Developer: BonusXP
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Monster Crew does something a little different with the endless runner genre: it tries to mix card collecting with the standard “run and collect coins” gameplay. Well, at least cards get involved in a light but substantial way. Players control a kid who goes to get his cards back after his mom sold them at a garage sale to an evil scientist. Parents just don’t understand. The kid goes to the evil scientist’s castle, get turned into Frankenstein(’s monster), and now runs through the scientists’s castle level-by-level to collect coins to get his cards back.

Thankfully, these coins have gameplay purposes! Three are drawn from the deck at the end of the first level, and can grant things like coin bonuses, can turn enemies into harmless cookies or pretzels (seriously), or other positive effects. As well, there’s a piggy bank that collects coins after each level, and it must be collected at some point before dying or else they all go to waste. These coins (and the secondary tokens) are spent on buying new cards, or buying upgrades for the cards.

I found myself actually quite engrossed by Monster Crew: what it does best is to balance having a lot of outside elements to enrich the gameplay, while leaving the core untouched. It’s still a game about running through a castle, avoiding ghosts, stomping spiders, and collecting sweet, sweet, loot. The ability to do a mid-air smash by tapping on the screen is another welcome differentiator; it can be used to attack enemies, or as a way to cleverly avoid hazards. The health bar means that runs can last for longer than a game like Jetpack Joyride does, but it feels great to not die with just one hit. This is more about the long game, especially with long-term goals to unlock new items and great rewards.

While there’s plenty of endless runners out there, and Monster Crew’s core gameplay is a lot like them, it does enough to stand on its own. Fans of the genre should check this out.

Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , ,