Review: Mountains Out Of Molehills

In Mountains out of Molehills you are going to try to make molehills as high as possible while also trying to get in the way of your opponents

Publisher

The OP

45-60
minutes

€38
cost

2-4
players

Game overview

In Mountains out of Molehills, you're going to try to make molehills as high as possible while trying to take them away from your opponent!

You start each round by choosing movement cards. These cards tell you in what way you can move your mole. You take turns to pick a card until everyone has 4. Then you put these cards in the order in which you want to move. You are not allowed to change this later on, so think carefully about how you want to move with your mole!

Starting with the starting player, everyone may now play a card. On it is shown a direction and the number of steps. It is up to you whether you take the step first or turn first. For example, you can take a step and then turn to the right or take a step to the right. Each time you take a step, you place a molehill of your colour on the space on the board above it. If there is already a molehill on the board, your molehill will be placed below it and the tower will get higher. At the end of the round, you will receive points for each molehill where the lowest molehill is yours. It is therefore possible that other players will move under the molehills which are still yours and claim them.

In addition to movement cards, there are also cards that allow you to topple the molehill above it. You may choose which way the molehill falls. If this happens, you put the top of that tower of molehills on the first tower adjacent to the side it falls to, the 2nd block on the 2nd square and so on. Each round, molehills can only be a certain height, otherwise they are unstable and fall over. It is therefore possible that if one tower topples, another tower may fall down too. You can also use this tactically to make your own tower higher!

At the end of each round you get 1 point for each molehill in each tower that is yours (i.e. where the bottom molehill is in your colour). At the end of the game, you add up all the end-of-round scores and the player with the most points wins!

Our thoughts

Mountains Out Of Molehills is an innovative and creative game! The production of the game immediately drew our attention. Playing on a 2 layer game board with plexiglass moles, that promises a lot!

Mountains Out Of Molehills is a family game. There are not too many rules and those that exist are easy to understand and remember. The game is also very thematic and the actions are mostly very logical. This certainly helps in remembering and understanding the actions you can perform. There is one action that did not feel logical to us, and that is knocking over molehills. When this happens, your molehill falls in one direction. This can cause other molehills to fall as well in the form of a chain reaction. Sometimes 3 to 4 other molehills fall down. We did not find this logical and the people we played with often experienced this action as a hassle.

Fiddly is a word we often thought while playing the game. Although the idea of the double game board with the molehills is nice, it does not always work in practice. When your sleeve gets stuck behind one of the molehills, you can knock over all the towers. When you can't remember which tower stood where, the whole game is actually ruined. You must therefore pay attention to this while playing. 

Based on the production and the looks, we had high expectations for Mountains Out Of Molehills. For a family game, it looks very unique and surprising. Unfortunately, Mountains Out Of Molehills could not live up to our expectations. The game as a whole does not feel or play very smoothly. During several games, we regularly drew bad cards. This led to a situation where there was not a single card in the supply that you could turn with. This meant that none of us could move. Unfortunately, situations like this occurred too often. For us, this seriously detracted from the enjoyment of the game.

Mountains out of Molehills is a promising game in terms of looks, theme and production. Unfortunately, the gameplay is sometimes a bit disappointing. When you draw bad cards, knock over towers or are only concerned with toppling molehills, the game is a little disappointing. The one time this doesn't happen, playing Mountains Out Of Molehills is certainly entertaining! Unfortunately, this is not always in your control. 

Pros and cons

+ Unique components and gameplay
+ Fun 3d playing field

- It becomes irritating to post molehills at every movement
- Feels constantly the same at some point

or:

This game has been kindly gifted to us for review purposes by The OP.