About The Game
Momonga Pinball Adventures is a unique pinball game, where you bounce through different worlds. On the way, you team up with friends to defeat enemies and conquer boss fights.
A little flying squirrel takes on the forces of evil - join Momo, Panda and Fry in a quest to save the momongas from the claws of the evil owls.
Momonga Pinball Adventures is a different kind of pinball. Instead of regular cabinets, you bounce a flying squirrel through different levels.
Enemies, boss fights, exploration - it has all the ingredients of good old action-adventure games, but with flippers!
Join Momo in the first episode of an epic adventure to save his tribe.
One day, evil owls turned the Momonga Village to ashes.
They took the Momonga tribe and vanished...but one momonga got away.
Left for dead, a young Momo was found by a panda in the outskirts of the village.
A scar went deep from the top of his head to the tip of his tail. The panda brought him to his sanctuary to heal his wounds.
This is where the story begins. Help Momo face the owls and free his tribe.
Since the early 80’s when I sat watching my dad rack up a few high scores on the pinball tables of the arcades before taking me to get my Pac Man fix I always had a something of a gaming love for pinball.
I was never any good at actual real tables of course (I’m still not either) but over the years I’ve got the chance to play various console versions with varying degrees of success and enjoyment.
Those of us with a Wii U aren’t exactly starved of pinball options from the semi realistic zen pinball 2 and older vc games like Nes pinball, Pokémon or Mario ball that added more story based aspects to its game.
Momongo pinball plays a lot more like Mario ball than any of the more traditional style pinball games which given the number of more realistic options Zen Studios has on offer is probably a wise choice and one that potentially gives more freedom to the developers.
One of the strangest aspects of the game comes with the main character Momo a flying Japanese dwarf squirrel.
Why a creature who can open up and fly would want to spend so much time squashed up in a little ball is still something of a mystery to me.
But regardless his tribe has been taken and he’s the only one in the group left to do anything about it.
You’ll first go through a fairly brief tutorial with a giant sick carrying Panda.
The story is a little flaky in places a Japanese squirrel that’s had his family stolen by a bunch of owls is being trained by a Chinese panda and soon comes across a fire fly sidekick.
But it’s a pinball game and should be judged on game play and control rather than the whimsical story.
Thankfully for Momo the controls work perfectly and despite the games levels not being set up and laid out in pinball table style they still all play in similar fashions.
Ring the bell to get some help from your fire fly friend then go in for the knock out.
The biggest issue the game has is the lack of levels.
I completed all the games 12 levels in around 90 minutes, the ending confirmed what I had felt by the half way point, the game only felt like it was half finished or at least only the first act of a bigger game.
Of the 12 levels that are included 3 are high score chasing mini games leaving only 9 full levels.
Each of the 9 main levels contain 5 challenges to give you a reason to come back and aim for something new, these vary from level to level such as collect a certain amount of stars, break a set number of boxes in so many attempts ect.
Some of the challenges are far tougher than others to complete and for those dedicated enough should give at the very least an extra 2 or 3 hours game play (perhaps much more for those less experienced)
Each of the 5 challenges can only be attempted one at a time so even if for example on your first play through a level you did everything required to pass all the challenges it will only take into consider the challenge your actually on at the time.
For some this might prove far too frustrating but given the small amount of levels it’s probably the best option for the game overall.
The levels themselves are usually spilt across multiple areas.
Early on you’ll be breaking targets to open access to new paths but later it will involve breaking walls (something that’s also done to access hidden areas for score boosts) and taking down enemy owls with the help of your fire fly side kick.
Momo might be a flying squirrel who spends most of the game scrunched up in a ball but there are a couple of sections where he will get to show off his flying skills in the game.
These are fairly brief affairs but perhaps further show what might be to come in any futire instalment in the future.
The flying is controlled with the game pads gyro control (this isn’t optional) not everyone is a fan of gro controls and for the most part I prefer button and physical controls myself too but the gyro options here work very well.
I’ve played many a game in the last few years that’s seen the slightest tilt send things flying across the screen you certainly won’t have to worry about any issues on that front .
Guachinko is my personal favourite of the 3 mini games, while it's easy to play it's not as easy to score as highly as you might expect!
The 3 mini games are all simple little high score chasing affairs the first is Panda’s dream that tasks you with helping Panda fly through the air trying his best to avoid clouds, and eating doughnuts, cake and pizza to help increase his score (along with distance travelled) like Momo’s flying sections the game is purely motion controlled.
The second mini game Guachinko is my particular favourite a form of pinball I actually did spend a lot of time playing at home in my young years as my Granddad hand carved & painted a table very similar to this for me.
The 3rd mini game is the arena, this will perhaps be the most popular choice for many as it plays more like the normal game and you’ll keep on ging until all 3 lives are lost.
Destroying targets, owls and crates are the key to a big score here. (Or so I presume my high score here really isn’t that big!)
The arena can only be unlocked after beating the final level of the main game.
As it’s a pinball game high scores do have some relevance in the game with every level having it’s own high score table (this includes the regular levels not just mini games)
Nine leader boards for both worldwide and Wii U friends are present.
Each completed mission in the 9 main levels adds bonus points to your score so if you score well on a level with say 1 or 2 of the extra missions completed and someone else does equally as well (perhaps even a bit worse) but has all of the level missions completed they’ll rank a higher overall score than you which should provide some high score chases the motivation to press on and ensure each level is beat 100%
The game also boasts 10 achievements almost all of which were added to encourage you to play more once the main game is done, but that’s not automatically a bad thing at least those that enjoy the game will have more to aim for.
Most of the 10 achievements will require a fair amount of post completion game play to earn.
Bright and colourful.
Super responsive controls.
3 high score chasing mini games each with their own set of challenges.
Online scores for every level.
Hidden areas to find.
Online leader boards are essential for games like this.
Yes I was top of the scores (before the game officially released at least!
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Over far too quickly.
A little lacking in overall level variety.
The final boss proved to be the most challenging aspect of the game but he largely wasn't really any different from his lowly minions.
Those looking for something a bit different to complement the pure pinball tables on offer in the eShop should largely enjoy this and even those who aren’t the biggest pinball fans could get some enjoyment from the game precisely because it does offer a little more than a pure high score chase (even though that is ultimately the goal for most players)
I’m not a fan of gyro controls but they work so well in the few flying sections and the Panda mini game that I can’t really fault their inclusion at all.
But the lack of content is still a major issue for me.
A second set of 12 levels (even if 3 were mini games again) and a more complete conclusion t the game would have almost certainly boosted this games score at least 2 possibly even 3 points.
I’m sure paladin are working on a sequel and I’m sure it will be very good when (if) it arrives on a Nintendo system.
A review copy of the game was provided by Paladin Studios and reviewed in accordance with the review policy.