|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2011)|
The Munchables, known in Japan as Tabemon (たべモン?), is an action-platform game developed by Namco Bandai for the Wii video game console. The player controls creatures of insatiable appetite, using their gurgitating prowess to consume an army of invading Tabemon Space Pirates, each of whom bears an uncanny resemblance to various foods.
Star Ving, a planet that has many islands which are all connected together by rainbows, is the home of the Munchables, spherical, food-loving creatures with unsustainable appetites, who are all led by the mysterious “Great Elder”. Each island of Star Ving contains a “Legendary Orb”, magical objects that provide plenty of food for the Munchables. But one day, a fleet of UFOs invade Star Ving and steal the Legendary Orbs. The UFOs then unleash masses of "Tabemon Monsters", space pirates who are trying to rule the universe, all over the islands to destroy everything in their wake. Oddly, these monsters all appear to look like various foods, much to the Munchables' liking. The Great Elder takes note of this and goes with two distinct Munchables, Chomper and Munchy, to explore the islands of Star Ving, devour the Tabemon Monsters and retrieve the Legendary Orbs.
Over time, the main villain of the game starts to show himself, and becomes wary of his minions being defeated. The Great Elder realizes who the villain is overtime as well, and starts to fill in the player on his suspicion. Despite this, the heroes and villains do not actually meet until the final island, Mount Brim. There, the villain turns out to be Don Onion, leader of the Tabemon monsters and a former colleague of the Great Elder, who began corrupting their previous experiments to take over the world. After defeating Rice Baller, (the last boss that Don Onion sends to kill them) and reclaiming all the Orbs, the Munchables are invited to Fort Entrée, where the defeated Don Onion claims he has decided to stop with his evil plans and has gone through a change in heart. However, this proves to be a trap, as the villain leaves to steal the Legendary Orbs again while the player must find a way out of the space fleet. After finally escaping and getting back to Star Ving, they are too late as Don Onion has used all the Legendary Orbs to form his most powerful Tabemon Monster, King Pumpkin. Using the combined forces of the islands of Star Ving themselves, the Munchables are able to destroy King Pumpkin. But Don Onion flees into space with the Great Elder's rocket.
Much to Don Onion's surprise, however, Chomper and Munchy sneak on board and eat away the interior of the rocket, causing it to crash land back on Star Ving. Don Onion winds up trapped in the wreckage of the rocket, (presumably dead) and Chomper, Munchy and the Great Elder stare into the night sky and cry as the credits roll.
The Munchables is a free-roaming 3D platforming game where players control one of two munchables through the seven islands of the planet Star Ving in an attempt to reclaim them from the Tabemons. Each world is broken into three levels: The first of which revolves around the player exploring the environment and eating monsters, usually with a certain goal such as eating all of a certain type of monster, or traveling to a specific location on the map. The second mission always involves traveling to a certain point in the level to defeat a particularly large and powerful monster referred to as a "Leader Pirate". Finally, the third mission involves the player fighting a Boss Pirate powered up by the island's Legendary Orb in order to successfully get that island back.
During the levels, the player controls the munchables with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. They can choose between Chomper or Munchy to play as, (as well as Robo once the game is beaten) though each munchable controls the same. The characters can move, jump, and eat enemies based around foods such as fruits, vegatables, and desserts (with some enemies even not being food at all, but robots) in order to grow and become stronger. Each character also possesses a rolling attack (initiated with the B button) that allows them to knock back smaller foes and take down enemies too large to eat by breaking them into smaller versions and eating them individually. The player can also hold the A button (the button used to ingest foes) until the character glows, before releasing it to charge forwards and eat multiple enemies at once. Enemies and other edible objects are marked with tags that determine their power level. The munchable that is currently being used also has a tag like this. If an enemy or object is at a level higher than that of the munchable, then it cannot be eaten until the munchable reaches that level or higher. By eating more and more enemies, the player's character will grow bigger and stronger, enabling them to more easily take down larger foes and take down barriers in order to access new areas. When the character has eaten enough, they will evolve into a stronger and more visually detailed form, and can do this up to three times during a level. If the character eats enough after the third evolution, then they will eventually reach the maximum level, and be unable to grow any stronger.
However, the munchables are not invincible, as getting hit by enemy attacks and stage hazards, falling into a pit, or touching lava will cause the player to become stunned briefly as well as lose some points from their score. By shaking the Wii Remote while stunned, they can recover and be able to keep fighting. However, if the character is hit while stunned, then the player will automatically get a Game Over and have to restart the mission. At the end of each mission, the player is scored by how many orbs their munchable expels from their body (all depending on how much they ate) and are granted a lettered rank from "C" to "S" based on the number. By collecting glowing acorns within the levels, the munchables gain even more points, and collecting all acorns in a single level will win them a new accessory to dress up with. The game also supports 2-player co-op, with the second player controlling a targeting reticle on the screen with a Wii Remote and using it to shoot enemies in order to help the player with combat and exploration.
The game received generally positive reviews, with an average of 70 out of 100 on Metacritic. The main complaints were with the controls and the game being too simple, while the gameplay itself was praised.