The word “cute” immediately comes to mind when I think back on my time with Momoka. The platformer from Felwig Games isn’t one that will drop your jaw with dazzling graphics, or roll out mind-blowing new game mechanics, but it is something easy, colorful, and relatively fun to play around with on your phone or tablet. As a whole, Momoka feels very much like a “my first platformer” game, which can either make or break the experience for players.
Momoka is focused around a girl named Momoka who is tasked with saving her people from impending doom. The game does a great job of gradually introducing the mechanics of the game through the evolution of the story. Starting out in a village besieged by arachnids, all that Momoka can do is run and jump. But then, after a bit of time spent tackling some basic platforming maneuvers, she gets her hands on a gun and can turn the fight against the oversized spiders.
Momoka takes place on little globes that the player can run around. If you keep running far enough in one direction you’ll loop around and end up back where you started. Unfortunately, due to the game’s very simplistic visuals, going exploring around these globes is not a very exciting experience and I was often annoyed when I’d take a wrong turn due to the fact that everything in the area looked about the same. On the bright side, because of it being a globe, I was never turned around for very long.
I enjoyed how simple and straightforward the game was, though. It was nice to have a game on my iPad where I didn’t have to worry about energy timers, or other trite mobile game features that are commonplace in games these days. Momoka gave me clear objectives, plenty to explore (enough to warrant using a space ship), and kept the controls very basic. Left and right movement buttons are stashed on the bottom left, and action buttons (that you gradually unlock over time) appear on the right along with the jump button. That’s it, nothing crazy to learn at all.
While I did like how basic Momoka was, and how I could just turn my brain off and enjoy bouncing around, blasting away space bats and spiders with a little peashooters isn’t going to give everyone that same sort of satisfaction that it gave me. Momoka never really challenged me in any way. It was always a matter of literally running around in a circle if I got lost (there is a map, but it’s rather useless), or respawning at one of the game’s many checkpoints if an enemy happened to surprise me or I simply missed a jump and landed on some spikes.
Since the game is so simplistic, I never particularly felt attached to it. I was a girl tasked with saving everyone because everyone said so, and now I must go save them. That’s about as involved as the story was. I wouldn’t blame anyone for throwing in the towel long before the end; the game shows you everything it’s going to offer you fairly early into the adventure.
If you’re in the market for a game to give to your kids who are just getting into gaming, or if you enjoy very basic platforming games, Momoka is a fine choice. But veteran gamers that are looking for something that will put their skills to the test will want to keep on looking.