Version Reviewed: 1.0
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It only took me one Castle Defense game to achieve burnout and never desire to play one again. Frantically tossing wave-after-wave of enemies into the air was fun at first, but in the end, I came to the realization that these types of games generally lack depth and only reward you with a lifetime of flicking-induced arthritic pain. Such is not the case with Monster Mayhem.
Monster Mayhem approaches the Castle Defense genre differently and is best described as a Tower Offense game. Instead of focusing their development on increasing enemies wave after wave, Taplay focused on gameplay mechanics, a diverse stable of unique monsters and a well-equipped arsenal of upgradeable weaponry which gives your fingers/hands some much-needed R and R. Not only does this strategy work very well, it innovates the entire genre and alters the course of future evolution so our children's children aren't born with Popeye forearms.
The story behind Monster Mayhem is simple: You, the Mystery Graveyard keeper, must stop the ensuing waves of Monster Mayhem from breaking down the grave-yard's great iron gate. To accomplish your mission, you're provided with a couple of weapons initially, but as you progress and earn points/coins, additional weapons appear, all of which are upgradeable.
The only weapon requiring players to use extended touch gestures is the knife which, again, is upgradeable. Players simply swipe over enemies to damage/kill them using the knife. The other weapons only require touching the screen and obliterating monster after monster. Players simply choose a weapon from their arsenal, located at the top of the screen, and go to
town grave-yard. This is where Monster Mayhem really shines: In addition to offering depth, beautiful graphics and sounds, it enhances/innovates and provides a very enjoyable game play experience by keeping all the mindless flicking nonsense to a bare minimum, offering instead to allow players to blow their enemies to smithereens using cool weaponry.
As new enemies appear, players are provided with their personal attribute information. Enemies can move quickly and possess little strength (to damage the gate) or move slowly and wreak holy havoc on that iron once they finally make it there and range from werewolves that change to puppies after you kill them, to giant FrankenKens, to spiders that dangle from above and slowly rob you of your hard-earned coinage. And, speaking of coinage, players can replay any previously-beaten level over and again, if desired, to build up enough money to buy/upgrade weapons.
Monster Mayhem contains a built-in enemy reference, which shows each enemy's attribute card and the number of each enemy you've killed, once they're unlocked, an on-screen help tutorial and Crystal social network features including online leaderboards, achievements and the option to challenge your friends to some Monster Mayhem.
All said, Monster Mayhem is beautiful, fun and innovative. Defending your gate simply using one finger and a variety of weapons, against an even larger variety of monsters/enemies is a rewarding, satisfying experience. At only $1.99, this game is definitely worth its purchase price.