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Annybanibaska! Beki! Exchange!

Money Puzzle Exhanger (alternately known as Money Idol Exchanger), is a coin swapping puzzle game by Face for both the arcade and the Neo Geo home system (it was released in 1997). Cute little anime girls and lots of engrish make this a little different from the average puzzle game (but not much different).

Gameplay

The basic premise of this game is similar to the Magical Drop series. With circular items advancing towards you from the top of the screen. You must eliminate them by grabbing them with your first button, and tossing them onto matching items with your second button.

The items themselves are coins in demoninations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500. When you match five #1 coins, you will get a #5 coin in their place, two #5s makes a #10, and so on (hence the "Exchanger" part of the title). So this game requires a little bit of basic math to do the more complicated moves (set up correctly you can do a lot of exchanges with a single move).

Levels

You can play this game in three different modes of play.

  • Vs. Com. This is kind of like your standard fighting game, where you go up against one character after another (until you finally face the final character "Mightydealer"). You can choose to play this mode as either "Exchanger" or "Debtmiser" (and the game lists their blood types, in case you just had to know).
  • Solo Play. This mode allows you to pick from all the characters. You are playing simply for score in this one, and the difficulty quickly ranks up (no matter how good you are, you simply won't be able to get past level 20 regularly, as the coins come down the screen a little too fast).
  • 1P Vs 2P "It's the battle of two persons! In this mode you get to play against a friend (or enemy even). All characters are available. I have seemed to notice that the player 2 position seems to have some sort of advantage, I have no idea why, but they get more of the special symbols.
Graphics

The graphics are your basic late 90's 16-Bit two dimensional stuff. Very pretty and colorful, without being extremely detailed. Like may PC games, it seems that they put more work into the graphics more the intro movie, than they did into the actual game itself.

Characters

All the characters have this sort of Sailor Moon look about them. The intro movie actually shows them all as normal schoolgirls, only to be transformed into these puzzle girls (by some sort of long haired unamed coin fairy).

  • Exchanger has brownish blond hair and is a completely generic anime girl.
  • Debtmiser has purple pigtails (and is otherwise very similar to exchanger).
  • Coquetry wears some sort of bear costume and has short blond hair. I really dislike this character because of her sound effects.
  • Eldylabor is a bespectacled dominatrix with long brown hair (she has kind of a deep voice, that betrays her 19 year old image).
  • CherryBeiter Has pink hair and carries a teddy bear (and her name is just dirty). She has some of the best sound effects of any character.
  • Macker doesn't even look much like a girl, more like a male pirate/supervillian, and a very ugly one at that, with a nasty face and awful blond hair.
  • Everyworker is the blue haired communist of the bunch, and has kind of annoying sound effects.
  • Mightydealer has hair that goes to the floor, and looks to me to be similar to what a female wizard might look like (she also happens to be the "boss character" of the game).
How can you play?

This game is available as a cartridge for both the NeoGeo home and arcade units (but is pretty hard to find outside of Japan). Fortunately there are not one, but two emulators that fully emulate this game, MAME and NeorageX. I would reccomend NeorageX if you have a slower system, but MAME has more features if you have the hardware to run it.

Production Credits

Producer: Kengo Asai

Planner: Starman

Program: Piggy

Graphic Design: Sabby, Toshikazu Uechi, Mariko Sumiyoshi, Mutsuo Kaneko

Sound Director: Shigeaki "Anithin'" Irie

Composer & Sound Programing: Kennosuke Suemura, Norihiko Togashi

Character Design & Animation Part: Atsuko Ishida

Animation Studio: JC Staff

Voice Cast: Sakura Tange, Yukana Nogami, Yuko Nagashima, Rumi Kasahara, Machiko Toyoshima, Houko Kuwashima, Hideo Ishikawa, Daisuke Sakaguchi

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