Why should you walk when swinging is in? Made famous by such games as Bionic Commando and Umihara Kawase, Kekitopu’s MochiMochi has players using momentum to get to the end of of each stage. Does its one-button setup hold depth, or is this method of transportation passe?
MochiMochi is not only a platformer, but also a love story. Players take control of the pink cat Suama, who must make her way through 20 levels to meet up with her boyfriend Mochi. Make it to the end and players are treated to a kiss, complete with a saccharine jingle.
The presentation here is more Hello Kitty than Mario, priding itself with its bright colors, poppy music, and carefree attitude. This is also reflected in the backdrops of each stage – Suama will make her way through worlds of clouds, donuts, chocolate bars, and even the night sky. It might not be the most masculine title out there – don’t expect to see anything on the level of Doom – but those with an open mind will appreciate the light and carefree tone the game sets out to establish.
However, once players get down to the nitty-gritty, they’ll quickly realize that MochiMochi provides a challenge. Made up of 20 levels, players will click their mouse to have Suama extend her arm. From there, players can then use the momentum from the swing to get her to the next point. Touch the bottom or top of the screen however, and it’s back to the beginning of the level.
Everything is done by clicking, which can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. Some may like the “simplicity” in the control scheme, but the game quickly ramps up its challenge early on. There is a definite learning curve that comes with timing the proper swing, and learning the physics in the game can prove to be somewhat tricky. It’s never unfair, but it pulls no punches throughout.
Later levels dial up the challenge too. Despite successful runs lasting a few minutes (if at that), it is far too easy to hit a block or a flying obstacle (like a peppermint). This is one game where practice makes perfect, and memorizing the level layouts will get you that much farther ahead. Some may balk at its challenge, sure, but those willing to test their might will enjoy coming back for just one more run. Just be warned that players will largely see the same elements in the first level as they will the last – some changes to the elements of each stage would have gone a long way to ease the repetition that sets in.
Of course, it’s not just about getting to the end of the stage. In order to unlock additional levels, players must collect onigiri that are strewn about each level. There’s no need to collect all three, but these tasty treats are often placed in harm’s way, forcing players to do some daring maneuvers. They certainly add some additional challenge to the game, but thankfully adept players can collect them in the levels of their choosing if they feel more comfortable in certain stages.
Rounding things out is a great soundtrack that combines synthesized beats with lively melodies. It fits the game like a glove, and would be right at home in the catalogs of chiptune artists out there today.
MochiMochi’s one button setup and sugary sweet presentation hides some serious challenge. Those willing to cut their teeth will enjoy a physics-based platformer that can “hang” with the greats.