Game: Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch
Developers | Publishers: Neckbolt | Burning Planet
Age Rating: US Teen | EU 3+
Price: US $39.99 | UK £35.00 | EU € 39,99
Release Date: April 20th, 2023
Review code used, with many thanks to Games Branding.
Developer Neckbolt, who previously published Yono and the Celestial Elephants, has released a new third-person adventure game, Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit.
Molinike (Molly for short) is a sculptor’s apprentice to the sculptor Pygmalion, a bitter older man whose relationship with Molly is strained and frustrated. He is very grumpy and rude.
Nevertheless, Molly wants to become a great sculptor like her master. But he isn’t willing to teach her the tricks of the trade. So instead, Pygmalion sends Molly to buy him a new chisel from the travelling tinker. Molly hurries through the village to catch up with the tinker; along the way, she meets Olympiodora, her mother, a vase painter, Graeca, the old lady selling swords and other NPCs.
Turn to Stone
Once in the forest, Molly finds the tinker. Here, the tinker turns into Circe, the goddess of the forest, who curses Molly and turns her into Medusa with red snake hair. So now, every living thing Molly goes near instantly turns into a stone statue. And I do mean every living thing. Enemies, friends, bosses, shopkeepers, animals, and small insects all turn to stone.
Explore the Labyrinth
So begins Molly’s quest to the minotaur’s labyrinthine lair and the owl-haunted halls of Minervaas, and more as she fights nasty bosses along the way or rather, she turns them to stone.
Furthermore, Molly struggles with loneliness and alienation that will turn her world and reality upside down and yours too, as the curse put on Molly has given her the ability to walk on walls and ceilings.
A Legend of Zelda Clone
On first playing Molly Medusa, I couldn’t help but compare it to The Legend of Zelda games, mainly The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. The influence of the Zelda games is evident throughout Molly Medusa, from the dungeon to the puzzles to the style and layout of the areas that Molly visits. In addition, new elements are added to the gameplay as you explore the temples; again, this is reminiscent of Zelda, especially some of the items Molly is given to use.
You’ll sail across a vast desert in Molly’s sailboat. The sailboat is fun and easy to handle, though the desert is barren and empty apart from the temples. It does get the point across that Molly is alone, but other than that, it’s an empty sandy desert. In the temples, you’ll solve puzzles, such as pushing blocks onto pressure pads to open doors. Or you’ll be moving mirrors so the angle of the light shines on an eye to open the door to let you proceed.
Furthermore, you’ll find heart pieces and keys in chests; use the sailboat and find a hook shot and bombs. Does that remind you of anything? You’ll also meet Mr Rockface, who has a stony personality and is the silent, shy type, but he has a unique ability to show you a map of each temple and where each treasure chest is.
In addition to the Zelda references, the game’s main mechanic is Molly’s gravity-defying ability to walk on walls and the ceiling. The ability is often used within the temples for solving puzzles. For the most part, it works well, and solving puzzles is fun, with a little challenge.
Since Molly can walk on walls and ceilings and up is down, and down is up, the camera must follow her movements; otherwise, the player’s view of the game world would be wrong.
However, as Molly moves from floor to wall and the camera moves, this is where my love-hate relationship with Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit starts to appear.
You see, each time I had Molly walk on a wall and then the ceiling as the camera moved, so did my stomach; motion sicknesses kicked in. It wasn’t too bad when I first started playing the game, but the more puzzle-solving that involved Molly’s gravity ability, the more my stomach objected.
Also, when you use Molly’s gravity abilities, the camera can get stuck in the surroundings for a second or two before it rights itself. So fair warning, if you suffer from motion sickness from video games, Molly Medusa is one to avoid.
No Help and a Few Bugs
The game isn’t big on hand-holding or a tutorial; you are basically left to get on with it and find your own way to the first temple. If you are a new or casual player, this game is not for you, as you won’t find any help, and it would be frustrating. There is an overworld map, but it doesn’t show anything other than where Molly is located, so it’s not much help.
Unfortunately, the game has a few bugs. For example, in one particular puzzle in the Library where I had to move a block with a mirror on top, Molly would not let go of the block. It was like she had super glued her hands to the block without my knowledge. So I had to turn the game off, and when I tried the puzzle again, the same bug reappeared.
Visuals and Music
I like how the game is presented and the hints of M. C. Escher (Dutch graphic artist) in the architecture of the temples and the rooms.
The soundtrack for Molly Medusa is primarily heavy metal and rock music mixed with some gentler tracks. I usually like the music in a game. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I don’t think the heavy metal rock music suited the type of gameplay, nor was it enjoyable to listen to. Ultimately, I removed my headphones and played the game with the volume turned down.
I have very mixed feelings about Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit. I liked exploring the temples and the puzzles but not the gravity gimmick. On the other hand, I can see the likeness to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and that’s great if the developers wanted to pay homage to the Zelda series. However, other than exploring the temples, the world is pretty empty and void of any personality.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But with Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit, I’m not sure it is flattery in this case.
Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure
I noticed the ‘grabbing onto moving blocks’ glitch can happen with any block, i got it with the 1st moving block puzzle, thankfully just trying to regrab tends to fix it but yeah, that and alot of it’s archaic design does hold it back from being one of the better zelda clones. Still enjoying it, but currently stuck at the word puzzle in the library temple, it’s probably easy, but i just can’t figure out what the answer is