Whac-A-Mole offers up a quality mole-whacking experience. But is anyone even looking for one?
I can say, with some authority on the subject, that Wac-A-Mole 2 is probably the best Whac-A-Mole product on the market today. That doesn't count for a whole heck of a lot, unfortunately. Whac-A-Mole games don't exist in a vacuum, where they're only compared to one another. It's super-simplistic concept puts it at a disadvantage compared to other titles available on mobile phones today. Casual titles like Glu's Diner Dash or I-Play's Skipping Stone are just as accessible as Whac-A-Mole, but feature more value and are simply more enjoyable. Whac-A-Mole 2 takes the formula as far as it can probably go, which unfortunately just isn't far enough.
Gamers can choose from either classic mode or deluxe, but deluxe is where the meat of the game takes place. Classic mode just tasks gamers with whacking as many moles as possible in 90 seconds. Deluxe, on the other hand, features level progression, power-ups, bonus levels, and more. To prevent pure twitch gameplay, deluxe also throws bombs into the mix, which must not be whacked.
The game screen features nine holes for moles to pop out of, corresponding to 1-9 on the phone's keypad. This allows for smooth, easy-to-grasp control no matter how hectic the mole-whacking action became. This set-up makes it almost impossible to play effectively without using both hands, however.
The biggest problem with the game is something that developer SuperHappyFunFun couldn't help: a large portion of the arcade fun of Whac-a-Mole is physically whacking the moles with the mallet, when they pop up. Translating this experience to a console's controller or a phone's keypad just sucks much of that visceral, physical fun out of the experience.
The game has bright, cartoony graphics that should appeal to youngsters, which is probably the only audience that would get any significant enjoyment out of the experience. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, however. There's room for simple, enjoyable kids games in the console and PC gaming space, and mobile gaming is no different. Older casual gamers can do better, however.
What's Hot: Good for short gaming breaks
What's Not: Whac-A-Mole formula can only be stretched so far