Money Puzzle Exchanger is the best puzzle game on Switch – and I’ll fight* anyone who says otherwiseon July 10, 2018 by I love Japanese games
Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I’ve looking forward to the day when Hamster Corp ported Money Puzzle Exchanger to Switch. Made it an actually-playable-on-the-go thing – finally getting it into the hands of a wider audience and at once crowning itself the best puzzle game on Switch.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, it finally happened. Naturally I downloaded it immediately – and, in all honestly felt strangely nervous. I’d been going on about this game in, like, FOREVER on Twitter but – truth be known, it had been a number of years since I last played it. About six years previously on the Arcade Cabinet in Heart of Gaming to be precise.
Would it hold up to my memory of being the best puzzle game ever – and by default the best puzzle game on Switch? Answer? YES! How could I have ever doubted you my sweet-beautiful, magical girl, money-based puzzle game – please forgive me. 🙁
Any of you ever played Magical Drop? No? If you have, then there are obvious similarities. If you haven’t, well, it goes a little bit like this…
Your little Money Idol Exchanger is at the bottom of your play area – you can move her left or right. One button sucks a coin (or group of coins of the same type) and the other button shoots them back up.
Now, in Magical Drop (which has the same mechanic, but a different rule-set) you have to match colours up to eliminate them from your play area to stop them advancing downward on your position – whereupon your game ends.
Money Puzzle Exchanger does things a little differently – and this is the clever bit.
Rather than coloured gems, you have coins of different denominations – 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500. Picking up five 1’s and shooting them back into the play area will turn them onto a five. Picking up two fives will turn them into a ten, five 10’s into a 50 and so on and so forth. Your goal then, is to suck and shoot out all the coin values until your can turn them into 500 coins – a pairing of which will take them out of play.
What makes this so interesting is that, while mechanically (and in terms of it being quick and compulsive, moment to moment) it feels like a gem matching puzzler – but mentally there’s an extra layer to it. It also means that you have to do slightly more in the way of play area housekeeping – moving coins and power-ups out of the way to reach the denominations you need and to perfect your set-up.
While this is satisfying enough for the (rather slight, admittedly) single player modes – Money Puzzle Exchanger really blossoms when you’re battling against a friend in VS Mode. I’ve long been a big fans of two player vs puzzlers, from Bust-a-Move to Puzzle Fighter and Puyo Pop, they’ve long been a part of my gaming diet – however none of those can compare to a session of highly competitive Money Puzzle Exchanger against two like-skilled opponents.
To my mind it is, hands down the Best Puzzle Game on Switch.
Technically this isn’t a review – or rather, was never meant to be one – but suffice to say this would get all five Rice bowls, and as such you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to buy it.
* If by ‘fight’ I mean, ‘courteously put forward a reasonable argument outlining why Money Puzzle Exchanger is the best puzzle game on Switch’ and then be kind of sad (but polite) when you disagree, but mentally making a silent note that we CAN NEVER BE FRIENDS 🙁