Mimpi seems like a cool game, but the controls are broken on Android TV

The game Mimpi has become popular, racking up over 500,000 installs on Google Play. When I noticed it was available on Android TV, I decided to download it onto my NVIDIA Shield TV and give it a try.

WHAT’S NEW

What’s New in Version 1.1.9
– Added whole new level!
– Improved stability on some devices
– Reduced permission requirements
What’s New in Version 1.1.4
– Removed PayWall, game is now for free!!!
What’s New in Version 1.1.1
– Nvidia Shield support
What’s New in Version 1.1.0
– tablet optimization
– circles/key puzzle simplified
– many minor bugfixes
– more generous in-app purchases
– gameplay optimization
– graphics tweaking
– GUI/sound polish
– store connection issue resolved

As you can see in my Let’s Play, the game is a really interesting puzzle / platformer game. The puzzles are not readily obvious and sometimes require thinking and guessing to get advance. As you may also notice, my game control is not superb. That’s not for lack of trying. The problem is the game controls are not correct, and that makes the game nearly unplayable. By itself the game is hard, but having this difficulty seems to be accidental and not some purposeful attempt to frustrate the gamer.

One component of the game is selection different items with an on-screen cursor and tapping to do an action of that thing. For example, hovering over a bug and acting on it will kill the bug. This comes in handy later on when I do that above fish so they stop being hungry. While moving left, right, and jumping work fine, this cursor does not behave correctly.

With the DPAD on the left, pressing up moves the cursor left. Pressing down moves the cursor right. Pressing left and right do nothing. This was really confusing at first, and then I noticed something else. With the thumbstick on the right, moving it left moves the cursor up and moving it right moves the cursor down. Moving up and down and the joystick move the cursor, although in the wrong directions.

Not only do I control this one part of the game with two different sets of buttons, but they don’t act intuitively. I wanted to like Mimpi, and I think it may be fun, but this game left me frustrated and confused. I had to invert all my thought processes to get this cursor correct, and sometimes it’d disappear off-screen and force me to go find it. If an update would fix the controls I’d be happy to give this another chance. For now the game is being uninstalled.

Mimpi is available on Google Play if you’re interested.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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  • xanderten50

    You’d expect better controller support since they had it running on GameStick… oh well.

    • It’s weird, because it seems like the controller support is there, but are mapped wrong.