Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Switch
Publisher: Neckbolt
Developer: Neckbolt
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

All I knew going into Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit was how it looked. Its screenshots gave off a distinctly Wind Waker-ish vibe, and seeing as I?m (generally) a fan of Zelda-likes, that was enough to get me interested.

It took about five seconds for the game to drastically reduce my interest. Within moments of booting it up, you?re met with thundering drums and wailing guitars. While this subsides a little from time to time, and occasionally mixes with more generic fantasy/ren faire music, it?s still pretty omnipresent for much of the game. There?s nothing inherently wrong with loud metal as the soundtrack to a game, but in Molly Medusa?s case, it seems like a weird mismatch, especially when the volume rockets up as you?re windsurfing across the desert.

That critique, obviously, is a matter of personal taste ? maybe someone will love hearing metal blasting for a couple of hours. The game?s bigger issue, however, is one that?s not personal taste: its camera controls are terrible. And it?s not just that this is a 3D game where sometimes you can control the camera, and sometimes you can?t. That would be annoying, but not a game-breaking issue.

Rather, the problem is that you can barely control the camera in a 3D game where the main character can apparently change gravity, and walk on walls and ceilings. Whatever the game gains from this in terms of making you think creatively to solve puzzles, it doesn?t make up for the fact you can?t see where you?re going half the time because the camera doesn?t work that way. The game tries to overcome this by giving you the option to switch between first- and third-person views, but that just means you have two different ways of not being able to see where Molly is going.

And that?s without even getting into some of the 3D dungeons, where you have to navigate your way through rooms with multiple doors and more sides and angles than I can count. If trying to walk through one of those doesn?t leave you at least a little discombobulated (if not outright queasy), I tip my hat to you, because that?s quite a feat.

Those 3D dungeons point to one of Molly Medusa?s other issues, which is that the game doesn?t ever really give you much direction. It pretends to, by giving you vague instructions and useless maps, but it very rarely makes your objectives very clear. Even the game?s overarching plot is never fully spelled out for you; I assume the point is that you?re Medusa and you need to figure out how to change your hair back to normal, but that?s more implied than stated.

Thankfully, the game generally isn?t too hard to figure out. The dungeons are kind of incomprehensible and reliant on luck, but the puzzles mostly involve things like moving boxes or flipping switches. If you?ve ever played any of the Zelda-likes (or, obviously, 3D Zelda itself), you?ll know what to expect here, and the game is cute enough that it?d be easy to imagine falling for it.

But the fact is that the game is plagued by camera controls so dire, they make it impossible to enjoy anything else. With some major tweaks to those controls, it?d be easy to imagine Molly Medusa becoming an under-the-radar hit, but for now, it?s definitely one to avoid.

Neckbolt provided us with a Molly Medusa: Queen of Spit Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C-