Originally developed for the arcades, Money Idol Exchanger obviously gave fans a run for their money as the game has an irresistible pull on your psyche. You’ll be fishing for quarters by the time you run the gamut on this great arcade classic by Face.
The genre of stacked objects continually falling to fill up the screen while you fight the deluge by mixing and matching objects can be remembered as the great age of puzzle twitchers. Money Idol Exchanger is exactly this genre but with some Idol love to help you through the maze. With names like Mightdealer, Debtmiser, Everyworker, and Cherrybiter, the girls are of that special Japanese flavor with lots of cuteness.
But the game’s quality comes through on the two-player versus mode. Like all the great drop games, the intensity of the battle mode is where a game makes its grade and this game performs like scholar. The fact that you have to do some addition while you’re burning your buddy makes the victory somehow sweeter. Not only are you a better player, you’re smarter too!
Idol Exchanger (also known as Money Puzzle Exchanger in the US) is a puzzle game created in 1997 by Japanese video game developer Face for the Neo Geo MVS arcade system. Athena Co. Ltd. ported it to the Game Boy and the PlayStation that same year.
Special Instruction by Cyril Lachel, Defunct Games http://www.defunctgames.com Gameplay Money Idol Exchanger is a stacking game similar to the Magical Drop, Astro Pop, and Puzzle Bobble series whereby players race to prevent a perpetually falling array of coins in different values from filling up the screen. Coins are combined (vertically and/or horizontally) to form higher valued coins; for example, five ‘1’ coins will form a ‘5’ coin, and two ‘5’ coins will form a ’10’ coin, and so on, until two ‘500’ coins are put together, at which point both disappear. Coins are arranged and colored to match denominations of the yen specie. Two bonus tiles allow for changes in gameplay. A green RU tile will rank up all coins of the same denomination; for example, all ’10’ coins will become ’50’ coins. A blue ER title will erase all coins of the same value. The game is won when any coin reaches the bottom of the opponent’s screen. In the single player mode, you control one of two characters who attempt to beat up to seven idiosyncratically named characters with names like Debtmiser, Mightdealer, Eldylabor, and Cherrybeiter. In the two player mode, both players fight each other until victory. The quicker and more efficiently each player clears out their screen, the quicker the other player’s screen will fill up. Since filled screens offer the most opportunity for chaining together large combos, the tide can turn very quickly. There is also another single player mode called Solo Mode. Any character can be played in this mode. The aim in Solo Mode is to continually clear the screen from coins and try to keep the game going for as long as possible. Notes Most of the characters names are portmanteaus of English words involving money or love. The character names are: Exchanger, Debtmiser, Everyworker, Cherrybiter, Eldylabor, Mightdealer, Coquetry and Macker. The game has extensive use of Engrish. Examples of phrases used include “Let’s fight to computer!” and “You put the same kind of items. That’s OK.” A soundtrack for the game was released featuring the talents of seiyū TANGE Sakura, NOGAMI Yukana and TOYOSHIMA Machiko. In the American and European arcade versions, the coins are made to look generic. In the Japanese version of the game, the coin is localized and looks much more like a yen coin. Data East sued Face due to strong perceived similarities of Money Idol Exchanger to Magical Drop. Shortly after, Face went bankrupt. Synopsis In the tradition of other Neo Geo puzzlers like Magical Drop II and III comes Money Puzzle Exchanger. The game offers both a single player practice mode and a versus second player or CPU mode. Depending on the game mode, players select from up to eight different characters to play. As the name suggests, the game is a puzzle involving exchanging money. The game board consists of a block of coins at the top of the screen and player’s character at the bottom of the board. The player’s character can pull down coins of the same type from one column and send them back up another column. Like the Magical Drop series, the object of the game is to keep the block of coins from reaching the bottom by making them disappear. Unlike the Magical Drop series, players can’t simply match up coins. Coins come in six different denominations: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500. When a pair of 500 coins are matched together they disappear from the board completely. Other coin denominations can be turned into single coins of a higher value by matching the appropriate number together. For example, five 1 coins can be matched together to make one 5 coin, which then can be paired with another to make a 10 coin, which can be matched with four others for a 50 coin, and so forth until the 500 coin which can disappear altogether. Besides the standard coins, there are also certain icons that when paired together can make masses of coins disappear from the screen. Extra Credits Money Puzzle Exchanger is evidently influenced by Magical Drop 2, released the year before. That game was in turn influenced by Puzzle Bobble. There are people who like to create, be it write, be it draw, be it act, or whatnot. And then there are those who like math. People can like both, but nobody can like them equally … I am one of those people who likes writing, but hates (and by hates you should read loathes) math. My hatred for math made me a little nervous about Money Idol Exchange. I mean, here we have a game that is, in effect, Magic Drop for bankers. That’s right. You must collect and combine amounts of many instead of colors and shades. Collect five $1 and you get a $5 coin. Collect two $5 coins, and you get a $10 one. Collect five $5 coins … well, you get the point. Needless to say, there’s a coin for $1, $5, $10, $50, $100, and $500 (note: those dollar amounts represent six of Defunct Games ratings, with only 1000 missing). The game isn’t just for points, though. You are always fighting against a second player, be it a computer opponent or a friend (or, depending on how lonely you are, those could be the same thing). The one player mode works in the same way Street Fighter II did, you play a different person, eight in all, and then the game is over. However, even though you may shoot through the first two or three characters without any problem what so ever, the game does become extremely challenging.