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Score: 78%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Silkjade
Developer: Silkjade
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Molipop has a good bit of potential, but there are quite a few issues that if resolved, would really help to add some polish to this indie title.

The first and most notable room for improvement would have to be the graphics. While playing through a board, the HUD and tiles all seem blurry as if the images for these sprites were made with a lower resolution than you would normally expect. Consequently, it gets to be a bit hard to focus on the board itself.

That being said, I like the visuals used. The different gems are colored differently enough to keep you from thinking a color belongs to another group and accidentally try to form non-existent line, something that is a must for a Bejewled-clone like Molipop. The rest of the images, the backgrounds and borders also come through nicely, just blurry.

The second graphical note that needs to be mentioned is the font used for the numbers. The game uses a bubbly, rainbow-colored font. Unfortunately, this combined with the resolution issue makes it hard to see things like what level you are on, how many items you need to clear before going to the next level and other similar functions.

Audio is also a mixed bag. There are several different background tracks that loop pretty well. The music itself is fairly varied; you can go from a sound clip that belongs in a soap-opera to something with a bit more tempo. Unfortunately, because of the lengthy levels, if you find a tune you don't like, you might want to turn off the audio.


Molipop takes plenty of cues from Bejeweled, unfortunately, the changes it adds don't make the game any more fun and actually take a bit away. But if these issues were addressed, the feel of the game would improve dramatically.

You are presented with a board full of game pieces; you swap two adjacent tiles to line up rows and columns of three or more. If you line up four colors, one of the tiles get replaced with a butterfly. Clicking this butterfly clears out all of the jewels surrounding it. If you clear five tiles, you get a gold star which can eliminate all of the same colored tiles you switch it with. Other objects that appear on the board, like jars, can't be switched and can only be removed with one of the other two special tiles.

Molipop offers three gameplay styles: Action, Puzzle and Story. Action Mode is what you would expect from most games like this. You just progress through as many of the levels as you can by clearing out tiles until you reach a board that has no possible moves on it.

Puzzle Mode has you racing against a clock in order to clear boards as fast as possible. The last mode, Story Mode (the place that I unfortunately went to first) has the most complex rule set and gets to be the more annoying of the three modes.

Story Mode lets you play through several series of levels that have very particular pass conditions. For instance, the West Asia levels will only let you progress if you generate and click on a specific number of butterflies. Another location requires you to generate stars, while yet another one forces you to deal with multiple types of special tiles.

One of the problems I found with this mode was the sheer amount of effort and planning it took to do things like reveal butterflies and stars. When I found myself having to plan five or six clicks ahead, I found the overall fun-feel of the game went down dramatically. I also couldn't help but notice that if another butterfly got destroyed because it was next to one I clicked, I didn't get the credit for that particular butterfly -- something that annoyed me greatly. This mode should definitely be left for the more advanced players or ones that have gotten tired of the other modes. Do not try this one right off the bat.


Molipop's different gameplay modes have different feelings of difficulty. Action Mode just has you plugging away at the board without any special conditions. You can make steady progress just by matching three, but since Story Mode doesn't let you progress unless you meet certain conditions, a level can really drag on. These levels take a lot of forethought and at times seem to be more trouble than they're worth.

Puzzle Mode seems to be a fairly good middle ground between the other two. Since you have a time limit, it is more difficult than the Action mode, but it doesn't require nearly the amount of planning that Story Mode does.

Game Mechanics:

Molipop's mechanics couldn't really be simpler. You select the piece that you want to swap and either click on the adjacent tile you want to rotate it with, or while still holding down the mouse-button, drag it in the same direction.

There are just a few of the game's mechanics that got to me while playing. One of them was previously mentioned in gameplay, the multiple butterflies not counting for multiple points issue. Another aspect was the fact that I took a bit of extra effort to line up three butterflies, but they did not collapse and I didn't get any extra points for it. Consequently, I clicked on the second butterfly afterwards to move it away and blew up all three stars.

Molipop has a lot of little issues that need to be cleaned up, but since this is an indie group, I feel that there is room for improvement and who knows, maybe there will be a future release that has some of the more noticeable issues resolved.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, 800MHz processor, 128 MB-RAM, 30MB Hard Drive Space, DirectX 7 or greater

Test System:

Alienware Aurora m9700 Laptop, Windows XP Professional, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2.41 GHz, 2 GB Ram, Duel NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB Video Cards, DirectX 9.0c

Sony PlayStation 2 Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 Sony PlayStation Portable Hot Brain

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated