Video Game: Transformice

See that mouse in the center? That's the Shaman. His goal is to get the mice around him to the cheese and then back to the mouse hole. Mice who get back quicker than others get to be the sham more frequently. May God have mercy on everyone's souls.

"...which are two of the finest things in life. Cheese... and an anvil."

Transformice is a Flash-based multiplayer game, featuring a mischiefnote  of mice trying to get as many pieces of cheese back to the hole as possible on various deathtrap-laden maps. Among the mice is a Shaman, who can conjure up a variety of items to help his disciples in their task. Sometimes, the game will add a bit of competition by selecting two Shamans and pitting them against each other in a fight over who can get more mice to the hole of their color.

Because getting in each other's way is of course what this game is all about, most maps are completely trivial and could easily be navigated successfully with zero casualties if it weren't for the fact that the mice tend to rush recklessly forward at the earliest opportunity. There are two reasons for this. The first reason lies in the scoring system. The player with the highest score gets to be Shaman in the next round, then their score is reset and they start over. Players score points by bringing cheese to the hole, and the more people they are quicker than, the more points they get. The second reason is that getting cheese first unlocks various titles. The consequences of this arrangement are apparent.

Seeing as this is a browser game that anyone can play at any time, it offers a unique insight into the Internet's collective consciousness. The game currently runs on the following servers:

A downloadable, free-to-play version of the game is also available on Steam. It also has a Web Animation series based off it using the Blender 3D engine, which can be found here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Monocles, ribbons, eye patches etc. switch from side to side depending on which way the mouse is facing.
  • Artifact Title: Early on, the way mice were supposed to get to the cheese and back was by transforming into various objects, hence the name of the game. This has long been replaced with the more flexible Shaman system, but the name still stuck. Later updates readded this gimmick in certain levels, but they are far and few between.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Completely averted, due to all the mice being controlled by other players. Not that you could tell just by watching, mind you.
  • Ascended Glitch: The wall jump and air jump. A good portion of the user made levels require people to use these in order to win, especially boot camp maps.
  • Balloonacy: Balloons can be used to lift items and mice.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Sometimes a map is nothing more than an empty room with a piece of cheese in it. Results may vary.
  • Blatant Lies: Occasionally when one of the shamans say 'peace' in a shaman battle map, they're plotting the downfall of the other one.
  • Blackout Basement: Nightmare "Nighttime Mode" maps. You can only see a brief lit circle around your mouse, with everything else being completely blacked out. This makes accidentally running into bottomless pits unless you know the map frustratingly common.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: The entire goal of the game is to accumulate as much cheese as possible.
  • Boring but Practical: When a Shaman unlocks Hard Mode, their "B" bullet command is disabled in exchange for getting more EXP when saving mice.note  To make up for this, Hard Mode Shams get to create their own totem they can summon, which is a custom creation that can have one "B" bullet on it. While most shams will take advantage of this by having totems bridges that can extend all the way across the map or create "airship"s to carry mice with, it's not uncommon to see most Hard Mode shams using a single small transparent plank as their totem, thanks to it being incredibly versatile to build off of for any map or situation.
  • Bottomless Pit: Wouldn't be a platforming game without them. Naturally, it's the most common hazard, and the one that requires the Shaman's help with the most. Better pray you have a Shaman who knows what s/he's doing.
  • Caramelldansen Vid: Danced in the game itself!
  • Cartoon Bomb: Possibly the only threat that cannot be directly brought on by Shamans.
  • Cartoon Cheese: You can't have cartoon mice without it! The Web Animation series takes it to it's logical extreme but having a few pieces of cheese being literal yellow bricks with holes in them.
  • Chained Heat: Several maps revolve around pairing off mice with their "soulmate" and tethering them to each other, forcing them to work together to survive and sometimes to reach otherwise unreachable cheese. Some of them succeed.
  • Cosmetic Award: Fulfilling certain criteria unlocks various titles, such as "Pirate Mouse", "Mouse On Strike", "Accomplished Shaman" or "Nice Mouse". Players can use any title they've already unlocked. You can also buy various accessories such as hats with cheese in the shop.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: Caused by chocolate ground. Without cheese, you can run a bit slower than normal. With cheese, you aren't going anywhere.
  • Dummied Out: There was a version with portals (later said to be a 'test of a piece of code'), which were removed after a massive fan outcry. Later versions re-included them in a specific couple of levels. It get's a bit glitchy if you're on a soulmate map and you and your soulmate don't both go through a portal at the same time, and both of you may end up getting slingshot off the map
    • There also was a super-spirit at one point, but it was removed after a few days for being massively overpowered.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Through dark shaman troll magic and abuse of Transformice physics, shamans are able to create a flying aberration formed of many anvils connected to each other with rotating anchors stacked on top of each other; the aforementioned Anvil God. In one of the maps, you must face a resident Anvil God to get the cheese.
    • There's also the Anvil Snake, which is made up of two Anvil Gods connected to each other by a string of normal anvils connected to each other with normal green anvils that don't rotate.
  • Escort Mission: The entire premise of the game. Interestingly, all the escortees are controlled by other players, proving that real intelligence performs no better in these than an artificial one.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: The titles "Princess of Transformice" and "Shaman Princess"
  • Explosion Propulsion: It is possible to use bomb explosions to propel the mouse to the exit faster than would be possible by running, but pulling this off on purpose is tricky.
    • There's also Spirit, an invokable-by-shaman explosion. There is at least one level built around it. Be prepared to fall down if you're trying to wall jump if a shaman spawns a spirit near you (or directly above your head).
      • One of the shaman skills allows shamans to make the spirit even more powerful, and another skill allows them to use the Anti-Spirit by spawning an invisible spirit, which pushes mice towards it instead of away from it
    • Two levels are built around the shaman creating balls that explode after a few seconds, rather than the usual kind.
    • One update made it so that solid balloons will explode if too many mice are standing on top of it, and one shaman skill makes giant bubbles that function the exact same way as solid balloons if someone dies.
  • Face Palm: One of the emoticons is this.
  • Floating Platforms: Sometimes, they're often given some form of justification of being tied to balloons or part of the background. Other times, especially with fan created maps, They Just Didn't Care to privde a justification.
  • Frictionless Ice: Annoyingly, ice walls can't be wall jumped off of, which is especially deadly when jumping from one thin ice spike to another.
    • Certain maps have ice in it that you can corner jump off of and reach impressive speeds if you do it correctly
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The game's physics engine can, on occasion, sabotage a Shaman's bridge-building efforts simply because of the odd ways in which the various pieces interact with each other. Fortunately, because it only affects one stage at a time, it can be very entertaining to watch.
    • When two shamans each build an item at the same time, the game can occasionally get their properties mixed up, resulting in the items being physically connected to each other despite being in two different parts of the room. Then they start interacting with the environment. "LOL PHYSICS" indeed.
      • The same thing used to happen with snowballs.
  • Game Mod: Starting with the Steam release, people can now create their own games using the Transformice engine to be submitted to the Module mode. Using it, people have managed to create Transformice Prop Hunt and even Transformice Murder! modes.
  • Gimmick Level: There's the occasional upside-down level. This includes the mice's names and speech bubbles.
    • The upside-down levels are no longer upside down, though, and it doesn't seem like they will ever be upside down again...
  • Gravity Screw: There's a level in which the gravity switches after a few seconds. Naturally, it consists of a flat floor, has no roof or platforms of any kind, and the sky kills you if a shaman doesn't build a plank with a red anchor above everyone's head fast enough.
  • Griefing:
    • If a Shaman is a dick, there isn't much the other mice can do about it. It is also possible on collision maps to screw over other players.
    • During transformation maps, many people simply try to push all the transformed players off the map, or players transformed into planks will block other mice from reaching the top of a platform that they're attempting to wall jump.
    • Imagine if the other players had a deliberate means of knocking other players and shamans off precarious platforms and messing up careful structural design, including pushing invisible objects. Well, thanks to the likely seasonal addition of snowballs, they did, but they have been seriously Nerfed since to prevent this sort of thing.note 
    • Gravestone items. It immediately kills you to produce a gravestone slightly smaller than a box. It's intent is to pull a Heroic Sacrifice so other players can use it to get past other obstacles. Most players, however, will use it to intentionally block pathsnote  or mess up a shamans build.note  Thankfully, it's only available to purchase with the seasonal themed currancy around Halloween time. However, most players will still stock up on as many of them as possible while it's going on, and they can be held onto long after the Holiday event is over...
  • Holiday Mode: Starting around late beta, the game has themed levels pop up around certain holidays, and will give existing levels holiday themed makeovers as well as have a few Holiday-themed Mini Games pop up at random in between the levels, which you can get gimmick items from note  that you can trade in on certain "break" levels to get holiday-themed prizes, such as ability to turn into a snow mouse, vampire mouse, and so on. While this includes obvious stuff like Halloween and Christmas, it's also done stuff for Easter, April Fools day... And, oddly enough considering it's not a holiday, school themed levels and Mini Games around the time most major school systems start back up after the summer vacation. Interestingly enough, it's possible to keep holiday themed items well passed the event in question, though you won't be able to win any more of the "consumable" items until next year when it starts up again.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Some of the titles. "The Cheesen One," anyone?
  • It Amused Me: It might as well be named Trolling: The Game. note 
  • Jump Physics: Walljumping and airjumping abounds. Both are technically bugs, though.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The only way to describe the tactics of the "regular" mice at times. If they don't immediately die because of it, they all too frequently end up making the map Unwinnable for everyone else.
  • Level Editor: The game has one, which you can pay cheese or strawberries to have your own maps in the game. Naturally, people love to make them as Platform Hellish as possible, though it's alleviated somewhat thanks to allowing people to vote whether they like it or not, with extremely down voted maps getting pulled from the system.
  • Level Grinding: In later updates, taking cheese back to the hole or, as the shaman, the amount of mice you save gives you experience which levels up your shaman rank, which gives you a point you can use to unlock further shaman abilities. Taking cheese back successfully gives you ten EXP, while the amount of EXP you get as the shaman is directly proportional to the amount of mice that make it back to the hole that round. note  At first, it isn't so bad, but starting around levels 25-30, it can take anywhere up to 600-1000 EXP to level up. With no way to boost your EXP gain. Hope you have a lot of free time on your hands...
  • Luck-Based Mission: Your success in most of the collision maps depends entirely on where you spawn in the mouse pile and/or lag at any point. Most levels are also impossible to finish if you happen to get a shaman who doesn't know what to do.
    • Also, the Fan God maps. The shaman is supposed to stop the fan from moving, but if the shaman dies while doing so/doesn't know what to do/is AFK or if you want to be first, you just have to run under it and pray that it won't fling you off the screen.
    • Map 99, if you want first.
    • In map 41, you start in a special car that the Shaman is supposed to push to the cheese and back. You better hope you glitch out of the box, or no cheese for you ^_^
  • Nice Hat: Quite a few. A Soviet-looking Commissar Cap among them.
  • Nintendo Hard: Boot Camp mode.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • The mice actually don't transform... until version 0.154, which introduced a couple of special maps where mice do transform.
    • Update 1.82 also introduced skills, one of which allows shamans to give random mice near them the ability to transform into objects for the rest of the round.
  • Not the Intended Use: The ability to create one's own room is intended so that friends can play and chat together without having to deal with a crowd of onlookers. However, some players will use it as a way to power grind for Shaman abilities since you get to be the sham more frequently in small groups, which makes up for the reduced amount of EXP you get from saving a small group of mice as opposed to a large one, there are less Leeroy Jenkins to mess over the map, and it's easier to get first in them, which in turn gives more EXP.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Mice want cheese. That's all there is to it.
  • Obvious Trap: It doesn't matter how obvious, someone will run straight into it.
  • Ocular Gushers: The "/cry" command has the mice pull this trope.
  • Pink Shaman Teal Shaman
  • Pit Trap: How about a fake floor surrounded by normal, visually indistinguishable floor? Located on a map that looks identical to another map, which has a normal solid floor throughout?
    • How about a level with four chunks of cheese, three of which have under them aforementioned invisible pits? How about having these pits distributed randomly each time the level starts? Yeah...
  • Randomly Drops: The Christmas presents in the 2011 Christmas event have a 10% chance of giving you an item, 40% chance of giving you a piece of cheese, and 50% chance of giving you nothing whatsoever.
  • Red Herring: Sometimes the closest cheese is usually a blatant trap, while the ones further away are the genuine cheese you need to collect.
  • Revenue Enhancing Devices: Starting around late beta, you can buy strawberries with real world money, which in turn can be used to buy costumes for your mouse. While you can get costumes by collecting cheese normally, it takes for freaking ever to do so, since costume items cost a lot of cheese and usually cost far fewer strawberries by comparison. note  The Steam version also allows you to use money from your Steam wallet to buy strawberries, too.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The mice. No matter how they're dressed up, they still all look adorable thanks to the game's artstyle.
  • Running Gag: There are several maps that look to be a straight run to the cheese with no visible obstacles.
  • Sequence Breaking: The game world actually extends beyond the edges of the screen, which can be used to bypass some obstacles on certain maps.
  • Shout-Out: "No cheese for you!"
  • Slash Command: Early on, this was how you accessed emotes and such. They've all since been given specific keys to press to make using them easier, though there's still a few "hidden" commands that can be accessed this way.
  • Spring Jump: There's a shaman skill that allows shamans to spawn 3 springs (1 if they're on divine mode) that allow mice to jump pretty high (especially if they're two or even three springs directly on top of each other).
    • Map 70 is essentially an enclosed box with walls made of the trampoline ground (with a smaller box to side that the mice spawn in) that bounce mice up to warp speed.
    • Then there's lava, which will make you fly off the screen unless you quickly press the jump button after simply touching the lava.
    • Some vanilla maps allow shamans to spawn trampolines
  • Stock Animal Diet: Mice and cheese, of course.
  • Temporary Platform: Some normal ones, and a made-of-ice variation.
  • Timed Mission: You get 2 minutes per level, and if the shaman(s) die or there are only two mice left in the game, the clock is reset to 20 seconds.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Some levels are blatant deathtraps, yet inevitably at least half the mice rush blindly towards their doom anyway.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Quite a few maps will cause you to die extremely quick unless you're already familiar with it and can see it coming. Being a good Shaman can also feel like this at times, thanks to the game's physics engine being rather... "Interesting" at times.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Dear anvil god your faith in humanity will take a major blow after playing this game for half an hour. It's not just "oh, that trap was kind of tricky, but you'll do better next time", it's "this is an obvious death trap, and those real players ran into it headlong and just lost."
  • Victory Pose: The /dance command, which makes your mouse do a little dance, can be used for this effect.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The whole idea behind the shaman is to help other players. In theory. In practice, however...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: And how. Note, however, that any and all cruelty is done upon real players.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: You have a map layout, the mice, the cheese, and the mousehole. Everything else is up to you.
  • Wiki Rule: Didn't even take that long.
  • Wreaking Havok: It uses the Box2D engine, which can usually result in a lot of unintentionally funny situations. Mice catapulting off of planks into space because a little too much weight is on it? Contraptions freaking the hell out and turning into Eldritch Abominations because of a misplaced attachment? Those are some of the tamer things that can happen in this game.
  • X Meets Y: Observing the usual course of a game, one would surmise that this is a multiplayer version of Lemmings.