Overview:
- Estimated achievement difficulty: 5/10 [Achievement Difficulty Rating]
- Offline: 22 [1000gs.png]
- Online: 0
- Approximate amount of time to 1000gs.png: 15-20 hours [Estimated Time to 100%]
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
- Missable achievements: None [level select]
- Does difficulty affect achievements: No difficulty option
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: None
 
For questions, comments or feedback, please visit the Achievements and Guide Discussion thread.

Introduction:
Welcome to Molecats, a Lemmings-like puzzle game where you don't have control over your character(s), instead controlling the environment to allow them to move where you want them to go. In this game, that takes the form of tiles that you can rotate (and later flip and slide) to provide varying paths for the molecats to follow. There are around 60 levels in the game and, assuming you're after the completion, you're going to need to collect everything in every level. This will get you three stars on every level, unlock all collection, and collect all golden tiles. Thankfully, collecting everything is all that is needed for three stars; time has no impact whatsoever. Some levels will take minutes to finish but some of the tougher ones could take upwards of an hour. Your mileage may vary quite a bit, but overall expect to spend a decent amount of time on this game. Let's get started.

Abbreviated Walkthrough:
As noted above, there are around 60 levels in the game, including bonus levels. For this completion, you need to collect everything in every single level. When you start a level (and any time during it), you can pause and see how much of each type of item is in the level. Here is a quick rundown:
 
  • Mushroom symbol - These are a collection of obvious mushrooms placed on various surfaces throughout the level, which you simply need to touch to collect.
  • Molecat symbol - These are the number of extra molecats you need to find, touch to wake up, and guide to the exit of each level. Note that this number does not include your starting orange molecat, only the extra ones to find in the level (so the total number of molecats reaching the exit should be this number plus one).
  • Orange diamond/box - Many levels have a simple light brown package placed somewhere. One of your molecats needs to touch it to pick it up, and then bring it to the exit door. These are one of the two main collectibles in the game, and they're the ones that add to your collections (in the 'Trophies' menu from the main menu).
  • Orange question mark - This denotes how many hidden tiles are in that level. These hidden tiles will be black until you enter them, at which point they light up permanently. More information and tips in Molecats Forever! (150G).
  • Golden tiles - These aren't tracked anywhere ingame aside from your total count in the upper right corner of the level select map, so it's impossible to see which levels have one and if you collected it in that level. Grammy! (130G) has a list of which levels have golden tiles, and you'll need to keep track of which ones you've collected. These work just like the boxes: grab it with a molecat and bring it to the exit.
Aside from checking the pause menu during a level, when you reach the exit door with your main orange molecat, the bottom of the screen will display your star rating based on how much of the above you've brought to the exit. If it shows three stars, you know you've gotten everything (aside from the golden tile, which isn't tied to three stars). So essentially you should never be pressing button-y.png to complete a level until you've found everything and it shows three stars at the bottom. If you have less than three stars, continue to hunt everything down.

If you ensure you get three stars on every level and the golden tile on each that has one, you'll unlock nearly every achievement by the time you complete the game. There are a few miscellaneous achievements though:
 
  • Go March - Replay this level after completing 'Reverse!' to unlock the ability to reverse, so you can Arm Yourself! (20G) 
  • Run! - Replay this level after completing it and unlocking the ability to run so you can unlock Flash! (20G)
  • Reverse! - Make sure to grab Long Walk (10G) during this level
  • Stop! - Replay this level after your three-star run to unlock Sneak Master (20G) 
  • Safeman! - Refer to Locksmith! (50G) to ensure you get that achievement during your play of the level so you don't have to replay it
  • Lift? - Make absolutely sure to unlock Up’n’Down (50G) at the end of this level so you don't have to replay the entire thing
  • If you haven't unlocked Strategy (10G) by the time you finish everything else, load up any short level to get it
  • Those are all of the miscellaneous achievements. They're all very short and easy to get, so just refer to each solution for how. The most important one is Up’n’Down (50G) since it's at the very end of a pretty long level
And that's all there is to this completion. Easier said than done, though, as some levels will take a decent amount of work to explore them all and collect everything. Once you finish up that last (and pretty involved) boss level with three stars, you should be done with this completion.

Conclusion:
Molecats is a pretty involved and decently challenging puzzle game. Although, a lot of the levels involve some amount of trial and error to see what works, but then you can begin to strategize and levels become easier. The hardest levels are ones where tiles are dark and require light to see, since it's far harder to discern a setup and path to complete the level. But again, with enough trial and error, you should be able to manage through each level. Just don't leave until you've found everything, and with enough time, you'll conquer all of the levels and get this well-earned completion.
 
[XBA would like to thank Necrophage33 for this Roadmap]

Molecats Achievement Guide

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There are 22 achievements with a total of 1000 points

  • Spend 30 min in any level

    As the description says, you need to spend 30 minutes in any level and then complete it. This is actually pretty likely to happen naturally, so it's best to wait until after you complete the game to go for this achievement, if you didn't unlock it along the way. While it may seem crazy to spend that much time on a level, realize that using rb.png to speed things up also accumulates time at an increased rate. So you won't actually be in the level for 30 minutes, but will likely accumulate that much time on multiple levels.

    For me, I had multiple levels take over 30 minutes to complete, with my longest level taking over 60 minutes, but your mileage may vary. If you somehow complete the game without unlocking this, just idle your game on one of the first levels and then complete it after you've spent 30 minutes there. When you pause the game you can see how much time you've spent in that level to know if you've reached 30 minutes. Holding rb.png speeds this up significantly.
  • Flash!

     

    20

    Finish any level in under 10 seconds

    This won't be possible until you complete the level 'Run!' early on in Chapter 1. During this level, you'll unlock the ability to hold button-a.png to make your character(s) run, which also allows them to skip over certain interaction points. Complete the level 'Run!' like normal, then replay it and just hold button-a.png so your molecat runs past the chute and right to the door (just make sure to let go of button-a.png before the door so you don't run past it) and quickly press button-y.png to end the level. This should allow you to finish the level in 5-6 seconds.

    NOTE that using rb.png is not possible for this achievement, as it only speeds up time (time still accumulates like normal), so don't bother using rb.png during this achievement attempt at all.
  • Unlock all powers!

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    This achievement will unlock during 'Stop!' in Chapter 1 after you unlock the ability to Stop.
  • Finish Stop! level without using buttons.

    This is relatively simple to do. Load up 'Stop!' (final level of Chapter 1) and don't rotate any tiles. Your goal here is to use button-x.png on your molecat to keep it on the "bottom" of the tiles and wait for the yeti to walk to the right side of the door and fall asleep. Have your molecat stay to the yeti's left side and just follow him right, and as soon as he passes the door, walk to it and press button-y.png to end the level, unlocking this achievement.
  • Find the Zapper outside the Caves

    This achievement first requires you to progress in Chapter 1 until you get to the level 'Reverse!' Complete it to unlock the power to reverse your character(s) by pressing button-x.png.

    Now, load up the very first level in the game, 'Go March!' As soon as the level starts, press button-x.png to reverse your character so you walk to the left away from the cave. Wait a couple seconds and this achievement will unlock.
  • Take a meaningless walk

    In the level 'Reverse!' in Chapter 1, you'll immediately be able to see a long path across the top of the tiles that doesn't lead anywhere. Any at point during this level, simply have your molecat walk all the way around this upper path to unlock this achievement.
  • Gather all collections

    Refer to Molecats Forever! (150G) for more information.
  • Find 20 collectibles

    Refer to Molecats Forever! (150G) for more information.
  • Find the 1st collectible

    Refer to Molecats Forever! (150G) for more information.
  • Apply the first look

    For this achievement, first you need to finish a collection (viewable in the Trophies section of the main menu). Refer to Molecats Forever! (150G) for more information on finding collectibles. You get them in a non-sequential order (i.e. you don't get all four items from one collection first, then the next, etc.), so you're stuck checking back in at the Trophies menu every so often (or just wait until you've gotten all collectibles).

    Once you've completed a collection, scroll to it in the Trophies section and you'll get a new outfit for your molecat. There doesn't seem to be any button to press to equip it, so I kind of just hung out on that screen until this achievement unlocked.
  • Gather four collections

    Refer to Molecats Forever! (150G) for more information.
  • Earn all Stars in all levels

    Earning three stars in a level requires you to find everything in a level. When you either hover over a level on the level select screen or press button-menu.png during a level, it will show you a breakdown of everything in that level. They can be any combination of the following.
     
    • Mushroom symbol - These are a collection of obvious mushrooms placed on various surfaces throughout the level, which you simply need to touch to collect.
    • Molecat symbol - These are the number of extra molecats you need to find, touch to wake up, and guide to the exit of each level. Note that this number does not include your starting orange molecat, only the extra ones to find in the level (so the total number of molecats reaching the exit should be this number plus one).
    • Orange diamond/box - Many levels have a simple light brown package placed somewhere. One of your molecats needs to touch it to pick it up, and then bring it to the exit door. These are one of the two main collectibles in the game, and they're the ones that add to your collections (in the 'Trophies' menu from the main menu). You need to collect all of these to unlock I Want It All (100G).
    • Orange question mark - This denotes how many hidden tiles are in that level. These hidden tiles will be black until you enter them, at which point they light up permanently. 
    Note that I don't mention the Golden Tiles here. They aren't need for three stars and aren't tracked in either of the places mentioned above. Despite that, you absolutely should be collecting them as well during your three-star run of each level. Grammy! (130G) has more information on which levels you can find them in, but in general they are virtually always around a mushroom or more, so if you find all of the mushrooms you will find any hidden Golden Tile.

    From the above list, the mushrooms, molecats, and box are all straightorward - go around each level collecting them all. The only tricky part comes from the hidden tiles (which will virtually always be hiding some amount of mushrooms, or a molecat, or a box, or a Golden Tile, or combination of all of those. Hidden tiles are completely black and invisible until you enter one, at which point it lights up and stays visible for the remainder of the time in the level..

    There is, thankfully, one simple trick to finding the hidden tile(s) in every level: pause the game when you start the level to first check for orange question marks to see if the level contains any hidden tiles. If it does, you should immediately find it so you can access it without having to backtrack after reaching the end of the level. The way to find it is to realize that when two tiles have a connecting path, there is a small "bridge" area that forms between the two tiles, allowing you to walk from one to the other. So first, if you zoom out all the way with lt.png, you can actually look around the level and it'll be pretty obvious where hidden tiles are. All of the tiles for a level are contained within a sort of underground border line that is drawn around the outside of the level. Hidden tiles will never be outside of this line. So if there is an obvious black space with no visible tile, there's a good chance that's where the hidden tile is. To further look for it and confirm its location, take all neighboring tiles and rotate them through all four positions, keeping an eye on the tunnels that lead toward the black space. If you see a "bridge" section appear at the edge of the tile you're rotating, you know it attached to the invisible hidden tile and you've found which tunnel to take to access the hidden tile. Once you do it for yourself, you'll see how simple it is to just go around the level rotating red tiles until you find one that creates a bridge to an invisible hidden tile.

    A couple exceptions to this/ things to point out:
     
    • Once you're introduced to sliding blue tiles, you may need to slide a specific tile to a specific location to access the hidden tile. Just go through trial and error to find it.
    • Some hidden tiles are found by rotating a nearby locked tile that needs to be rotated with a lever. These are more of a pain to locate, so if there is a hidden tile and you haven't found it, once you get to a lever that rotates a tile, rotate it to all four positions first to see if it connects to a hidden tile.
    • The final exception, which I believe happens only in two levels, is when hidden tiles are only accessed by falling through one of the "cracks" in the levels that have them. You'll recognize these when you see them, as your extra molecats will fall through the crack and end up somewhere different. There are a couple levels where the only way to access the hidden tile(s) is to fall through the correct crack to end up in the hidden tile. So if you've exhausted all moveable tiles and haven't found the hidden tile, intentionally fall through each crack to see if your molecat ends up in a hidden tile.
    That's everything that is required for three stars on a level. You can monitor your progress during each level by pausing, and then when you get to the exit door, your star rating will be displayed on the bottom of the screen. If it isn't at three stars, you can press button-a.png to run past the exit door and return to the level to continue to look for whatever you're missing.
 

Secret achievements

  • Finish the 1st level

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    Simply complete the tutorial to finish the first level and unlock this achievement.
  • Reach Chapter 2

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    To reach Chapter 2, you need to complete at least 15 levels out of the 20 in Chapter 1, regardless of star rating, to reach and unlock the lock at the bottom leading to Chapter 2.
  • Reach Chapter 3

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    To reach Chapter 3, you need to complete at least 24 levels out of the 31 in Chapters 1 and 2, regardless of star rating, to reach and unlock the lock at the bottom leading to Chapter 3.
  • Reach Chapter 4

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    To reach Chapter 4, you need to complete at least 33 levels out of the 41 in Chapters 1, 2 and 3, regardless of star rating, to reach and unlock the lock at the bottom leading to Chapter 4.
  • Reach Chapter 5

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    To reach Chapter 5, you need to complete at least 42 levels out of the 51 in Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4, regardless of star rating, to reach and unlock the lock at the bottom leading to Chapter 5.
  • Open all Vaults in Safeman

    Safeman is the first bonus level in Chapter 2 and it requires five golden tiles to unlock. Refer to Grammy! (130G) for collecting all golden tiles.

    To be clear on what this achievement requires: there are five doors in this level, and you must have all five of them unlocked at the same time.

    This level will be a bit confusing at first, but it's actually quite simple once you know what's going on:
     
    • There is one lever, on the left side of the left tile, and it rotates the middle and bottom tiles. It's the only lever for rotation.
    • There is one switch, on the top of the upper tile, and it unlocks doors. It's the only switch for unlocking doors.
    • The switch on the top unlocks a door that is entirely dependent on the position of the middle tile.
    Because of this simple setup, all you really need to do is use the lever on the left, then walk up to the switch and press it to unlock a door. Immediately reverse on the switch (so you only hit it once), then come back to the lever and reverse on it to hit it once, back up to the switch, and so on. You will only be able to reach the switch on top in three of the four positions for the middle tile. One position of the middle tile blocks off the switch. This orientation is shown below.


    If you look closely at your screen (or the image), you'll see a little box character in the upper right corner, who slowly moves. Once you have the middle tile in the orientation shown above, stop your character (button-b.png) and then hold rb.png to have the box character slowly start to move around the loop he's trapped in. Eventually he will finally make his way up to the switch and hit it. Continue to hold rb.png until he's tucked back in the upper alcove of the right tile, then hit the lever to keep him trapped over there. That button press unlocks the bottom door leading to the purple bulb-shaped room on the bottom tile. As mentioned above, the rest of the doors can be unlocked by just walking back and forth between the lever and the switch.

    Once all five are unlocked, you must then walk over to the door and press button-y.png to complete the level. Only then will this achievement unlock.
  • Lift Tormashka to the upper floor!

    This achievement must be done on the final level of Chapter 4, 'Lift?' 

    Simply play through and get to the end of the level like normal, eventually getting the blue key and unlocking the door to the exit door. In this exit door area, you've likely noticed the weird creature moving around. That's Tormashka. With the blue door unlocked and the elevator all the way at the bottom, hold rb.png until Tormashka moves around and eventually ends up on the elevator. Now move the elevator all the way to the top. I held rb.png again until he left the elevator (he went to the left side) and this achievement then unlocked.
  • Watch all main story Comics

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    As you progress and complete levels, you'll see silver locks that you need to unlock to access more levels (mainly for the next chapter, but there are some locks within chapters). Opening locks simply requires you to complete levels regardless of star rating. Each one you complete adds to your tally, which is displayed in the upper right corner of the level select map. Each lock you unlock presents you with a short comic strip to watch. Once you've unlocked all locks (and therefore watched all comics), this achievement will unlock. This should unlock when you unlock the lock to the boss fight at the end of Chapter 5.
  • Grammy!

     

    130

    Find all Golden Tiles

    Golden Tiles are a collectible that is hidden in some of the levels, and they are a shiny yellow disc. There are 22 of them in the game. Unfortunately, they are not tracked anywhere for each level: pausing during the level doesn't show if there's one there, nor on the level select map. On top of that, even if you do collect the Golden Tile in a level, there's still no way to see which level you've collected one in. The only tracking is the total amount you have in the upper right corner of the level select map. As a result, I highly recommend doing them in order and not moving on until you've gotten them so that you don't need to keep track of which levels you've collected them in. You should pair these with your three-star runs so that you know any level with three stars already has the Golden Tile collected.

    As for which levels contain Golden Tiles, they are as follows.

    Chapter 1
    1. Run?
    2. Keys!
    3. Up'n'Down!
    4. Stop!
    Chapter 2
    1. Ruins!
    2. Oh Well...
    3. City!
    4. Bridge!
    5. To Nowhere!
    Chapter 3
    1. Pitch?
    2. Crystals!
    3. Garden!
    4. Gearbox!
    Chapter 4
    1. Cycle!
    2. Tubes!
    3. Aquarium!
    4. Vault?
    5. Rings!
    6. From Nowhere!
    7. Freezing!
    Chapter 5
    1. Fridge!
    2. Boss!
    To collect them, you need to find them and bring them to the exit door with any of your molecats. In terms of locating them, that shouldn't be a problem at all. They are either visible on the level already (and it's just a matter of getting to them), or they are located in a hidden tile (tracked via the orange question mark for that level). Virtually every single Golden Tile that is in a hidden tile is among mushrooms, and in general, mushrooms are all around all of the various collectibles, so if you find all the mushrooms you should find all of the collectibles, including the Golden Tiles for the levels that have them.

    Note: This achievements seems to be a bit buggy in that it doesn't unlock as soon as you complete a level with your final Golden Tile. Once you've collected all 22 Golden Tiles, you will likely need to replay a level with a Golden Tile and recollect it to force this achievement to unlock. I replayed 'Run?' in Chapter 1, which is very short and simple to get the Golden Tile and finish in a minute or two. This achievement unlocked for me right after that replay. You don't even need to bother with mushrooms or anything; just grab the Golden Tile and head right to the exit.
  • Finish the game

    Story-related; cannot be missed.

    To finish the game, you need to complete at least 50 levels out of the 57 in Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 regardless of star rating, to unlock the final level. Then, complete the final level, a pretty intricate "boss" level, to unlock this achievement.

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