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Mooniacs Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on July 4, 2011


Mooniacs
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Upbeat cartoonish style; slick, smooth physics and animations.
  • 90 unlockable stages; spread out over three worlds.
  • Lots of interesting bonus features; multiple endings, wallpapers, meta-game for additional stages.

CONS

  • Unrefined controls; anything short of full-power is a shot in the dark, also occasionally detects moving as an attempt at shooting.
  • Unfocused; swings from puzzle to trial-and-error seemingly at random.

VERDICT

If all you’re after is a charmingly cute physics-based game to add to your collection, Mooniacs will serve you well, though its lack of focus diminishes its replay value


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When transporting Jujubees, it’s probably best not to tie the crate to your rocket with a rope. At least, this is what I have gathered from the introduction to Mooniacs by Bad Juju Games and Namco Networks. So, as it would happen, in order to collect the precious cargo you’ll have to combine the capabilities of each Mooniac by bouncing them around the screen in a precise manner.

With that said, ‘precise’ isn’t easy to gauge. Players only have one try to collect as many jujubees as possible by launching a Mooniac from the bottom of a vertically designed level. Each character possesses unique properties, being heavier or bouncier and so on, but it’s their shape that really makes things a shot in the dark. ‘Plink’ is round, making shots easier to plan out, however ‘Blube’ and ‘Hana’ aren’t quite so lucky, being square and oblong-shaped in turn. This is further complicated by a slingshot drag-to-aim system that can drastically change a shot’s power with nothing more than a slight twitch of the finger.

What manages to save Mooniacs is the handful of ‘eureka’ moments where a level is designed more like a puzzle than a physics simulator. More often than not these levels require you to utilize a couple Mooniacs in order to exploit unique interactions between them. If all goes well points and stars are awarded to unlock additional stages, with 90 currently available.

The overall presentation of Mooniacs is nothing short of fantastic, with a cheery aesthetic bolstered by an upbeat soundtrack. This makes it easy to push on despite the regular handful of less engaging levels, though you could also justify your progress to help with the meta-game of unlocking the next set of 10 levels for free.

As physics based titles go, Mooniacs feels a bit lost, stuck half-way between a puzzler like Cut The Rope and a trial-and-error simulator like Angry Birds. The broad gameplay may appeal to a larger audience, but it also dilutes its addictive appeal.

Screenshots

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