Carleton Handley is a man of great talents when it comes to programming video games. A veteran of the gaming industry with over 30 years of coding experience, Handley is responsible for a handful of C64 games from back in its heydays, including APB, Wanderer, Skulls & Crossbones and Rugby: The World Cup. Carelton has only just recently reacquainted himself with programming for the Commodore 64 which has thus far resulted in, the yet to be released nano-gram puzzle game, Grid Pix and a gem of the game titled Millie & Molly.
Millie & Molly is a single screen puzzle platform game that is heavily inspired by the Nintendo Gameboy game Catrap, where you need to help Millie and Molly clear their world of malicious monsters by walking into them from the side. There are 100 levels in total and each time you complete a level you are given a password, allowing you to come back to the game at later stages and continue you on from where left off.
The first 20 levels are played with just the Molly character and you won’t have any trouble getting through these. The game has a very gentle learning curve that allows you to get used to all of the game mechanics early on such as pushing boulders to your advantage, digging through dirt and climbing up ladders. Adding to the overall casual play feel of the game, you will find that there is no time limit to solving each room.
Molly makes her appearance in the game from level 21, and you can switch control from one character to another by a quick tap of the joystick button. There isn’t anything different about the two character’s capabilities. They both move around the same, they both can fall from great heights without penalty and they both can not jump and as such need to rely on other objects or each other to help bridge gaps to get to some monsters.
One of the best features of Millie and Molly is the rewind function. If you find yourself stuck on any level or realised that you just made the wrong move, simply hold down the joystick button and watch your previous steps become undone like you just hit the rewind button on an old video cassette player. This is a great feature that works flawlessly.
Mille and Molly provides quite an engaging puzzle solving experience without it ever really being grossly difficult. The level design, done by Chun Wah Kong, is perfect for the casual player and definitely has that ‘just one more go’ element to it that will see gaming session extend well beyond the time you originally intended. Graphically, Millie & Molly is quite polished with all of Saul Cross’ sprite characters very well defined and the game levels contains a number of graphical themes, including Egyptian, Underwater World and Spooky. Sonically, Hasse Axelsson-Svala has worked magic to provide the perfect ambience in which to solve puzzles. The classical inspired compositions vary across each of the game world themes are so soothing and add so much to the overall game experience.
Millie & Molly also includes a Level Editor for you to play around with and create your own levels. The editor is very intuitive to use and will allow you to draw up your own level in no time but designing a puzzle level that is engaging may take you a bit longer as it certainly is not as easy as it looks and will allow you to appreciate what Chun has come up with on his own.
Millie & Molly is currently available as a digital download but the game will is also set to be released a physical edition via Bitmap Soft. The physical version will include an additional 10 levels for you to have a go at.
There is no doubt that Millie & Molly is one charming and engrossing game and would have to be one of the best puzzle games to grace the C64. If you enjoy puzzle games then this is the game for you.
A wonderful casual game playing experience that must surely be one of the best puzzle games for the Commodore 64.
Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC & ZX Spectrum games. Runs the Retro Gamer Nation YouTube channel and is a contributor to RVG and Vintage is the New Old blog sites, Komoda & Amiga Plus magazine and various other publications.