Developer: Nine Tail Studios
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆ 
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Though Halloween has been and gone, the ghouls, ghosts, goblins and yes, monsters, are still out to wreak havoc. And what a better way to do it than to build an army of monsters to annihilate the human world?

Monsters Rising is an action strategy combat game that involves using the gesture-based controls of one’s device to crush, kill, and destroy with a variety of different means. The mechanics of play are quite innovative, and for this I’m mostly impressed. Reminiscent of the Wii U’s Wonderful 101, which may or may not have influenced the gesture-based combat system, players tap once to target their enemy and then draw various shapes across their screen to trigger an attack. Chaos ensues, and there’s a whole array of explosions, brawling, and special attacks to engage the player with.

IMG_0232So the idea is for players to build an army of ten different monsters over five different classes, each with their own upgradeable skill tree. It’s up to them which creature they choose to send out on each mission as they advance throughout the game. Each mission unlocks a new monster, which has its very own set of attacks and skills.

Each monster also has its own history and mythology, which can be viewed by accessing their information as they are collected. The first creature I unlocked, for example, was ‘Horse Face’ – a loyal and deadly guardian of the Chinese Underworld. Though the current monsters are based on those from Chinese mythology, the developer has promised a huge variety of monsters in the coming months from folklore all over the world.

Unfortunately, Monsters Rising also begs for in-app purchases in the event of death; something that can become endlessly frustrating. As a result, players will be forced to restart the mission from the very beginning, which can take unnecessary time and effort as well as waste needless moments waiting for monsters to heal. Admittedly, there is the option of healing using shards in the stash, but this doesn’t come at a small price. Or there’s the possibility of waiting until there are enough monsters in the horde to just bring out another to play with. This still requires restarting the mission though, sadly.

IMG_0237As much as this shouldn’t really detract from the game’s overall enjoyment, it’s sad to say that for some it may well do so as players dishing out for a game usually don’t want to have to get out their wallet just to carry on playing. Likewise, the art style lacks character, but it’s mostly the repetition of each level that really put me off overall.

Monsters Rising may be an enjoyable action-packed game for those who like to play hard, but for anyone who likes to play it safe I’d have to suggest looking elsewhere.


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