App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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Game Stew's latest title on the App Store,Kaiju Attack, is a match-three game where you are combining blocks of people, buildings, and military weaponry to complete turn-based battles with giant monsters. It's a fun enough idea, but the game itself is so slow and chance-based that it's very easy to get tired of rather quickly.
Kaiju Attack is a level-based puzzle game where you pick a location from around the world that is being terrorized by a unique giant monster. There's a giant bear attacking Taiwan, a two-headed hydra destroying the US, a tentacled alien creature wreaking havoc in France, etc. In each of these eight locations, you mission is the same: Protect the country while taking down the monstrous threat.
The way you fight with these monsters is through some match-three gameplay. You combine people tiles to recover your country's life bar, buildings to power your military forces, and tanks or planes to create increasingly powerful defenses to chip down the monster's life bar. All the while the monster you're fighting takes up a spot on your matching board and destroys tiles each turn. Your objective is to manage your resources well enough to kill the monster before your life bar hits zero.
There are eight standard Kaiju in Kaiju Attack, but each one is designed for you to fight it multiple times: seven to be exact. Each time you beat one of these monsters, you earn currency to unlock and upgrade some new weapons and abilities, but your enemies get stronger, too. Once you've beaten all the standard Kaiju you can move on to the special endgame location for an even tougher challenge.
As you play these repeated fights, there are a few fun discoveries to make while playing, like exactly how many times you can upgrade blocks through matching and the special additional abilities fully upgraded blocks grant. The unlockable gear also adds some more variety in terms of how you carry out fights with the monsters. That said, each fight still just boils down to matching tiles and hoping that your ever-more-powerful foes don't randomly move to destroy key pieces of infrastructure you've built up.
Despite the unlocks and upgrades you can get in Kaiju Attack, you can see just about everything it has to offer rather quickly. The problem with this you lose the sense of surprise and novelty in the game while you still have a ton of it left to play.
It also doesn't help that Kaiju Attack is an extremely slow-moving game. Everything from matching tiles to watching combat scenes unfold involves sitting through animations that are all just a little longer than you expect them to be, and there's no way to skip or speed them up. At its best, this means you might have to sit through a lengthy tally of your points after winning a fight, but at its worst, Kaiju Attack makes you sit through every animation sequence of a combat phase you already know you lost.
The bottom line
Kaiju Attack suffers from being both light on content and very slowly paced. This combination simply doesn't work for a match-three game that's structured around repetition. Without enough depth to make its down moments feel reflective, Kaiju Attack just feels like a big waste of time, despite its cool look and premise.