Money Puzzle Exchanger

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Money Puzzle Exchanger
  • Athena
    (Game Boy/PlayStation)
    GMF (Windows)
Producer(s)Kengo Asai
Artist(s)Atsuko Ishida
Mariko Sumiyoshi
Mutsuo Kaneko
Composer(s)Kennosuke Suemura
Norihiko Togashi
  • Arcade
    • WW: 17 January 1997
    Game Boy
    • JP: 29 August 1997
    • JP: 5 November 1998
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Money Puzzle Exchanger[c] is a puzzle game created on January 17, 1997 by Japanese video game developer Face for the Neo Geo MVS arcade system.[4][5][6][7] Athena Co. Ltd. ported it to the Game Boy on August 29, 1997, and the PlayStation on November 5, 1998. The Japanese PlayStation version was made available by MonkeyPaw Games on the PlayStation Network's import store on November 16, 2010. It was later re-released as part of the Arcade Archives Neo Geo series for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on June 28, 2018.[8]


Arcade version screenshot.

Money Puzzle Exchanger has the same gameplay as Fujitsu’s earlier PC game Moujiya, but structured as 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 coins. 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.[9]

In the single player mode, one of two characters can be selected 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.


  • Sakura Mitsukoshi (三越 さくら Mitsukoshi Sakura) / Exchanger (エクスチェンジャー)
  • Asahi Takashima (高島 あさひ Takashima Asahi) / Debtmiser (デットマイザー)
  • Bill Bank (ビル=バンク Biru Banku) / Coquetrybouncer (コケティバウンサー)
  • Lulula Franc (ルルーラ=フラン Rurūra Furan) / Cherrybeiter (チェリーバイター)
  • Ena Arashizaki (嵐崎 円 Arashizaki Ena) / Everyworker (エヴリワーカー)
  • Seshil Pound (セシル=ポンド Seshiru Pondo) / Eldylabor (エルディレイバー)
  • Blibov Sakata (坂田 ビリィバーヴ Sakata Birībāvu) / Mackermocally (マッカーモーカリー)
  • Note Bank (ノート=バンク Nōto Banku) / Mightdealer (マイトディーラー)


The game is the mostly well known, as well as one of the final video game titles developed by Face before it filed and declared for bankruptcy in 2000, just a year before the bankruptcy of the original incarnation of SNK, the latter affiliated company. The development team of the game mostly consisted of former Technōs Japan employees. Kengo Asai, the producer for the game is also involved in development of another Neo Geo titles, such as Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer, Savage Reign, The Last Blade, The Last Blade 2, The King of Fighters '97, The King of Fighters '98, Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers, and Garou: Mark of the Wolves, as well as the cancelled Neo Geo titles, Dragon's Heaven (which tentatively was named DarkSeed) along with another SNK's video game titles, Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage. The character designs for the game were done by then-wife of Masami Ōbari Atsuko Ishida (who also worked on Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, Magic Knight Rayearth and The Brave Express Might Gaine).

A soundtrack for the game was released featuring the talents of voice actresses Sakura Tange, Yukana Nogami and Machiko Toyoshima. Sakura Tange and Yukana Nogami would later voice Sakura Kinomoto (which also have green eyes like Sakura Mitsukoshi) and Meiling Li respectively in the anime adaptation of Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura.

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." Most of the characters names are portmanteaus of English words involving money or love. The character names (in game stage order) are: Exchanger, Coquetry, Cherrybeiter, Everyworker, Debtmiser, Eldylabor, Macker, and Mightdealer.

In the International arcade version the coins are made to look generic, while in the Japanese version of the game the coins are localized to look closer to their yen equivalents.


Money Puzzle Exchanger was met with positive reception from critics since its release. Famitsu gave both the Game Boy and PlayStation conversions a positive outlook.[11][12] However, public response for the Game Boy version was mixed; In a poll taken by Family Computer Magazine, the game received a score of 19.4 out of 30, indicating a middling following.[16] Video Chums regarded it as one of the most obscure puzzle games for PlayStation.[17]

AllGame's Kyle Knight praised the overall audiovisual presentation and addictive gameplay but noted that its learning curve requires patience and practice.[10] MeriStation's Rubén Martínez stated that Money Puzzle Exchanger was reminiscent of Puzzle Bobble and Magical Drop, noting its difficulty curve, praising the multiplayer mode, anime-style visuals, soundtrack and addictive gameplay but criticized the lack of power-up items.[13] Reviewing the Nintendo Switch re-release, Adam Martinez of Nintendo Times commended the graphics and gameplay but felt mixed in regards to the sound design and criticized emulation issues with the interface.[14] Video Chums's A.J. Maciejewski also gave the Nintendo Switch re-release positive remarks to the money-based gameplay, audiovisual presentation and competitive play but criticized the lack of variations in multiplayer and additional modes.[15]


  1. ^ Ported to PlayStation by Santos with additional work by C-lab.[2][3]
  2. ^ Co-published and co-distributed with SNK
  3. ^ Also known as Money Idol Exchanger (Japanese: マネーアイドルエクスチェンジャー, Hepburn: Manē Aidoru Ekusuchenjā) in Japan.


  1. ^ "マネーアイドルエクスチェンジャー(状態:外箱状態難)". (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2020-04-07. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  2. ^ CRV (August 24, 2010). "Santos (2)". Game Developer Research Institute. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  3. ^ CRV (June 19, 2008). "C-lab". Game Developer Research Institute. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  4. ^ "Title Catalogue - NEOGEO MUSEUM". SNK Playmore. 2010. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  5. ^ Lloret, Alberto (January 30, 2020). "Neo Geo, el Rolls Royce de las consolas, cumple 30 años". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). Axel Springer SE. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  6. ^ "Overseas Readers Column - Data East Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Face". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 545. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 July 1997. p. 22.
  7. ^ "Overseas Readers Column - Face Co. Goes Bankrupt". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 565. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 June 1998. p. 22.
  8. ^ Chris Moyse (2018-06-29). "Battle wages and waifus with Money Puzzle Exchanger for PS4, Xbox One and Switch". Destructoid. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  9. ^ McCarthy, Caty (3 July 2018). "The Switch's Secret Best Puzzle Game is This Retro Gem From Neo Geo". US Gamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2020-11-21. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  10. ^ a b Knight, Kyle (1998). "Money Puzzle Exchanger (Arcade) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 2014-11-17. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  11. ^ a b "NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: マネーアイドルエクスチェンジャー (ゲームボーイ)". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 455. ASCII. 5 September 1997. p. 34. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  12. ^ a b "NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: マネーアイドルエクスチェンジャー (PS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 517. ASCII. 13 November 1998. Archived from the original on 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  13. ^ a b Martínez, Rubén (22 July 2018). "Money Puzzle Exchanger, Retro Análisis". MeriStation (in Spanish). PRISA. Archived from the original on 12 August 2018. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  14. ^ a b Martinez, Adam (12 July 2018). "Money Puzzle Exchanger (ACA NEOGEO) Review". Nintendo Times. Archived from the original on 2020-10-29. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  15. ^ a b Maciejewski, A.J. (10 July 2018). "ACA NeoGeo: Money Puzzle Exchanger Review - A highly underrated puzzler returns". Video Chums. Archived from the original on 9 June 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  16. ^ 超絶 大技林 '98年春版: ゲームボーイ - マネーアイドルエクスチェンジャー (Special) (in Japanese). Vol. 42. Tokuma Shoten Intermedia. 15 April 1998. p. 530. ASIN B00J16900U. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  17. ^ Maciejewski, A.J. (7 October 2014). "Top 10 Obscure PlayStation Puzzle Games - Here are some real noodle-scratchers". Video Chums. Archived from the original on 2020-10-24. Retrieved 2021-02-18.

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