Momolu and Friends is an adorable game for young children, which uses familiar characters to teach vital life lessons. Qubic Games have brought these characters to Nintendo Switch in order to continue their wholesome journey of teaching kids. Adapting a very popular animated TV series into a portable pocket puzzle adventure, this game is a great way to pass the time no matter your age. I am an absolute sucker for anything small and cute; who isn’t? And after a stressful day, sometimes all you need is a panda to tell you that you’re doing a good job.
This title is not just a set of minigames either. You can watch full episodes of the TV series, there are hours of educational lessons and puzzles to complete, and at the end of it all you can put all your skills to the test with a neatly tied up memory game. I cannot emphasise enough how wonderful this game is for younger children. Sure, on the surface it is just a cute passtime, but it actually features multiple life lessons. Like how everyone makes mistakes and how normal it is, which I think has been lost as we all grow up.
So let’s work together to see what Momolu and Friends has in store for us.
Story: Teamwork makes the dream work
Since this game is originally an animated television series for preschoolers, you can imagine that the nature of the story is pretty simple. In a nutshell, it’s basically a compilation of simple minigames where solving problems helps each of our friends create something. Each minigame requires collaboration with our woodland pals and channels creative thinking for children.
But if you’re expecting some sort of challenge, I will emphasise now, as an adult, this game is far from that. Yet I found it extremely refreshing to go from temples filled with puzzles and first person shooters to sitting down and solving simple challenges and colouring in. Despite the fact the target audience is much younger than myself, that’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable for an older audience.
A courageous cast of critters
Momolu, our lovely main character, is a clumsy panda who often stumbles into situations where he needs the help of his friends. He’s a lovable unassuming personality who just wants to have a good time. The game focuses on creating a stress free, engaging experience for players. Without having any huge milestones to complete or compete for. Each of his friends have special interests and passions which come into play during our minigames.
For example, Bani, a very small and adorable rabbit, helps redecorate desolate locations with her sketchbook. Huhu the owl wants to build something that everyone can enjoy. All in all, the aim of the game is pretty much to make sure everyone is having a good time. Which is the priority of every child at the end of the day.
I speak from the perspective of someone who could easily complete this game in a heartbeat. But as I mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. It’s similar to games we download on our phones to pass the time. Simple puzzles which require very little brain power, but we play them for a reason. And they’re always there to come back to. And we do! Take the craze of Candy Crush for example; that game had millions of users, and if you look into it, it is basically the same puzzle thousands of times. Momolu and Friends takes the excitement of being good at simple puzzles, and introduces a cast of adorable characters to help us along the way.
Gameplay: If Brain Training went back to basics
As you can probably imagine, the gameplay for Momolu and Friends is fairly simple. Personally, when I saw the trailer for this game, I didn’t expect much. But I was incredibly surprised after spending a good few hours playing through the minigames. As I keep mentioning, I feel as though this game was created to pass the time for children, which it definitely would do. Each game mode is simple to understand and get to grips with, with most having three levels of challenge to it. I took a minute before sitting down to review to just put myself back into the shoes of my childhood self, and see what baby Kara has to say about it. Frankly, I know this would be something I would’ve adored.
There are more game modes included then you can count on one hand, so it’s not like you’re short of content. There are hours of educational content included in Momolu and Friends on Nintendo Switch. It’s got the same sort of appeal as Brain Training, but with more colour and friendly characters so in a way, I definitely prefer this approach. Even when you feel like you’ve exhausted all the games, there are enough episodes of the series available to keep you entertained. It’s really lovely playing through the game and then watching the characters come to life in the show.
Controls and childlike glee
My only fault with the gameplay would be the controls. Which I can only fault due to my hands being infinitely bigger than a child’s. Rather than being able to use two joycons, Momolu and Friends can only be played with one. It makes sense, since the game started as a mobile game, where no controllers are needed. But using one joycon after playing most games with either a controller or both seems extremely foreign to me.
I found this pretty uncomfortable when playing. Definitely something to take into account which may take a little while to get used to. Once you get used to how this feels, though, the buttons are simple. You wait for the game to announce what you need to do and move the joystick and click ‘A’ where needed.
My favourite minigame is the sticker book. Although this isn’t really one of the educational elements, it’s by far my favourite. You get to place stickers of all your favourite friends on a variety of backgrounds, and snapshots are taken in game and saved to your Switch. There’s a stargazing scene, which immediately grabbed my attention, and a whole set of stickers to chose from. After playing through the different educational modes it was nice to do something creative rather than critical. The same goes for the colouring pages.
Whilst most minigames correct you if you slip up, these two seem to really encourage creativity. Which is definitely something you need as a child. I definitely loved colouring and sticker books as a kid. (Even as an adult, but that’s not something I go around excitedly sharing.) These games just took me back to that bubbly excitement.
Audio and Graphics: The sweet sounds of success
Momolu and Friends on Nintendo Switch certainly looks good. If you are familiar with the animated series, it pretty much looks exactly the same. Which you’d expect since you can watch episodes through the game. Once again taking the target audience into account, the graphics and visuals definitely encourage this audience. Momolu is a brightly coloured, simple shaped game. Ideal for young kids, really. Everything is easily accessible and easy to understand. All elements to the game are in a neat little lobby, so it’s all well thought out and audience appropriate.
The soundtrack is also extremely soft and welcoming. Within five minutes of starting up this game, I found myself quite joyfully singing along, and to my housemates’ dismay, this little singsong lasted for hours after putting it down. Needless to say it’s pretty repetitive, but for a children’s game it’s somewhat expected. Too many noises or different sounds are incredibly distracting, so a gentle, repetitive soundtrack is both expected and appropriate.
Each game comes with a whole soundboard of support as well. Rather than having brash noises to announce mistakes, gentle voices encourage you to dust off your shoulders and keep going. Momolu and his friends are all fully narrated too by the original cast. So the characters will shine with familiarity to anyone who has seen the animated series. With all this narration as well, it’s much easier for children to engage with the minigames.
Momolu and Friends was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by QubicGames.