MouseHunt (game)

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MouseHunt
MouseHunt Logo.jpg
MouseHunt Logo
Developer(s) HitGrab, Inc.
Platform(s) Facebook, Android, iOS
Release 7 March 2008
Genre(s) Multiplayer Browser Game

MouseHunt is a Facebook game in which players, referred to as hunters, catch mice with a variety of traps to earn experience points and virtual gold through passive gameplay. From time to time, the developers add new locations and mice as well as sponsor periodic giveaways and tournaments. MouseHunt was developed by HitGrab, Inc. under the direction of Bryan Freeman and Joel Augé, and was released to a select group of participants for beta testing in early 2007. On 7 March 2008, MouseHunt was officially released to the general public. Just nine months later, MouseHunt earned its creators a $250,000 development grant from Facebook.[1] In 2011, it was shortlisted as a Top Game with a user base of 50,000 to 100,000 users.[2]

On 16 October 2010 MouseHunt was also released on the hi5 social network, but was shut down in February 2012.[3]

MouseHunt released Mobile Apps for both the iOS on 17 October 2012 [4] and then Android first for Jelly Bean (v4.1) on 7 December 2012 [5] and for Gingerbread and above on 13 February 2013 [6]

Story[edit]

The game of MouseHunt is set in the fantasy kingdom of Gnawnia. The player is a hunter, commissioned by the King of Gnawnia to catch mice that infest the kingdom by using virtual traps, bases and cheese.

Gameplay[edit]

MouseHunt is a passive game, intended to be played while surfing the Web. The player, called a hunter, arms a trap (using cheese as bait) and can then sound the "Hunter's Horn" once every 15 minutes. If a player is playing the game for the first time, there is a special mission and the player can sound the "Hunter's Horn" once every 30 seconds. Every time the hunter's horn is sounded, they are taken on a hunt and have a possibility of catching a mouse. For each mouse the player catches, they get a unique reward, which is a certain amount of points and gold, dependent on the breed of mouse captured. Automatic "Trap Checks" conducted every hour allow for a total of five opportunities to catch mice every hour. To ease out server load, Trap checks for different users are timed at either the :00, :15, :30 or :45 during the hour. However, one has to log in to sound the Hunter's Horn at least once per 24 hours for the automatic 'Trap Checks' to continue.

For most areas that were released later on in the game (typically those released after 2011), most have a special Heads-Up-Display (HUD) below the normal HUD which guides the hunter along the specific mission for that area, or to help the hunter along with the special game mechanics for the area.

Some areas have special game mechanics, like time-limited areas, or limited hunt areas, where hunters can only hunt in there for a specific amount of time or specific number of hunts before getting 'thrown out' to another area. Some areas also have game mechanics which alter the mice that can be caught in that area. However, these special mechanics still allow the game to be largely passive in nature, requiring just that little bit more work than just sounding the horn.

Social aspects of gameplay[edit]

Friend networks are used in the game, as players who are in-network friends (e.g., Facebook friends) can sound the horn for each other if hunting in the same area, but this effect is disabled during a tournament.

Friends can also send in-game gifts to each other. Some items from a hunter's inventory (gold, some cheeses and crafting items, gift baskets, and trap skins) can be given up to 15 friends. Additionally, hunters may send daily free gifts, which vary somewhat from day to day, and during certain events can buy virtual in-game gifts for friends, using either virtual gold or through donations.

Friends can form teams; a new team can have at most five members including the captain, but three additional member slots can be unlocked. To unlock each extra slot, teams must complete a task. Slot 1: Complete 10 tournaments, slot 2: Obtain 10 Participant badges and slot 3: Obtain 10 Competitor badges.[7] Tournaments were initially released on 13 May 2009, but were discontinued on 8 June 2010. After more than a year, this feature was finally re-released on 28 December 2011. Tournaments involve hunting for certain specific mice, each of which has a certain point value within the tournament, for a certain pre-determined time period. In-game prizes are awarded to hunters based on the finishing score of their team.

Ranks[edit]

When the player first starts to play the game, they have the rank of Novice. As the player progresses through the game, they will increase in rank, in the order of Recruit, Apprentice, Initiate, Journeyman, Master, Grandmaster, Legendary, Hero, Knight, Lord/Lady, Baron/Baroness, Count/Countess, Duke/Duchess, Grand Duke/Grand Duchess, Archduke/Archduchess. The ranks Recruit and Initiate were added in version 3.0 as a way to split Novice and Apprentice into 2 more ranks. Increases in rank are dependent on how active the player is, in addition to other factors such as the quality (number of points the mice caught is worth as well as the general difficulty of the mouse) and quantity of mice caught. As players increase in ranks, it gets increasingly difficult to rank up as each hunt will grant you less progress in your rank percentage.

For each increase in rank, the player will receive a new color/appearance for the shield next to their name in their hunter's profile. They also gain features such as more crafting slots for crafting items and greater number of cheese imbued per potion. The player will also gain access to more locations throughout the kingdom in which to hunt, giving the player access to more powerful traps, bases, charms, and mice.

Locations[edit]

When players start out, they can only access the Meadow as their hunting location, but more locations are unlocked as they progress in rank. Certain locations, however, also require map pieces (purchasable from either the Cartographer, or dropped as loot by mice), the crafting of certain items and other forms of loot such as keys to be accessed. There are a total of 53 locations in the game, grouped into twelve regions. In the game, there is 1 area, called the Toxic Spill that can only be accessed when a Toxic Spill has occurred (which is determined by the developers), and 2 sets of 2 areas in which only one of the two is open at any given time. In addition, a place-holder location for banned players (they cannot sound the horn or access the game), who have violated the game's Terms of Service, called the King's Stockade was added in April 2009.

When traveling to other locations, hunters used to be charged a certain amount of gold contingent on the distance of the destination from the hunters' origin. In previous versions of the game, travel to the Town of Gnawnia was free. This has been replaced by a separate travel tab that transports players to the Meadow for free. Travel also used to be free when using the MouseHunt App on Android and iOS for players who had joined the game (not downloaded the app) before 14 April 2014.[8] With the update of the Adventure Book, travel costs were removed for all hunters.[9]

Besides this conventional mode of travel, there are certain locations where timers and counters are implemented, whereby hunters will be automatically transported to another location once the timer runs out or they have maxed their counter. There are also other locations where you have to catch a certain breed of mouse in order to travel there.

Traps[edit]

A trap setup consists of a weapon, a base, a piece of cheese and, if desired by the Hunter, a Charm. Traps are either bought or crafted. For traps that can be bought, they can be found at certain stores, called Trapsmiths, and they can sometimes be refunded for 18% of the purchase price. Some traps are also bought from Trapsmiths that cost some crafting items, or require the hunter to have certain items or completed certain tasks before purchasing.

Traps that are crafted as well as previous Limited Edition traps (see section on Ronza's Traveling Shoppe) are non-refundable.

Traps also have power types depending on the weapon, and it would influence the effectiveness of the trap against certain types of mice. The current power types for the traps in the game are Physical, Tactical, Shadow, Arcane, Hydro, Forgotten, Draconic, Parental, Law and Rift.

Trap components have a certain point or rank requirement, preventing players with lesser points from being able to buy or craft the trap component even if they have sufficient gold to buy it or crafting items to craft it. For example, if the points requirement of a certain trap is 16 million points, and the player has 2 million points, they would be unable to buy or craft the item, despite having sufficient gold and crafting items. This is to prevent players from "buying their way" through the game.

Base[edit]

A base adds a little bit of power to your trap. It also might increase additional things like power, luck, attraction bonus, but it will not change the weapon's power type. Bases can be bought from Trapsmiths but the most powerful bases are crafted and won from tournaments.

Charms[edit]

Charms were introduced to the game on 12 January 2011. Available to hunters with rank Journeyman and above, hunters buy a charm conduit in the Mountain Charm Shoppe to be able to arm charms. Charms are consumable items that modify certain trap attributes. Apart from boosts to the trap statistics (e.g., increase in power, luck, cheese effect and attraction), many charms also have special effects when used in certain locations, when paired with specific weapons and/or bases, or against specific mice or mouse groups. They can also alter the power type of traps. Charms are consumable, like bait, however, each charm has a different consumption property (e.g., after every hunt, or every mouse encounter, or after catching a specific mouse), but the majority of charms are consumed upon encountering a mouse. Charms are purchased from a charm shoppe or are crafted. Most crafted charms can be bought on the Marketplace.[10] Charms that are bought from a shoppe can be refunded for 30% of the purchase price. Some charms bought from shoppes require specific items to be traded in along with gold as well.

Some specific charms could be armed along with a specific trap or used in a specific location in order to grant more bonus to your trap setup.

Cheese[edit]

There is a very large cheese variety on offer, which can be bought or crafted. At present there are 5 (not including SUPER|brie+) standard cheeses that can be bought with gold at the various Cheese Shoppes in the game, namely Cheddar, Marble, Swiss, Brie, and Gouda. In the rift areas, there are 3 standard cheeses, Marble String, Swiss String and Brie String. The vast majority of cheeses are crafted. Many crafted cheese have specific effects on mice population.

Certain cheese can be made by imbuing potions into a certain type of cheese. Some cheeses can also be made by crafting through the use of crafting ingredients found in General Stores and/or from loot dropped by mice.

Certain cheese also provide bonuses to the trap setup, like a power bonus to the trap. This was announced during a Feedback Friday Session which provided teasers to a revamp of an existing area, set to be released sometime in November.[11]

There are also event cheeses that are used during events run in the game (See Events section).

Crafting[edit]

Crafting is an important element into the game, especially when people ascend ranks. A wide variety of things can be crafted, such as traps, bases and cheese. Crafting is only available to players who are Apprentice (the third rank) and above. As a person goes up in rank, they will get more "crafting slots", meaning that they can combine more items at a time. Players initially have 2 slots, increasing to a (current) maximum of 12 slots for Duke/Duchess. Within the crafting section, there is also the Hunter's Hammer, which is essentially a tool to "smash" certain items, such as cheese or trap components, which usually are used to craft another items, generally other kinds of cheese or upgraded traps. In the present version of MouseHunt, a "Recipe Book" was added that allows player to craft multiple quantities of a weapon, base, cheese or any crafting item at once. Recipes are unlocked upon a successful crafting of the item, or upon completing a set task.

The last slot in crafting used to be a red slot in Version 2.0. Using the red slot meant that there was a risk of the crafting failing and resulting in a loss of the components being used to craft the item. This was removed in Version 3.0.

Loot[edit]

Some mice may drop loot, which includes map pieces, potions and crafting items, cheese, collectibles etc. The percentage of loot drops varies depending on the breed of mice as well as other factors such as trap luck. These can usually be used in the game to accelerate in forms of progress, and is sometimes even necessary for it. Some loots may only be dropped if a certain type of cheese, charm or trap is used.

Potions[edit]

Potions are used to imbue a certain type of cheese into another type of cheese. For example, imbuing brie cheese with a Radioactive Blue Cheese potion would convert the brie cheese into Radioactive Blue cheese. The number of cheese that can be imbued per potion increases based on the rank of the player. During the Lunar New Year events, potions can be used to imbue a certain type of charm into another type of charm. The Developers have mentioned that in the future, potions may be used to upgrade other trap components.

Catching Mice[edit]

Mice are divided into different "Groups" - there are 31 as of the MouseHunt v3.0 update: Indigenous Mice, Gauntlet Gladiators, Forest Guild, The Shadow Clan, Digby Dirt Dwellers, Followers of Furoma, The Forgotten Mice, Aquatic Order, The Elub Tribe, The Nerg Tribe, The Derr Tribe, The Dreaded Horde, Draconic Brood, Balack's Banished, Seasonal Soldiers, Wizard's Pieces, Zurreal's Breed, The Marching Flame, Muridae Market Mice, Icewing's Invasion, Living Garden Mice, Lost City Mice, Sand Dunes Mice, Wild Bunch, Train Robbers, The Polluted, Rift Walkers, Deep Sea Dwellers, Fungal Fiends, Citizens of Zokor or Event Mice. Members of the group share common weaknesses with the exception of the "Gauntlet Gladiators" group. There are nine power types in the game: Physical, Shadow, Tactical, Forgotten, Arcane, Hydro, Draconic, Rift and Parental. Using the right kind of cheese gives the hunter a higher chance of attracting the mice they want and using the right power type of trap would increase the chances of catching the mice.

Breeds of Mice[edit]

From its birth in March 2008 until now, MouseHunt has 659 breeds (as of 9 September 2015) of mice excluding the Event Mice. Some of them, when caught will drop loot, which depending on the type of loot may be essential to players' progress through the game. Along with this, there are 127 special Event Mice, some of which are released for a short period during occasional events. These mice might drop cheese, crafting items, collectibles and cash prizes (a Mousehunter won $1000 CAD for being the first in catching a mouse known as the Master Burglar mouse. This mouse is now no longer a rare mouse). You are also able to catch the Leprechaun mouse, worth $25–500 (which currently has over 1000 catches). Prize mice, when caught, (other than Mobster and Leprechaun) typically drop King's Credits, which can be traded at the King's Arms for many in-game hunting items. King's Credits are also given in Loyalty Chests (something like Daily Bonuses), and sometimes dropped by mice as well. The mice in this game are loosely based on real life. For example, the White, Grey and Brown mouse can be found in the Meadow and other places suitable for starters, its normal habitat. And as a further example, some of the mice which belong to the group "Followers of Furoma" practice martial arts. Different groups have distinct differences as well as trap requirements to trap them. There are also rift mice, which are essentially 'rift', enlarged and more powerful versions of their predecessors.

The Marketplace[edit]

The Marketplace is meant to be an auction house for hunters to buy items that other hunters are selling. The Marketplace began with only being able to buy or sell the Key to the Town of Digby, Burroughs Laboratory Map Piece, and SUPER|brie+. In V2.0 the Marketplace was moved to its own discussion board. The only thing to purchase was SUPER|brie+. Hunters would negotiate and then trade, but the system was not very popular with players. 21 June 2010, v3.0, it reopened under the shops tab. Hunters could anonymously sell SUPER|brie+, Moon, and Maki cheeses. In an update hunters were allowed to sell Zugzwang's Left Sock. Another update and hunters were allowed to sell Ninja Ambush skin, Grungy Deathbot skin, Fluffy Deathbot Skin, and Wishing Well Basket. In the latest update hunters can sell any crafted charm and the orbs used to make them, also included is the Tiki Base Blueprints that Ronza sold during January 2011. On 23 July 2014, the Marketplace underwent a revamp,allowing hunters to sell trap parts and loot obtained from areas restricted to Baron/Baroness and higher ranked players. The new area also gave players an option to put up an offer to buy, which essentially meant sellers could choose to fulfil buy offers by buyers straight away, instead of having to put up a sell offer for buyers to pick. There is a 10% tariff paid by the buyer on the total sale value, possibly to prevent people from buying low and selling high straightaway (flipping).

The Adventure Book[edit]

Released on 29 July 2015, the Adventure Book was released. It contains various objectives/quests, called "Adventures", a hunter can embark on that focus on catching a powerful mouse, unlocking a new area, or unlocking new traps in specific areas. Completion of adventures give rewards of gold, points and rank progression. Some offer King's Credits. These adventures are optional, but typically to progress in the game, these adventures would be completed anyway. The Devs said it was meant to guide hunters along and let them know what they have yet to complete for that rank. However, the developers stressed that it was not the be-all and end-all of the game, and there were many other things that hunters could aim to achieve, like gaining crowns (crowns are awarded to hunters for catching a breed of mice 10, 100 and 500 times) for all mice, or getting the most powerful trap.[12]

Tournaments[edit]

Players are able to join teams with other hunters. Teams can allow for open registration, meaning that anyone can join, or they can be closed which means that in order to join a player needs to receive an invite from the team captain. Teams allow for socialization, but the main benefit is the ability to compete in tournaments.

In a tournament, teammates aim to catch mice on the tournament catch list. Each mouse is worth a certain amount of tournament points. At the end of the tournament, teams are awarded prizes based on how well they competed. There are First, Second, and Third place which have a higher reward and respective trophies. There are also prizes for top 10%, top 25%, and top 50%.

Placing in a tournament will earn the players "Tournament Tokens." Tournament tokens can be exchanged at the Tournament Hall in the Valour region for various prizes, including powerful bases and charms.

Ronza's Traveling Shoppe[edit]

Ronza is a traveling merchant who visits the Kingdom of Gnawnia, selling various wares such as cheese, Limited Edition (LE) traps and crafting materials. Occasionally, players can visit Ronza's shop, a special location in which limited edition items can be purchased. Ronza is a fictional character. The game does not provide excessive information. Her visits generally accompany special events and releases. Length of visits, available items, and location vary greatly. However, recently Ronza's arrivals have become slightly more predictable, coming in intervals of 1 year 2 months since 2012, coming in January 2012, March 2013, May 2014 and most recently July 2015.

Updates to MouseHunt[edit]

MouseHunt 1.0[edit]

MouseHunt 1.0 was the initial release of the game. Many of the current gameplay elements, like crafting, were still not present. Shortly after release, MouseHunt 2.0 was already in the works.

MouseHunt 2.0[edit]

MouseHunt 2.0 was the second version of the game. It boasted many more User Interface changes, along with major gameplay elements, like Crafting. It was released on 6 October 2008. This version consists of a handy toolbar with a heading at the top of the page. On the Camp page, the layout has the banner, many buttons, and the traps, journal, and a short summary by "Larry", who is a fictional knight that starts players off and gives hunting tips based on locations.

MouseHunt 3.0[edit]

MouseHunt 3.0 is the current MouseHunt version, nicknamed "Longtail", and has been officially released on 9 June 2010. A Longtail mouse was also released to celebrate the very new version. Initially in a closed beta, the game was brought down on 8 June 2010 to upgrade to this version and it was back up by 9 June 2010 . In this version, there were major interface and gameplay changes made to the game.

Events[edit]

Events in MouseHunt are special occasions when special event mice are released into the game. Some events have become annual celebrations, others are unique, but a fun time is had by all. October to April/May is typically referred to in game as events season, as most annual events are during that period. Annual events include Halloween in October, the Great Winter Hunt in December, the Lunar New Year and Valentines event in Jan/Feb, MouseHunt's Birthday in March and the Spring Egg Hunt in April/May.[13] Typically during events, loot normally used in other permanent areas can usually be acquired with the special event currency (e.g., Ice Coins for Great Winter Hunt), or by completing special missions. An event trap/base is also available for most events.

Developers[edit]

MouseHunt was developed by HitGrab Inc., a company based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.[14] MouseHunt was officially launched on 7 March 2008 after praised responses from 100 beta testers. The MouseHunt version 1.0 was upgraded to version 2.0 on 6 October 2008, boasting significantly improved coding and design. MouseHunt version 3.0 was launched on 8 June 2010, reworking several aspects of the game's mechanics and interface.

The people behind the MouseHunt Game are listed below:

  • Bryan Freeman (Owner)
  • Giorgio Sintichakis (Coder, Designer and Systems Operator)
  • Dave Vanderburg (Coder and Designer)
  • Jacob Johnson (Illustrator)
  • Franco D'Auria (Coder)
  • Michele Spencer (Community Manager)
  • Andrew Stevenson (Coder and Web Designer)
  • Lauren Rowlands (Illustrator)
  • Kevin Tse (Mobile App Coder)

Donations[edit]

Players can donate to the developers of Mousehunt by buying credits in the game, which give them a certain type of cheese, called SUPER|brie+. This cheese is superior to all other types of cheese in most (but not all) situations, giving the player an added advantage to catching mice. The application offers a greater variety of payment methods including Facebook credits, Paypal, Cherry Credits, Boku and PaymentWall.[15] The following methods also used to exist, but are not available at this time: Paymo, Rixty, SocialGold, Offerwall and Offerpal Media. Upon donation, they would receive a Lucky Golden Shield, denoted by the Golden Shield on their camp page next to their Hunter's title, which increases their trap set-up's luck by 7. Depending on the amount they donated, the Lucky Golden Shield will last for 30 days, 2 months or 4 months. Hunting Kits/Baskets can be purchased, which typically include Super|Brie+ and some other vital crafting ingredients in some areas to give hunters a headstart. The Lucky Golden Shield is also given to these donors.

References[edit]

External links[edit]