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Developer: Monstars Inc.
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Strange and interesting are the two most relevant descriptions of Kotomon. The game involves moving round some alien-like monster (Pokemonish?) and throwing other monsters at the enemy while trying to reach a camp at the end of each level. Players rack up combos by destroying multiple enemies. It’s an interesting mix of an adventure, shooter, and bowling.

Some added items to the gameplay include apples. I was a bit confused as to what these did at first. From what I can tell, apples basically make the support monsters (not the main one the user is controlling) wider. I’m not sure if this makes them hit more enemies because of the size. The game never explained what the apples did (players do get some points for picking up the apples). Players also encounter what I would call a bush. The bush can be picked up, used as a pseudo shield, and thrown at enemies. The bush wasn’t explained either.

In between levels, the main monster hangs out at a camp with the smaller ones. This screen allows users to change the monsters they use for each level. The monster all have special uses. Some have more power, some move quicker, some try to collect the apples (perhaps there’s some kind of hidden hunger stat for the monsters), and more.

The music was quite catchy. It fit the cosmic and cute theme of the game. Even the little snare/tambourine riffs that play when the player hits combos fit well. Although, a lot of the combo sounds sound incredibly familiar to sounds in Peggle.

Sometimes my viewing angle was awful. Since the camera can’t be rotated (at least, I was never shown any controls to rotate it), sometimes enemies are in an area that the player can’t see unless he or she moves a significant amount. In that time the player is trying to adjust to a better position, often they will get bombarded by various bombs and fire coming out of the direction they can’t see. It’s an annoying problem that could be fixed with controls for the camera angle.

My biggest problem with Kotomon was the tutorial. A tutorial existed, but there were things (like the apples, bushes, and others) that simply weren’t explained. The gameplay was fun but there was a little too much trial and error with how things worked before I was really able to enjoy the game.

Kotomon is definitely unique. Anyone who sees the screenshots and enjoys the art style should pick it up. Almost all will enjoy the gameplay because of how it mashes a few different gameplay styles into one game. For $2.99 as a universal app, this one’s worth picking up.

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