Hello, hello! Welcome back to the second part of my ‘What to play for a fiver while in isolation’ series. If you read the first I hope you enjoyed it, and if you’re just joining us, a little background: A lot of people, sadly many of my friends included, are stuck in isolation at the moment thanks to the spectre of coronavirus, many having lost their jobs and therefore their income. With this in mind, the idea behind writing this series of articles was simple: find games that don’t cost the earth and write about them. My only rules are that a game cannot cost more than £5 (because many people no longer have £60 to splash on a AAA) and that I have to play it for a minimum of 5 hours before I review it. £5 = 5 hours. Simple. That way any gamer on a shoestring budget should be able to afford them, plus the game gets a fair trial. This weeks game is Mr Massagy – let’s get started!

Title: Mr Massagy
Platform: PS4
Developer: Green Lava Studios
Publisher: Green Lava Studios
Cost: £3.99

Well…where to start with Mr. Massagy?

Having scrolled through numerous other candidates for this week’s article, I decided upon Mr Massagy because of its wacky trailer, which raised so many questions (and eyebrows), and because it looked like a lot of fun – which it was, for about half an hour.

But don’t get me wrong, the concept is a funny one: You play the muscular silhouette of a man, the somewhat mysterious title-character Mr Massagy (or Johnny on the dates), whose aim is seemingly to find the best masseuse from a list of women available to match with on his Linger app. Once matched, the player goes on a date with the lucky woman and, depending on what you answer to the series of questions posed during said date, it will either end in a massage or not.

The character designs for the dates are inventive: human women, a female werewolf, an alien disguised as a human woman, the list goes on (although I did question the use of the cow for one of them), and though the game has an occasional tendency to stray into stereotype territory, this is also where a lot of the humour comes from. Actually, the game manages to tread the (often fine) line between funny and creepy very well; I played it with my girlfriend who found it hilarious, never offensive.

The multiple-choice answers that the player has to pick from during the dates are also quite funny, and range from deadpan honesty to sexual innuendo, however, after a while you do begin to preempt the humour and in doing so much of the hilarity begins to wane.

Having said that, one thing I never stopped enjoying is the brief cut-scene that players are treated to when a date has gone well and you’re heading off for that massage; like a scene lifted straight from an anime series (Sexy Commando Gaiden really comes to mind here), your muscular silhouette floats through a brightly pink coloured, bubble-streaked background, twisting and flexing before finally striking a ‘seductive’ pose and your massage begins. I thought I’d grow weary of seeing it but honestly I didn’t, it was just so ludicrously over the top that I found myself continuing to play on just to see it again well after I’d grown tired of the game, which is perhaps testament to its longevity, to wit: there really isn’t any.

It may or may not surprise you to learn that Mr Massagy is not a long game. There are only a handful of dates to choose from and little in the way of progression; you level up by completing dates successfully and earning ‘massagy’ star power: the more you earn the more women/dates you unlock, not that there are that many. I will add, however, that a novel feature of this game is its utilization of the PS4 controller’s ability to vibrate. Each date has a ‘massage strength’ level which corresponds to how strongly the controller will vibrate during that character’s massage. It’s a fun addition to the game and I’d not seen the vibration function used in that way before in a game. Hats off for ingenuity there.

All things considered, it would be unfair to compare Mr Massagy to last week’s game, Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom, but at the same time impossible not to; the latter clearly had more money and manpower behind it, the game far more depth and reach. Mr Massagy, on the other hand, feels a little more like a student project has finally come to fruition. Do I regret spending £3.99 on it? Absolutely not. It did make me laugh, and by purchasing it you’re helping to support the indie community. Would I recommend buying it to play while in isolation? Speaking honestly, purely from a longevity point of view I’d have to say no; the giggles are good while they can be had, but once they wear off there’s not really anywhere left to go. If you do purchase Mr Massagy, however, do make sure to check out the credits for a surprisingly emotional jerking.

If you missed last weeks article check it out here, otherwise I’ll leave you with these steps on how to massage, courtesy of Mr Massagy himself. Until next time, stay safe!