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Available for Download Here!

 

Platform

PC

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Blitz Game Studios

 

Developer

Remode

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

January 20, 2010

 

 

‑ Plenty of casual gameplay, either with the relaxed adventure or frenetic timed mode

 

 

- Continual mouse clicking causes some issues with digging instead of moving or vice versa, which could lead to aggravating, accidental explosions

 

 

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Mole Control

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

mole control          mole control

 

Long before the modern age of PC gaming, before Al Gore “invented” the Internet which has brought us to the modern-day casual Flash and Facebook games, the infancy of the Windows operating system offered basically two gaming choices to PC owners looking for some gaming diversion: Solitaire or Minesweeper. For those that weren’t card players, it was Minesweeper or nothing – a puzzler that essentially was simply clearing out a grid-based “minefield” of all mines based on numerical clues that warned gamers of the closeness of a game-ending explosion.

Taking Minesweeper into the modern casual gaming arena is Mole Control, which still uses the grid-based “minefield” but replaces the mines with exploding moles.

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Yes, there actually is a little mole-filled story behind the diversionary and fun casual puzzler. In a little town called Molar Creek, the people have for centuries had an uneasy existence living with exploding moles. That job of the mole controller, therefore, is a very important one to maintain an explosion-free lifestyle for the denizens of Molar Creek. On the eve of the annual Mole Control competition, though, somebody has

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unleashed the moles throughout the town, and you, the gamer with the help of a local inventor, Dr. Kraft must capture all the moles before they destroy the town.

OK, that’s a lot of background for essentially just an upgrade of the classic Minesweeper gameplay. But it’s a welcome fleshing out of the gameplay with at least a little more than “find mines, destroy them before they destroy you” element of Minesweeper. And there is plenty of gameplay, too, especially in the adventure mode, with an entire story written about the moles and the town of Molar Creek to keep gamers interested in sweeping mole-filled level after mole-filled level. The low-key cartoonish graphics also enhance otherwise basic gameplay.

No matter what the mode, gameplay follows the usual Minesweeper path: every level has multiple tiles that must be swept with the crazy mole detector contraption driven by the gamer to detect the hidden moles. If a gamer gets close to a mole-infested tile, a number appears, letting gamers know how close and how many mines are in the proximity.

By using plenty of backtracking and circling of potential dangerous tiles, gamers decide where the mole is hidden, and dig out then capture the mole. If gamers guess the wrong tile, however, the machine goes haywire and breaks, needing a repair kit to fix it (which also happens if gamers move onto a mole tile and cause an explosion). Once gamers run out of tool kits, the level is over.

 

mole control          mole control


Levels have different amounts of moles located on them, and each level has its own little background story accompanied by a varied layout in the adventure mode (timed mode is a fast-paced race against the clock, with gamers gaining/losing time based on their mole-finding abilities). One little annoyance is the constant clicking of the mouse needed to move. Gamers can only move one tile at a time, as while that prevents rushing carelessly into an explosion, it also means your mouse will be getting as workout. Another issue is that the right mouse click is needed to select and dig in any particular tile. But it is very easy to accidentally right-click when gamers wanted to move instead of dig, and once the digging begins, it can’t be stopped. So, there are times when unnecessary digging has been initiated that in turn causes a vehicle-damaging catastrophe which deducts a repair kit from the gamer’s precious stash or ends the level if the gamer doesn’t have any repair kits left.

Whether gamers decide for the go-at-your-own-pace adventure mode, or the more frenetic timed mode, Mole Control successfully updates the classic Minesweeper into the modern era of casual gaming with gameplay that is indeed challenging and entertaining.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(June 24, 2010)

 

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