Molecats is a fun new puzzle game that reminded me a lot of Lemmings where you have a game character that is constantly moving forward and the only way to control them is to change their environment. In this case you do that by rotating entire sections of the level map that has been divided up into square tiles; some moveable and others locked. While getting your Molecats from the start to the exit is the primary goal it is also only part of the challenge, as you quickly uncover levels full of collectibles and non-lethal traps and monsters.
Part of the joy of this game and one of the reasons it will delight younger gamers is that there is no way to actual lose the game, but there are plenty of ways to do better, increasing that star score and earning bragging rights for finding some truly well-hidden secrets. At its core the game is brilliant in its simplicity while providing a scalable challenge suitable for the entire family.
Controls are simple enough, as the Molecats move forward at a steady pace until you tell them to run. Running not only speeds up the game but also allows you to bypass certain environmental elements that would normally trigger if they were walking; things like falling into shafts or triggering pressure plates. There is also a fast-forward function that speeds up the gameplay if you don’t want to suffer the Molecat’s leisurely pace, but don’t mistake this for running or try to use to shave time off the clock.
These Molecats also have the uncanny ability to stick to the walls and ceiling, creating some unique path-planning strategies as you rotate level tiles to steer your feline friends towards new parts of the level to collect mushrooms and other items before leading them to the exit. And yes; you are being timed, which just adds another competitive element to the replayability of the game.
The graphics are incredible charming with colorful level designs and adorably simplistic animation for the Molecats. There is a nice variety to the visual themes ranging from subterranean to sci-fi with great use of contrast and bright colors. The presentation is complete with some quirky music and sound effects including an oddly creepy “sigh of relief” noise the Molecats make when they reach the exit.
Your completion time will vary based on how good you are at solving logic puzzles, but you should easily get several hours out of Molecats and the game is virtually bug-free and tremendously fun and surprisingly challenging as you get further into the game. The difficulty ramps up in later levels and younger gamers may need some assistance in completing the game.
For a game that is impossible to lose, Molecats is certainly a challenge to win, but with adorable felines on a dedicated march to collect everything stashed about these maze-like levels, you’ll have a most satisfying puzzle-solving time ahead of you should you decide to venture into the subterranean world of Molecats. It’s brilliant in conception and marvelously executed, and in my opinion perhaps better suited for mobile gaming or even the Nintendo Switch, but for now I can easily recommend checking it out on Steam.