Molecules is as hard as it is satisfying

People often think of Facebook games as being too easy. Those people clearly haven’t played Molecules. The deceptively simple puzzle game is incredibly difficult, with challenging puzzles and short time limits. It might even be too hard for some. And with bare bones options this can make for a frustrating experience.

As the name implies, Molecules is all about creating, well, molecules. It’s sort of like a sliding block puzzle but with a scientific theme. Each stage consists of a maze and a series of balls, and you’ll need to put them together to form a specific shape. The balls can slide in any direction and will continue to slide until they meet some resistance, be it a wall or another ball. The trick is figuring out how to get the pieces where you need them to be, all at the same time. It’s easy to understand but that doesn’t make solving the puzzles any less hard.


To make things even more challenging, you only have a limited time to solve each puzzle. And often these time limits are pretty harsh, forcing you to reach the solution in a very short period of time. Simply solving many of the puzzles, especially the later ones, is hard enough, but when you factor in the timer things get downright devious when it comes to difficulty.

This isn’t necessarily a problem. Challenge is good, and the satisfaction you get from actually completing a puzzle on time is immense. But the way the game is structured makes things more frustrating than they need to be. This is because Molecules is a strictly linear experience. You move from one puzzle to the next, and that’s it. This means that if you are stuck on a particularly hard puzzle you don’t have much of a choice but to continue to play it until you beat it. You can’t skip past it and come back.


But the gameplay and structure aren’t the only things that are simple about Molecules. Its presentation is very plain, with flat colors and basic shapes. Each stage looks the same visually, right down to the color scheme. There’s also virtually nothing in the way of social features. You can invite friends to play, but that’s it.

Molecules is certainly a solid experience for those looking for a more challenging puzzle game. The core game is great, and will have you scratching your head in search of the right solutions. But at the same time, the rigid structure and stripped down presentation make it a game that doesn’t have much else to offer. This is really a game for those looking for some very challenging puzzle gameplay. And on that note it delivers.