Momonga Pinball Adventures Review

September 18, 2016 Written by

Momonga is the latest arcade game to be released by Paladin Studios

...a developer that is no stranger to creating beautifully designed arcade games on mobile platforms. What began as a side project in 2011, Momonga is a pinball game with a twist of adventure, similar to titles like Sonic Spinball or Mario Pinball Land. The game loosely follows the story of a Japanese flying squirrel after his village was attacked by owls, as he teams up with a panda and a fly to get revenge. While there are occasional cutscenes and some brief dialogue, the story is engaging yet doesn’t get in the way of the arcade-style gameplay mechanics.


Momonga Pinball Adventures includes 9 levels of story mode, with 3 bonus levels (including an endless pinball stage) along with multiple challenges for each stage. The art design is charming, and the cast of characters is unique and enjoyable. Visually, the game has a minimalistic cartoon feel that works with the care-free pinball gameplay. My only complaint, when it comes to the characters, is the lack of any real emotion on faces, but at the end of the day, this is a Pinball game (or is it an adventure game?).

There’s none of the familiar buzzers and flashing lights associated with traditional arcade pinball games, but instead, the player flings Momo the flying squirrel into rocks, targets, and giant owls as he progresses along the adventure. There’s also a few occasions where Momo or his pals can be flown through the landscape while collecting stars or desserts, and while they’re limited, they offer up a change of pace from the traditional pinball-style mechanics.

The levels are well designed and include multiple pinball “zones” that are interconnected with tunnels, paths, or ramps, and for the most part, each level is unique and offers its own sets of challenges or secret areas. It’s a more casual approach to the pinball game, but there were times where I wish I could shake my laptop or bump the ball in just the right direction to get that authentic feel of an actual pinball machine, but the gameplay itself isn’t terribly difficult until you start progressing into the later challenges.

Momonga does a solid job at fulfilling its initial purpose: an endless pinball game with a unique sense of style. After completing the main storyline, you unlock a stage in which you solve puzzle after puzzle in an everlasting and randomized loop. Once again, however, there are only about 10 different variations, so once you pass so many levels, it becomes more of a game about survival than adventure, but it does provide a relaxing and casual pinball experience that can be a departure from the faster pace experienced with story mode.

The game’s biggest fault is that, just as you start to get the hang of gameplay, it ends.

With just 9 levels in the story and each level lasting for about 1-3 minutes, the initial playthrough shouldn’t take you more than about an hour at the most, and while there is a solid amount of variety in the game, it just isn’t long enough. There are some strong points in the storyline, like the addition of additional characters that team up with Momo to solve challenges in a cooperative manner, but with just a handful of levels utilizing the co-op gameplay style, it leaves you wanting more. To make matters worse, the games ending sets the stage for another adventure, but alas, the player is faced with the words “to be continued,” almost feeling like the game was intentionally cut short or incomplete.

After beating each stage, additional challenges are added to boost the replay value of each stage, including time limits, accuracy goals, and hidden areas. While the challenges do add quite a bit of difficulty to the overall gameplay, they can get very specific and often frustrating due to near perfection required to complete them.


The Verdict

Theress a lot to be enjoyed in the short adventure of Momo, and to be clear, this is not a bad game. It's just too short to be enjoyed the way it could. Everything from the charming atmosphere to the enjoyable arcade makes Momonga a title worth checking out. The abrupt ending leaves a lot to be desired and it's a shame. This game could be the Japanese flying squirrel pinball adventure title we all long for.

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Mark Klink

Mark is a self-proclaimed nerd who has an undying need to take anything and everything tech related apart at the seams and break it down to the basics. His interest in video games reaches all the way back to his early days of playing Road Rash on the Sega Genesis. Games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Unreal Tournament only fueled Mark’s desire to get his hands dirty in video game design by offering in-depth level editors and a budding modding community. But alas, Mark was never a very good programmer, so when he’s not playing video games, he delves into information security and network engineering including Capture the Flag Tournaments and writing on current cyber security issues.