Mole Mania – Shayne Warden

I only discovered Mole Mania last autumn while watching a video that was showing in-game footage of various titles. It took a little sleuthing for me to find out what it was, but I was persistent; what I saw of this game reminded me of Adventures of Lolo (which I love) and had me wanting to know more.

Once I’d decided that I needed Mole Mania in my life, the hunt for a complete copy began which took quite some time. See, just as I had never known about this wonderful oddity from Nintendo and the mind of Shigeru Miyamoto, so too does it seem like it didn’t sell in any notable number that would make this hunt easy.

Months passed, but finally (unbeknownst to me), a complete copy turned up.

My wife worked out a deal on my behalf (I didn’t know she was also looking 🙂 and when it arrived, I started to play. Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later – and to my surprise – it became the game of the month for March here on Yokoi Kids!

So, what – in my estimation – makes this a special game filled with charm and the right amount of challenge? The total package really. The graphics are bright, the characters adorable, the puzzles clever (especially since the player has to consider both an upper and lower plane + objects + enemies), the boss fights interesting, and the auto saves via battery backup after every screen are all standout features. The little animations – upon rescuing Muddy’s children and wife – are cute and make for a great driving force to complete the game; the Mole family is too cute to be apart!

Aside from those triumphs, there are two niggling things I’d like to address:

1 – The soundtrack loops are far too short. As a world would ware on (especially the later stages that are larger with more complex puzzle screens), the songs would really start to get grating as they would repeat too quickly.

2 – Some of the late stage difficulty balance varies too wildly: From one room to the next, a puzzle can go from total head scratcher to 15-seconds-and-done. Don’t get me wrong, a nice softball of a puzzle makes for a good breather after a string of really tough ones, but it did strike me as the devs possibly running out of puzzle ideas?

Regardless, the game has been an absolute treat to play, and making it to the end was a blast!

My man, Muddy, having a well-deserved hot chocolate after a hard fought journey to rescue the family; I celebrated with a Coke Zero”

So, is this really the end for Mole Mania? Unfortunately, it seems that way for now. I can only hope that – someday, somehow – someone in one of the R&D groups remembers they have this in the catalogue and says, “Let’s revisit this!”

I can only hope.–Shayne Warden

Hopefully I never have to save my kids from an irate farmer. The dairy farmer down the road mean-mugs us whenever we go for a walk though...
Twitter @JazzyJazzerton

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