148Apps Network Post
Developer: Miniclip.com
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Aim and fire physics games, in the vein of Angry Birds, seem to have permanent appeal to iOS gamers. Miniclip.com has entered this area very successfully before with Fragger, now they have more cartoonish catapult-style game, Monster Island HD, which is also available for iPhone, and it’s a solid eye-pleasing affair.

There is no backstory, players jump right into the fray playing as a monster, armed with mini monsters looking to take down other monsters called “thugs”. If nothing else, the game is aptly named. 

The controls are all touch-based and responsive: first align the arrow to adjust trajectory and velocity, then let one of the little monsters fly into the “thugs” in the hope of blowing them up or knocking them to their doom. The monster-bombs aren’t just bombs, the flyers can knock things over, stick to walls – gamers often need to use a combination of them to bring the blue baddies down. This can take some trial and error, but the game resets the levels very quickly, which is a big perk for this type of physics game.

The game uses the same progression formula as most iOS puzzlers. There are 200 puzzles spread across three worlds and only successful completion of one will unlock the next. And, there is the also-familiar three-starts for perfect solutions that adds replay value, especially for compulsive types.

As Monster Island progresses players can unlock five more monsters to play as, each with differing abilities, but this brings me to my only beef the with game.

It looks good with bright graphics and unusual boards, it plays well, the physics feel right, but for a paid game there is a lot to purchase. And much of it seem both exorbitant and a little too in my face. 

In-app purchases for coins are available to unlock everything from new monsters and worlds, to buying level-skips, or revealing solutions. Without these purchases the game is very playable, but earning enough coins the hard way takes a long time.

Monster Island has Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements, but this sort of game always makes me wish there were separate boards for straight shooters.

That said, while Monster Island‘s premise is not new, it is nice twist with unusual challenges, and there is a lot of content here – unlocked content – to keep gamers busy solving for many hours.