Vidroid’s “Molecats” is a puzzle game in vein of “Lemmings” and “Pipemania”, where you need to get one or more molecats to the exit. To do this, you need to traverse an underground maze by rotating tiles and/or by reversing, stopping or by making your molecat run really, really fast. So far, so simple.
However, there are many maps with obstacles in the way, ranging from mechanical to fauna and animal. In addition to that, knowing when to rotate a section of the map to access other areas becomes a crucial element to succeeding.
A molecat is, as everyone knows, a cat/mole hybrid. Once you reach the exit point, you are given 1 to 3 points depending on how well you did. The start of some sections of the map requires a certain number of total stars, so if you don’t have at least the required you would have to replay a map that you did badly on to increase your star total.
Special objects can be collected for side-maps. Well, at least as long as you have picked up enough of them. Furthermore, as you progress in “Molecats”, the maps get larger and trickier (especially when you have multiple molecats running around). Fortunately enough for you and me though, the special abilities that you gain throughout the game will help immensely along the way.
Other than that, being able to reverse your molecat can save time, running allows you to ignore some objects like switches and of course stopping a molecat is useful when you want them to meet at a set point. In addition, some molecats are afraid of certain creatures, and others aren’t, which further complicates things.
You can also zoom in and out of the map, and that gives you a better view of what’s going on, and enabling you to sort of plan ahead Some sections also starts with a weird four panel comic strip, which is just there. So It’s hard to tell whether it’s part of the overall story or just a little side story, as it doesn’t really make any sense.
The difficulty builds up fairly slowly and by the fifth floor, you have to deal with multiple molecats, switches, yeti-like creatures and plants. It’s also from this point you’ll either be an ardent fan or just give up.
The controls are fine and are responsive. However, the abilities will only work in the current active tile, which means you need to remember to click in it before you can use them or rotate the tile. You can’t use the mouse to click on the abilities either – although they depress, nothing happens.
Another problem is that it isn’t always easy to see what color the doors are as they all look the same, even though they mostly need specifically coloured keys.
Nevertheless, all in all, I still find “Molecats” to be a fun, creative and rather original puzzle game. So if you’re really into challenging puzzle games, then “Molecats” might just be the game for you (especially if you like games such as “Lemmings” and “Pipemania”).
+ Graphics very nice with some detail on characters and objects, and they animate smoothly
+ Music is very weird but does fit the game
+ Fairly original
+ There are plenty of levels to be played
– You need to remember to activate a tile before it can be rotated. Special abilities only work with the activated tile
– Some levels feel that they can be completed only with luck
– Whether or not you will want to continue after the 5th floor will depend on whether you like puzzle games or not. Game will probably appeal more to the hard-core puzzler than the casual one.
– The game can get somewhat repetitive
Sound and music: 3/5
Replay value: 3/5
If you love puzzle games then you’ll must certainly enjoy “Molecats”. Especially since the game has a “Lemmings” sort of feel to it, but with less explosions and more molecats. However, with the constantly increasing difficulty, you will need to really love this sort of games to be willing to continue with it.
Format: PC Download
Spent time: +2 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating: +6
Price: 11.15 Euros via Steam
Robin Ek – Editor
The review code was provided by Vidroid.
The Gaming Ground
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