148Apps Network Post
Developer: Ubisoft
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

I’m not the biggest score chaser in gaming. I’m just not competitive enough to be fussed about being the best on online leaderboards, I’m happy just completing the game. That is until I played Monster Burner. Ubisoft’s latest foray into the iOS world is nothing short of exceptional, pitched perfectly to keep players playing until their iPad runs out of power.

Monster Burner manages to be both fast paced and strategic with players taking the role of a magician who must shoot fireballs at the flurry of monsters creeping down the screen. There’s a surprising level of depth to such an idea with the game successfully combining shoot em up, pinball and even pool elements. It’s thanks to a culmination of seemingly minor features that, once put together, creates a very potent title. While the player can just flick fireballs at individual monsters, it’s not long before mana resources, the main ingredient to throwing the fireballs in the first place, are depleted. It’s advantageous to line up shots to take out numerous enemies at once for more than one reason. A mana potion is supplied once taking out five foes at once. More importantly, points increase faster which means that other levels are unlocked more swiftly. As the game progresses, the player unlocks new benefits such as faster mana regeneration or a way of creating a temporary wall of fire.

It’s all pitched just right. Early stages are easy to complete but take longer to truly master and gain a perfect score. Strategy plays an important role as different enemy types require subtle changes in how to tackle them, plus there are princesses that need rescuing and avoiding. In some cases, shots can be bounced off the walls further gaining better score multipliers. Other times, it’s useful to hold a finger to the screen for longer thus creating a larger fireball to unleash upon the monstrous horde. It’s all simple yet so compelling and I’ve not even got to the best part: the leaderboard integration. Each level begins displaying the leaderboard but it’s how it’s implemented within the stage that makes the difference. Names pop up instead of a monster when it’s clear a score will be beaten making it somehow feel more personal. I found myself wanting to be better simply because of the knowledge that someone across the world would see my name as a target to beat.

Monster Burner is a fantastic mix of different game types ensuring that it will appeal to almost everyone. There’s even a special mode, alongside the numerous other levels, aimed at children. It’s a true must have for all iPad gamers.


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