Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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I enjoy Roguelikes. I have a thing for RPGs. I love action-adventure games. I even dabble in monster-collection fairly often. But in all honesty, would anyone expect all of those great tastes to taste great together? Turns out it doesn’t matter because Foursaken Media has mixed them all in the big proverbial jug that is iOS, and the result is so good it just has to be fattening.
Monster Adventures begins (and pretty much stays in) the town of Yerpa. It’s a quaint place surrounded by forests, mountains, and snowy plains, all of which are crawling with monsters. Fortunately our hero/playable character stumbles upon a friendly critter in the town’s well, and the duo set out to be the very best. Possibly like no one ever was.
When in Yerpa players can buy helpful items from the shop, purchase essences to enhance their creatures, imbue their creatures with elemental power, plant and harvest fruits, take part in the local tournament, acquire challenges from the king for bonus rewards, and turn-in any creatures captured in the wild so that they may be studied to unlock new abilities. Yeah, all that. There’s even a versus/co-op multiplayer option. Out in the wilds, however, Monster Adventures is all about combat and exploration. Players must traverse the randomized map in order to find more creatures to fight or capture, hunt down bosses, find all sorts of loot, and travel deeper into the wilderness for more goodies.
To say Monster Adventures is fantastic would be something of an understatement. The Roguelike elements (i.e. lose all earnings if the monster is knocked out) sit nicely between “too tough” and “cakewalk.” The need to capture wildlings in order to learn new skills is a huge motivator. Being able to equip essences to control the creature’s look, stats, and growth or use them as items to summon a companion monster is inspired.
It’s certainly fantastic, but it’s also imperfect. I’ve encountered a fair number of irritating (but not game-breaking) issues throughout my adventures that include getting picked up by a boss and dropped outside of a level’s walkable paths, overly-aggressive enemies combined with auto-targeting making creature captures in a cluster extremely problematic, quest log synopses that lack helpful details, and the painful need to swap between attacking and using the net in order to see how easy capturing a monster will be. Nothing so bad that it’s ever ruined my fun, thankfully.
The best way I can think to explain my thoughts on Monster Adventures is thus: this game has been getting in the way of my job. I’ve forsaken using other apps and playing other games for this. When I’m not playing it I’m thinking about playing it. I’ve practically drained my iPhone - then recharged it, then drained it again - on several occasions. Yes, it’s just that great.