Mochi Mochi Boy may well be one of the most mechanically simple games I’ve ever played, and let me tell you, I’ve played a fair few simple ones. There isn’t all that much to talk about, because, well, it really is that basic. There’s no story present, in fact, it’s relatively bare-bones on that front. The story tells of Mochi Mochi boy out to misadventure again with his friends, only to foolishly step foot into the Devil’s domain. The punishment for this? The devil kidnapped Mochi Mochi Boy’s friends, and now, it falls to him to rescue them all.
The game keeps things very simple from the outset. The main menu consists of just a few choices; Tower, Dungeon, Paint, Gallery, Config, and Credits. The latter is very self explanatory, whereas config is just a fancy way of saying settings. The gallery is where you’ll want to go if you wish to browse through all of the collected friends you’ll gather along the way, each coming with a small bit of info. Now, as for paint, this is a function that allows you to adjust the color of Mochi Mochi Boy, nothing special, but a nice touch nonetheless.
Finally, that leads us to Tower, and Dungeon. These modes are pretty much copy and paste, with slightly varied rules present. Tower is the main event, and arguably where you would spend most of your time, whereas Dungeon simply throws you into ten randomly selected levels to complete. That, ladies and gents, is the bulk sum of the game’s depth. Though, to be absolutely fair to the game, despite its lack of depth, its lack of variation, and its lack of mechanical diversity, for its very cheap cost, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.
Given that the game is a Ratalaika release, you can expect an easy ride as far as achievements are concerned; all of which you can mop up in the space of thirty minutes or less, and none of which are all that difficult to unlock. So, with the fundamentals out of the way, what exactly does the game entail? Mochi Mochi Boy isn’t too unlike the recently released Grass Cutter, being that your task is to cover every tile on the screen in order to move to the next level. The rules, however, are a bit more strict in this game by comparison.
You’ll start each level, whether you’re playing Tower or Dungeon, at a spawn point. The goal is simple; move around each level and cover Mochi Mochi Boy’s body over any tile that can be traversed. Once you’ve completely covered a level’s tiles, you’ll get a success screen and will be shoehorned straight to the next level. The game starts out quite simple, but soon ramps up the difficulty via throwing in some deviously designed levels, as well as throwing in some tricky mechanics. That said, don’t expect much depth, because you wont get that.
Mochi Mochi Boy is perhaps overly simplistic by design, and as such, rarely provides much difference in its play throughout. Sure, the levels may get tougher and the mechanics may alter as new features are introduced, but things to get very samey-samey before long. Then again, for its price, we cant really scoff. When it comes to the game’s handling, you’re only afforded movement in four directions, and truth be told, that’s all you need to keep on top of. There’s a time limit to be mindful of too, but it’s usually very generous throughput.
The rules are simple; you cant cross your own body, meaning if you accidentally isolate a tile and block it off with your body, you’ll need to perform a quick-restart to go at it again. During the initial stages of play, the proceedings are very simple and usually consist of little more than clearing a few straightforward levels. Though, before too long, the game ramps up its difficulty through the introduction of those previously alluded to mechanics. I found myself truly scratching my head on more than one occasion; perseverance is key here.
Most levels are completely boarded off, meaning that if you try to turn into a border, you’ll go nowhere, fast. Eventually, mind, you’ll find that some levels allow you to exit through the borders to come out elsewhere. For instance, exiting to the right would make you appear to the left, a bit like how classic Snake used to play. Soon after that, you’ll be rapidly acquainted with teleporters, spikes that kill you if touched, bombs that explode if you hit a wall, and so forth. Amidst all of that, you’ll find some pick-ups that you’ll need to grab on some levels.
It’s worth remembering which pick-ups are harmful, and which are not. Picking up new friends (slimes) will pad out your gallery, and in a sense, that’s really the core aspect of the Tower mode; finding and saving all of Mochi Mochi Boy’s pals – who seem to have been stuffed in chests and placed in levels at random. When all is said and done, and again for its price, you cant go wrong. Mochi Mochi Boy may indeed lack depth and diversity, but it’s hard to grumble at a game that achieves pretty much most of what it set out to accomplish.
In regards to its visual and audio design, Mochi Mochi Boy is fairly hit and miss. The audio is irritating for one, and does very little to excite, and very much to annoy. It’s that frustrating, I ended up dialing it all the way down to zero. The visuals, on the other hand, are much more passable, though, the lack of detail and the constant use of recycled assets do pave the way for visual repetition, but not so much so that it’s a deal breaker. Bottom line? This wont blow your socks off, but it’s, at the very least, a serviceable journey nonetheless.
Mochi Mochi Boy is a decent game for its budget cost, but as with most things cheap, you really do get what you pay for. Whilst it’s fun by concept, and perhaps even exciting when new mechanics are introduced, repetition ultimately sinks in, and fast. This is very unlikely to blow your socks of, but it’s a serviceable journey nonetheless, and one that doesn’t take itself all that seriously.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.