App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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My neighborhood is apparently playing host to a menagerie of monsters. That’s okay because they’re of the cute and cuddly variety, but there sure are an awful lot of the little buggers hiding out around here. Good thing I can use Mobbles to catch them. Then pet them and love them and call them George.
Mobbles is an interesting combination of location-based and monster-collecting and raising gameplay. As long as there’s space available, a player can wander around just about anywhere and try to track one (or several) of the little suckers down. If they can get within a certain real world distance, they can attempt to catch it. If successful, they have a new little buddy to feed and shower with attention. This is where the second half of the game comes into play. Each little critter can be fed, bathed, played with, and put to bed. They each also have their own to-do lists that will reward bonus gems (used for buying stuff) or love (used to level-up a given creature) that run the gamut from tickling a specific number of times to simply feeding at a specific time of day.
Every creature in Mobbles has a distinct look (always cute), and every creature also has its own basic personality. Although for my money Gummy is about as adorable a cartoon iOS “thing” as I’ve ever seen. Having to put them to sleep once they get tired from too much activity, typically for about a half an hour, can actually be seen as a good thing since it prevents people from spending way too much time poking virtual cartoon monsters. And the features that constantly unlock for each Sploon, Gummy, Runka, and so on can be a major driving force to keep players invested.
Though they may be cute and numerous, and full of un-lockable wardrobe options, Mobbles can also be a bit of a let down for someone who doesn’t know what to expect. Finding, collecting, and trading monsters typically lends itself to training and battles as well, but those are two features that are decidedly not present here. This is not a battle game, it’s a virtual pet game. It’s important for anyone interested to understand that as there’s very little in the way of action, which can be a huge disappointment if it’s not expected.
So long as people know what they’re getting into, they’re bound to enjoy Mobbles. It’s an entertaining and family-friendly game designed to get everyone out of the house for a bit while they go looking for new specimens, not a collect ‘em, train ‘em, battle ‘em affair. Given the sheer amount of cute on display, I’m inclined to be okay with that.