Chomping and squirming and boring your way through rotten flesh. You’re Molly — a maggot. And it’s your sworn natural duty to feed on the pungent, swollen carcasses of the dead. In the case of Molly Maggot, a Wii U eShop title from indie developer GNOB Software, you’ll be tunneling your way through a poor duck who’s been fatally struck down by lightning. But just how much fun could be involved with something like this?
After a fly drops you off onto the fallen duck, you’ll enter through its eye and munch your way through its thick dermis where you ultimately find yourself within a deep and dark cavernous world filled with decay, disease, and danger. It’s your job to find the secret exit “door,” but staying alive won’t be easy. Levels are designed in a block fashion, with each one representing skin, fleshy muscle, or bone. There’s no mini-map to help you navigate throughout the cadaver, which felt like a missed opportunity. And the handful of levels I played were all the same: boring. It would have been nice to see some randomly generated level design, or even the slightest hint of creativity. The menu text is terrible, too; it looks like a third grader had fun with a last-minute project — it’s not consistent, it’s difficult to read, and it’s just all over the place. Fortunately, there’s not much to read in the game.
Controls are another low point for Molly Maggot — stiff as a board, cumbersome, and broken. For example, while the D-pad is programmed into the game, it can’t be used to face Molly in the opposite direction; if she’s facing left, you can’t use it to face her back to the right, and vice versa — just use the left analog stick. And don’t even think about pausing the game. While the “Select” button is mapped to do so, it just ends up forcing you to restart the game. Worse yet, the title screen doesn’t even work; “Story” and “Extra” options are displayed, yet both lead to the same screen that starts the game — there’s nothing “extra” to be found anywhere.
Anyway, as you aimlessly explore, toothed parasites (they look like rats) will randomly protrude from bloody sores and attempt to harm you. Worry not, popping pus-filled boils will reward you with upgrades for life and projectile attacks. Just keep chomping through the flesh until you find that door to become a successful maggot in life. Music tracks? There are none. Sounds consist of Molly chomping through flesh or the rat-like parasites bumping into one another before disintegrating into thin air. Another enemy, a giant worm thingy, will occasionally moan while spitting slime at you.
Molly Maggot is a difficult game, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s just a terrible experience, and I cringed every time I played. It’s an unfinished experiment — an abomination that lacks even the most basic concepts and functions. From broken controls to boring level design to sloppy execution, Molly Maggot was an utter displeasure. Not once did I feel like I was having fun. I’ve happily tucked this indie game inside the “bad” folder on my Wii U HOME Menu. If you’re still curious and chomping at the bit to play, you can purchase it for $1.99 on the Wii U eShop in North America starting on December 31, 2015.
Review copy provided by developer GNOB Software