Mobile Gaming: Sailor Moon Drops
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.
Platform: Android, iOS
A review by Amelia Wellman
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon on your smart phone for the first time! A fun and engaging puzzle action game. Just line up three matching pieces to clear them from the board! Clear stages to level up the core five Sailor Guardians and unlock cute poses and special moves. You can also find new friends to join you as you play through the story. The world of Sailor Moon is in the palm of your hand! In the name of the moon you will have fun!
First things first, Sailor Moon Drops does require quite a bit of access to your phone. If you’re worried about your phone’s security, keep in mind that you need to approve access to your contact, photo albums, and more. Being under the Bandai Namco banner does grant some trust, but it is something to keep in mind.
That being said, Sailor Moon Drops is just about the cutest damn thing you’re ever going to see!
The game is a puzzle matching game. Simply match three of the same colour blocks together and you’re on your way. Each level will have a different goal for you to complete: destroying barriers, getting a certain amount of a certain colour to disappear, to drop items from the top of the puzzle grid to the bottom, etc. There are also little boss type battles that appear from time to time in which you have to match certain colours to lower their health.
To keep you on your toes, there is a set amount of moves you can make each level. If you reach zero moves before completing the goal, you’ve lost the level. There are a tonne of levels, with the unfortunate design that they get increasingly cheap and frustrating (to push in-app micro-transactions) the higher you get. By level 25, they won’t be as easily done was they were at first.
But, and I’m being honest here, the cuteness factor of each level kind of dulls the frustrations of a game built around the pay-to-win model. The little Sailor Scout sprites will move around, swaying from side to side above the puzzle grid. They’ll smile and tell you you’re doing good when you get good combos or become worried if you’re running out of turns. Even the Negaverse bad guys are cute in the chibi model they choose to make the game in! And the Luna bonus at the end (which comes if you beat the game and still have moves left) is adorable and just so damn satisfying to watch. Visuals get an A+
The playable characters as you make your way around the world map of levels are the core five Sailor Scouts: Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. It’s even cleverly laid out that you’ll get Mercury and Mars fairly quickly into the game, but there are bigger waits for Jupiter and Venus (which is how Usagi met the other Sailor Scouts in the original anime). You can level the girls up and earn special moves that match special moves they have in the original source material. Like how Mars is a Shrine Maiden and uses traditional Shinto ofuda paper charms to fight evil.
I do think the game missed a huge opportunity when they didn’t use music from the original Sailor Moon series. What we’re given in-game is truly forgettable. And considering how unforgettable the Sailor Moon theme song is, it’s such a shame it wasn’t worked in anywhere in the game.
Sailor Moon Drops is a free to play mobile game but there are in-app items that can speed up your progress. Things like hearts, helpful items, and gems to buy yourself more turns in a level. You can ear helpful items through the gameplay and hearts will recharge over time (twenty minutes for one heart). Of course they’re banking on you getting impatient in the heat of playing it and buying what you need to progress.
If you don’t mind dropping a little money on mobile games, you’ll be buying the in-game currency of gems, starting at $1.39 for 10 gems and going up to $104.99 for 1100 gems.
Check it out. Sailor Moon Drops is another matching game in a world full of matching games. Where Sailor Moon Drops is different in how cute it is! Is there a certain sense of nostalgia playing into that? Absolutely. I have no doubt that anyone not familiar with Sailor Moon won’t care. But any 90’s kid with a soft spot for the Sailor Scouts could get some entertainment out of Sailor Moon Drops!