game Show Coverage". IGN. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- IGN staff (January 24, 2002). "Eidos Establishes Fresh Games". IGN. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Minkley, Johnny (March 8, 2002). "Mr. Moskeeto hits the right spot". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Retrieved September 4, 2011.[dead link]
- Klepek, Adam (February 18, 2002). "Discovering the Freshness". Gaming Age. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Game Informer staff (April 2008). "The Top 10 Weirdest Games of All Time". Game Informer (GameStop Corporation) (180): p. 28. ISSN 1067-6392.
- Zivalich, Nicole (December 22, 2010). "Strange Games: Video Games That We Can't Believe Exist". G4. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Reparaz, Mikel. "The Top 7... games that are cheaper than therapy". GamesRadar. Future plc. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Cundy, Matt (November 26, 2009). "Rubbish animals that got turned into video game heroes". Future plc. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "Mister Mosquito for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "Mister Mosquito for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- 1UP Staff (May 9, 2004). "Mr Mosquito Review for PS2". 1UP.com. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Deci, T.J. "Mister Mosquito - Review". Allgame. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Anon. Edge staff (September 2001). "Ka". Edge (Bath: Future plc) (101): p. 80.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly staff (May 2002). "Reviews: Mister Mosquito". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (175): p. 108. ISSN 1058-918X.
- Taylor, Martin (May 7, 2002). "Mr. Moskeeto Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Kato, Matthew (April 2002). "Mister Mosquito". Game Informer (GameStop Corporation): p. 77. ISSN 1067-6392. Archived from the original on February 23, 2005. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- Four-Eyed Dragon (April 11, 2002). "Mr. Mosquito Review". GamePro. IDG. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Silverman, Ben (April 1, 2002). "Mister Mosquito Review". Game Revolution. Net Revolution Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Villoria, Gerald (March 22, 2002). "Mister Mosquito Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Alupului, Andrei (April 5, 2002). "Mister Mosquito (PS2)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on June 13, 2002. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- McElfish, Carlos (May 6, 2002). "Mister Mosquito Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on March 17, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Perry, Douglas C. (March 14, 2002). "Mister Mosquito - PlayStation 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- PSM staff (May 2002). "Reviews: Mister Mosquito". PSM (Future US): p. 28. ISSN 1940-0721.
- Walk, Gary Eng (April 26, 2002). "Mister Mosquito Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Famitsu staff (June 28, 2001). "ゲームソフト販売ランキング TOP30" [Game Software Sales Rankings Top 300]. Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "2001年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP300" [Video Game Software Sales in 2001 Top 300] (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Sony staff. "蚊 PlayStation 2 the Best" [Ka PlayStation 2 the Best] (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Reed, Kristan (August 19, 2008). "Cult Classics: PlayStation 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Famitsu staff (June 30, 2003). 人間に見つかったらバトルに突入！ 『蚊2 レッツゴーハワイ』. Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- GameSpot staff (April 16, 2003). "Mister Mosquito 2 announced". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine staff (January 2004). "Japan and Europe have a bunch of games that may or may not make it here.". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (Ziff Davis). ISSN 1094-6683.