App Army Assemble: Millie and Molly – Does this old-school-inspired puzzler offer anything new? | Articles

Millie and Molly started life as a passion project by the developer who released it earlier this year for the Commodore 64. Now the puzzler has made its way over to mobile device so we decided to hand the game over to our App Army to see what they thought of it.

Here’s what they said:

Oksana Ryan

I was pleasantly surprised by this game. On the first level, I wondered if it was intended for a much younger gamer, but once I progressed a few more levels, I realised it was a great puzzler as things moved up a step. The retro graphics are bright, the gameplay easy to use, and as the levels become more difficult, it’s very immersive. There are ‘undo’ and ‘restart level’ features that make it easier if you make a mistake, which is extremely handy. As a keen fan of puzzle games, I really enjoyed the climbing up and down ladders, moving rocks and other obstacles and, of course, killing enemies. All in all, a very entertaining game that I would highly recommend.

Roman Valerio

Millie and Molly is one of the very few games that I actually enjoyed playing on my tablet in a long while. To be frank, I loved it so much that I had serious intentions to complete it 100% before getting down to write this review. My plan never came to fruition due to time constraints, but nonetheless, this game made a really positive impression on me. It does not take up much space thanks to retro graphics and unlike a multitude of modern-day games, it supports my vintage iPad Air, which is a big plus in my book. There is nothing fancy about Millie and Molly.

In fact, everything about this game is pretty basic, but for some reason, it brought back those fond memories of early App Store games, which I loved a lot. Here your task is to eliminate all monsters, which by the rules of the game can be done only from the side. To solve puzzles you can take advantage of various obstacles as well as use the mechanics of switching between two sisters, which is quite an old trick in mobile gaming. The puzzle difficulty ranges from simple to moderate, so the progression through the game was really quick for me. If puzzle games are your thing, then go check out M&M, but do keep in mind that it does not bring anything new to the table at all.

Quincy Jones

This game was painfully boring, there might be such a thing as “too retro” and this would fit that bill for sure. The graphics the music abs the controls remind me of those old Nintendo games that drove you crazy because of the lame controls. Even though the gave itself is really not difficult I found myself not interested in doing the levels. I’m still confused as to why one would have to punch teddy bears, to begin with. Not a game I can in good conscience recommend to anyone else

Steve Clarke

Millie and Molly is a retro-inspired puzzler harking back to the earliest days of home computing. The cutsie graphics and saccharine soundtrack fit this slow-paced puzzler well. It’s a shame the control scheme lets it down a bit but that’s a minor irritation an otherwise a very well thought out game. As anyone who’s read my thoughts before will know, I am not a fan of puzzle games in general, but this one’s alright in my book.

Dries Pretorius

I think we ought to draw a distinction here, between Retro and Old-School, Retro is aesthetically nostalgic but optimized for modern sensibilities, Telepaint with its portal influenced gameplay serves as a good example. Milly and Molly, on the other hand, is Old-School the game was released for the Commodore 64 in 2020, before being ported to other platforms, what a flex, though I could easily believe it to be a port of some obscure title from the platform’s heyday.

Now the game itself, while resembling a platformer from afar, is actually a meticulous sequential puzzler in the discipline of Telepaint and Slayaway Camp. You need to figure out how you are going to solve it before you begin, and if you mess up the sequence, you may need to start over. The level design is clever, the art style and aesthetic are absurd and speak to the creative wackiness of the early years.

The game reminds me of having biscuits and tea at my grandmother’s as a young child, the grownups’ conversation is going too slowly, but my agitation is complex and interspersed with enjoyment. Movement controls are deliberate and limited, it really feels like you are directing a couple of old ladies on an epic adventure that may as well be functional household activities.

I enjoyed my time with Milly and Molly well enough, the puzzle design is sound and new concepts are introduced as you play. There is plenty of charm underscoring the tottery pace and the dry aesthetic.

Nick Leibbrandt

Tried the game on my OPPO A9 and found the game to be quite a cute looking game, played some levels in both 8- bit and 16-bit but preferred the game in 16- bit. The game is a puzzler where you move your characters to the sides to kill enemies while moving around trying to solve each puzzle. I found the game quite slow and the levels very simple and easy at the start, played with music off because it was too repetitive and got annoying. The controls are easy to use and quite simple, I liked the feel and look of the game but did lose interest quite quickly. will properly play more later on. Would recommend giving the game a try if you love retro style puzzler games.

Bruno Ramalho

Millie and Molly takes me back to a time when Commodore games were a part of my daily mornings where I would wake up very anxiously so I could play a new level of my favourite platform games. The soundtrack is spot on and it represents perfectly that time, and the retro graphics as well. I do prefer the Commodore Amiga 500 style graphics instead of the Commodore 64 graphics (you can change between 8 bits and 16 bits in the game settings).

This is a platformer with some puzzles to solve, and it’s very cute and at times quite difficult. The mechanic keeps changing, and that makes everything fresh. Sometimes you play with one character trying to eliminate all the animals from the screen, but then you have to work with two sisters, using one to get up to higher ground or positioning objects for the other, etc. It’s not new, but it makes for some strategic thinking so you don’t get stuck.

You can go back one move at a time, so you can take your time thinking things through. The controls are not my favourite, as you have to tap to go to places, and there’s no pathfinding, so you have to click to go in a straight line to wherever you want to go. I would prefer a joystick, but hey, it works. It touches a sweet retro spot for me, so I loved to play it on my iPhone.

Pierpaolo Morgante

This game is a slow-paced puzzle game. You have to go through the different levels attacking your enemies (little stuffed bears, it’s not clear why…), but only from the side. The sound is a little repetitive, but turning it down fixes the issue. The graphics can be set either to 8 or 16 bits. There is not much of a story, and besides going through the levels, I don’t see anything else about this game. The controls work fine in my opinion, not the best, but not the worst either. Overall, I would give 6/10.

Mark Abukoff

Millie and Molly is a really cute little puzzler. I’m not a huge fan of the endless retro-inspired trend, and to be honest, through the first nineteen puzzles at least, it’s a pretty easy game. But as you get to that twentieth puzzle and beyond, it makes you think a little and try and try again until you figure it out. Controls are simple and do what they’re supposed to do. Music was appropriate but annoying so I turned it off. But if you want that retro experience, maybe you’ll appreciate the music. All in all, an unspectacular but cute and enjoyable little game. For its charm and that just enough of a challenge, I’ll recommend this.

Jason Rosner

Millie & Molly is a retro-inspired game that actually released in 2020 for the Commodore 64. It’s a puzzle game where you clear stages to progress to the next level thus working towards unlocking additional chapters. This is about as laid back a game as you can get, and that relaxing direction allows you to appreciate some of the old school level designs.

There’s not much going on when it comes to the story, but the game does a great job of balancing the challenge getting a bit harder as you go, yet letting you play completely at your own pace. There’s no timers or lives, and you have the ability to rewind your mistakes. This opens Millie & Molly up to allowing everyone from novice players to experienced gamers alike a chance to complete the game, and I’m a fan of that.

Paul Manchester

When I first saw the screenshots I thought I may be about to experience a new take on the brilliant Duke Dashington, however apart from the visuals the two share little else. This is a really slow-paced puzzler, the emphasis firmly on the slow. The control mechanics make moving your character mind-numbingly painful, I would really prefer to see intelligent controls allowing the character to move anywhere on the screen with a single touch.

The levels themselves seemed to go from simple and slow, to simple, slow and frustrating towards the end of part one. There appears to be very little in terms of a difficulty curve. I can’t recommend this to anyone other than those suffering from insomnia, this certainly sent me to sleep, albeit an angry and frustrated sleep filled with teddy bears to punch.

Mike Lisagor

I like this game. This is a puzzler, similar to Toki Tori. You must plan out your moves so you don’t end up unable to get back to where you intended to go. You can’t jump, ladders and gravity are you’re only ways to move up and down. Some levels have two characters, but many just have one which I find odd. The graphics are retro-style, based on the old Commodore 64 version which suits this game just fine, the music is repetitive but I just turned the volume down.

Touch screen controls work okay, it is annoying that you must touch the screen repetitively instead of one tap of where you want to end up, but you get used to it. There is an undo button that I enjoy, even though some people may find this takes away from the challenge. To me, this makes me want to go ahead and complete every level since I have this available. I recommend this game to any puzzler fan. This is a simple, but charming game.

Naail Zahid

Visuals are appealing to fans of Retro designed games as they offer 8bit and 16bit graphics (you can set them in options). The touch controls are very agitating as you have to repeatedly touch where you want to go, often multiple times just to climb a ladder even. It can get tedious, especially when you have to make multiple trips around the same path.

Maybe the devs thought it would add to the puzzle aspect, but for me, it’s just annoying. Sound design is obviously Retro-inspired, but the music gets jarring since it’s the same music loop over and over again each level. And it’s not a catchy tune, to begin with. Also for a game about 2 sisters, I’ve only seen 1 throughout my preview time and the story doesn’t really explain why we are beating up stuffed bears…?

*Update: it didn’t get much better past the opening levels. It’s a very repetitive game. Puzzlers often are repetitive by nature, but this one is just too slow to continue. It’s a good game to play when on a subway ride, but after a few rounds, I’m sure others, like myself, will just put the game down and forget it was even on their handset/tablet.

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