If you think pinball has nothing to do with adventuring then this little squirrel is about to prove you wrong. Before we continue, those allergic to cuteness should stop reading since the colourful world of Momonga will make your head spin.
First off, what the heck is a Momonga? Well, it's a Japanese dwarf flying squirrel that just so happens to be one of the cutest critters ever created. Don't believe me? Click here to see for yourself. Anyway, you play Momonga Pinball Adventures by flicking Momo (the most heroic squirrel in town) around with pinball flippers to solve puzzles and advance through stages. Additionally, some parts make the bite-sized fellow glide to his next destination. The gameplay couldn't be simpler since all you do is play pinball and tilt the GamePad to steer while flying (or optionally tap buttons if you prefer). As you progress, you'll come across various situations that provide decent challenges to overcome. At the beginning, evil owls invade your peaceful home so you train with a wise panda who helps get you into shape to begin your journey. Then, you meet a friendly mole-rat, rescue a firefly, and break into owl territory where you confront those dastardly owls once and for all. When you finally get to battle the owls, the gameplay becomes quite challenging and unique as you work together with your firefly buddy. Overall, the combination of satisfying mechanics and intuitive controls makes this one rewarding pinball adventure.
As I already mentioned, Momonga Pinball Adventures takes place in a delightfully colourful world. What makes it come alive are the lovable characters, charming pieces of music, cartoony sound effects, vibrant palettes, and cheerful animations (especially when you see Momo celebrate at the end of each stage). All of this adds up to create a world that'll make you smile throughout if you have even the slightest sense of wonder. Sure, it may not be groundbreaking, but the amount of care put into crafting it definitely shows.
The entire story campaign can easily be completed in one sitting which is kind of disappointing. There are only nine stages to work through and each one takes a few minutes to overcome. The later stages will probably take you longer especially if you have to retry after losing all of your hearts. On the plus side, you can replay these stages to accomplish four optional tasks each such as collecting all of the stars, finding secret rooms, and having a limit for how many times each flipper can be used. On top of these, you unlock three mini-games in the form of flying around as the panda as he eats desserts, playing a pachinko machine, and testing your skills in an arena (which is my favourite since it contains loads of non-stop challenges). There's also a leaderboard for every mini-game and stage. Therefore, if you want to stay in the world of Momonga after you've done the story then there are plenty of reasons to stick around.
Throughout my journey, I came across a few bugs that took me out of the experience. Thankfully, none of them were game-breaking. One issue had the audio become distorted and loud which made me shut off and restart the Wii U to fix it. Also, the flippers would sometimes get stuck in the extended position. Whenever this happened, I just tapped the corresponding button and they returned to normal. However, I did lose the odd life from this problem because I wasn't always aware that they were stuck before it was too late.
Momonga Pinball Adventures is an enjoyable little game that I highly recommend to anyone with a soft-spot for cuteness and a thirst for simple yet challenging gameplay. In the end, it may be short but you won't regret your journey with Momo when it's all over.
- + Cheerful, cute, and colourful world with lovable characters will make you smile
- + Fun mix of pinball and flying gameplay
- + Satisfying challenges and nifty mini-games
- - A few glitches occasionally take away from the otherwise enjoyable gameplay
- - The main campaign is very short