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Momonga Pinball Adventures Review

By Dave Flodine, on February 11, 2013


Momonga Pinball Adventures
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Using pinball mechanics in small levels to tell a story.
  • Gliding sections.
  • Very clever use of multi-ball.

CONS

  • The problems inherit in pinball come to the forefront when trying to progress a narrative.

VERDICT

A game where you knock a Japanese Flying Squirrel around as a pinball in small goal oriented levels. It's not too shabby.


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Momonga Pinball Adventures is the story of a tribe of Japanese flying squirrels that are captured by a clan of owls, and thus our hero Momo is mentored by a Panda to go and save them, later running into a Mole on the journey. This is going to be one of those games isn't it. The core gameplay is pinball, as you use paddles to fling Momo against targets and through passageways all the way to the end of each individual level. There's something fascinating about taking the mechanics of a high score game like pinball and using them in a game based around narrative progression, but does it end up working? Well... sort of.

Each level uses small little pockets of pinball gameplay in quick succession. Usually there are a couple targets or a lever to hit, or a passageway to aim at. Tapping the side of the screen on either the left or right will engage that flipper, and as this is pinball, that's all you need to know control wise. There are sections where you glide along tilting the iPhone, but think of those as quick changes of scenery. The main game is making sure Momo does not fall under the flippers. Instead of losing a ball like in normal pinball, Momo has three hearts, and losing all three will restart the level. One really clever addition is how this game approaches multi-ball, with another character being thrown into the game, and thus you have two 'life bars' to contend with. The issue about these segments might already be apparent. Unless you're a pinball wizard, most players lose their multi-ball almost immediately as it's too much input to keep all balls going. When you're tied to actually having to keep each ball going for fear of restarting the level, this puts a lot of pressure on the player, especially when the levels aren't designed to allow much error.

Presentation wise, we have a low polygon 3D world and characters, excused by a decent use of colour and design. Let's call it the Blizzard method. The game likes to show off these worlds too as there are sections where you get to sit back and watch Momo travel on rails through some of the locations. It's obvious that the cute animal characters and colorful landscapes would definitely appeal to a younger audience.

But even in trying to streamline pinball by offering it in small enclosed locations with clear goals, the mechanics of the game play against it. What makes pinball worth playing despite the bad luck possible by all but the most dedicated players is the exploration of the board, and the random occurrences when the ball hits a ramp or gets locked. Now traveling through this world replaces some of that problem, but certainly not enough.

Screenshots

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