Molemen Must Die! - Steam/PC Review

Whack-a-Mole.

  • System: Steam, Mac
  • Publisher: Mokomoto
  • Developer: Mokomoto
  • Release Date: March 22, 2017

Molemen Must Die! Launch Trailer

Who it Caters to

Anyone looking for an action packed platformer that pits you against a horde of cute yet deadly moles, Molemen Must Die! is surely the right pick for you. Molemen Must Die! is nonstop fun because there are no grueling boss battles or secret stages you have to unlock, it’s simply you having to survive an onslaught of moles and other times geckos in order to protect the bomb from damage. Ok, we lied it’s not that simple because the longer you stay alive the more bloodthirsty these Moles get, and all you have to rely on is your ability to adapt and react as fast as possible.

What to Expect

Molemen Must Die! is a shmup/bullet hell but instead of a horde of ships flying at you, it’s just a lot of Moles. Expect to die quite frequently on the first few attempts as you boot up the game because everything is so unexpected, even for vets like us who are very comfortable with lots of action happening on screen. Everything is thrown at you randomly and so times when you think you have the upper hand, you come to realize that RNG just isn’t on your side. As you progress, more weapons will unlock but they'll drop at random times. You’ll have to adjust accordingly, wishing and praying to receive specific weapon buffs or power-ups to ensure your survival. All you must do is maintain your patience, and fight for honor in order to protect your angry president.

Gameplay

Bullets and Moles Flying Everywhere! Bullet Mole Hell!

The very first thing you’ll come to realize in Molemen Must Die! is that there’s no tutorial that guides you step by step as to what each perk does for your character. This game has no mercy on your soul and wants you to figure everything out on the fly as you play. While that idea may rub off the wrong way with some, this free-for-all battle style is actually quite endearing. It feels like being hired for a new job and being thrown straight into the shark’s pit to test your abilities. We thought that was very cool because the more you play it felt like a tutorial in itself because you come to understand how each weapon works and at what moment to use them effectively as you unlock them. Mind you, each time you die the power-ups you receive are different, so that’s also something you’ll need to be mindful of. It’s an all out war to see just how far you can go and achieve a record-breaking high score to brag about, which is the thrill of it. Your revenge score can be seen just before you jump into battle via the scoreboard, which updates in real time. You can also view your revenge score on the bomb as you descend deeper into the Earth, and is a reminder not to screw up.

It’s so easy to flounder in Molemen Must Die! because most of the time your attention is so focused on not trying to get whacked by a mole, that you actually do get whacked by them predominantly. The minute you think there’s a chance, a group of moles appear out of the blue and surround you without warning. Of course, you’re able to hop and evade any incoming enemies, but that can sometimes be a daunting task since you’re also trying not to fall to your death. We might as well give you a little taste of what to expect for weapons, as you’ll be running into them quite often as they drop down via crates. The first tool in your bag and is essentially your default tool is the regular gun. You’ll need to warm up your thumb for this one because you’ll be tapping it a lot, especially when RNG comes along and throws more moles at you.

Unlike in other shooters where you could hold down the button and have infinite shots with your default gun, Molemen Must Die! doesn’t allow that. You can, however, hold the button down for other guns such as the powerful machine gun, minigun, among many others. There are a plethora of weapons that pop up on screen for you to use, so it becomes a strategy of whether or not to even use the dropped weapons or not.

Some are so useless that oftentimes it puts you under more pressure to survive than if you had just stuck with your regular gun. Other times, of course, you’ll be laughing to the bank, for example with the shotgun and bounce shot perk which we’ll get into shortly. Some of our favorite guns to use are the tried and true machine gun along with the rocket launcher that does a ton of damage over time. Now, let us talk a little bit about the perks that are always randomly generated each time you play through the game. You’ll want to be paying attention to these perks as well because much like your weapons, there may be some that are entirely useless to your adventure and put you in turmoil.

One prime example, of course, is when the perk becomes “Twice more moles” or “explosive enemies” and so now your way of approach will either need to be slow and careful or fast and furious. You have up to 3 perks each time you play, with each new one taking the old slot of the previous perk. Perhaps the best perk that gives you the best XP and multi-point output definitely have to be the bounce shot perk, because each time you shoot any weapon whether it be your default or say the shotgun, every bullet will bounce off the wall which helps so much when you’re being bombarded. Watch as your high score skyrockets because enemies can’t keep up with all the bullets on screen, while you laugh all the way down collecting armor and more weapons to satisfy your needs. Unfortunately, there’s no weapon holster meaning that you’re only able to equip one weapon at a time so as we mentioned earlier, make sure that the weapon you decide to use is actually going to benefit you or not.

We also can’t forget the bombs you receive as you progress through the game as well. You start off with one bomb and what that essentially does is, when you feel too threatened by all the moles blitzing you just tap on your right trigger button to send them all to the next dimension. There’s one chance to use it well throughout most of the game so make sure to use it at the perfect time. It’s all a race against time and time really isn’t in the mood to cooperate with you, so it becomes this fast-paced thrill that is truly a heart pumping experience. This is the type of game you’d want to play after a long hard day at work, and can simply let off all the steam on these moles and geckos you encounter.

As a heads up, those geckos we speak of are some truly annoying creatures because they take so long to die and they’re so relentless. They don’t care what weapon you have or how godly you are with reactions, these geckos will simply hop at you with the intent to kill and crush whatever’s left of your soul towards the end. Patience is really the key to racking up massive points because the more you wait for the right perks to roll around, the more fun it becomes. You could be spending a good 15 minutes playing with unsuccessful attempts then suddenly RN Jesus pops up to bless your tormented soul with 3 perfect perks to assist you on getting above 1 million.

Sadly we only managed to get around 800,000 before we wrote this review, but we’ll certainly keep trying until we can amass more than at least 2 million.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Overall, Molemen Must Die! Is a simple concept but a challenging experience as you desperately trying to cling onto your high score the deeper you go. While the weapon selection isn’t vast when compared to other titles, the point behind it is to use what’s in your arsenal to the best of your abilities. We, of course, would’ve loved more but then perhaps the game wouldn’t have felt so thrilling the longer we played it. The real-time leaderboard is a huge plus because you don’t really need to say an “online” feature to keep you thirsty for more.

Multiplayer in this game would honestly be a complete mess because single player alone is already wild and frantic. The moment someone else were to hop into the fray you’d probably find yourself dying more frequently due to the excessive bullets flying around. It would be an interesting concept though if say each player would receive different perks each time to keep things fresh. Be that as it may, the single player experience is truly an exciting one and we honestly suggest that you try it out just to see how much of a blast it is.

Honey's Pros:

  • Wild and frantic gameplay.
  • The randomly chosen perks are such a fun way to keep the game feeling fresh and invigorating, without taking too much out of the player.
  • Levels are always randomly generated as well.
  • It’s cheap on Steam now! BUY IT!

Honey's Cons:

  • Just more weapons would be nice.

Honey's Final Verdict:

The title reminds us of the classic film Romeo Must Die, where Jet Li, DMX, and the late Aaliyah had to fight their way through a horde of enemies using whatever they could find. Perhaps this was the inspiration behind the game who knows, but what we do know is that Molemen Must Die! is one experience worth trying and is a great way to bring people together to see just who can go the farthest without dying. We’d like to give a shout out to the team at Mokomoto for giving us this great opportunity to play their game and share our thoughts to the world. Have you played Molemen Must Die!? If so, what did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to share your favorite articles on Twitter and Facebook to keep the honey’s community buzzing!

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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