GB – #35 – Mole Mania

History:

Never heard of this one before, and never played.

Expectations:

None! I have no idea what I’m getting myself into with this one!


Day 1:

Like ZOMG this game is totes adorbz! I find this game’s visual style appealing, and its humor charming…

*cough*

So I didn’t expect to be getting into a full on, story mode kind of game here, and right off the bat I find it heavily channeling Kickle Cubicle, one of my favorite NES games. I am pleased.

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Mole Mania demands thinking about its puzzle from moletiple angles. The stage design rocks. Levels are grounded in logic. I can’t find many holes in the premise.

…I’m digging this game…

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…I’m done.

I played through the entire first stage and am having a pretty good time of it. The puzzles are really enjoyable though I find the “combat” challenges a bit less so. The first bonus stage has you trying to throw cabbages into holes while a farmer beats on you, and it felt more frustrating than fun. The first boss has you dodging projectiles and sliding pins underneath him when he jumps into the air. That felt a little better, and was funny.

All in all I like Mole Mania, a lot in fact. My concern is that the game wont keep me interested enough to play through all seven of its relatively long stages. Guess we’ll see!


Day 2:

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Spent part of my lunch hour finishing out Level 2. New elements make puzzle solving more engaging, such as ground spikes, and all in all I’m still enjoying the game. The next boss was a floating sun that I had to push balls into to try to knock him into water, all while jumping underground to avoid a screenwide attack. I thought this encounter actually lent itself to the game’s controls and mechanics really well, and liked it a lot better than the last one.

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I started on Level 3 but only got a few sections in before having to pack up.

I’m still enjoying the game, a lot, but as feared I’m already getting a little tired of it. To me this feels more like a pick up every once in a while kind of game, as opposed to a play from start to finish kind of game.


Day 3:

I spent today’s lunch hour making my way through most of Level 3, but at that point I felt I had reached the end of my run with Mole Mania. It’s a personal preference issue, but when it comes to formulaic puzzle games like this one I can only take so much.


Conclusion:

So I liked Mole Mania. It was too cute for it’s own good, had solid gameplay and catchy music. The problem I have with the genre is simply that I can’t stand doing slight variations on the same things over and over and over again in this kind of environment. Every stage is just reverse engineering increasingly complex levels, occasionally throwing in new mechanics. That’s the genre, I understand that, and it’s fine. It’s just not something I look forward to doing, especially in the “play only this game” context of this project.

Liked:

– Nice graphics and a good music track.
– I appreciate the story mode to add some flavor to the game. The writing is fun.
– The puzzles are just difficult enough to be very rewarding when you solve them.
– I freaking love those moles!

Disliked:

– Every level is essentially the same formula over and over again.

Mole Mania

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