Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Monstaaa! is a new physics puzzler that players control completely by tilting their device. In this game, players precisely tilt their device to guide rolling bugs into the mouth of an awaiting cave monster, called Monstaaa. Of course, in the caves where Monstaaa lives, getting bugs into his mouth is not always easy. In these caves there are many dangerous obstacles, like spikes and fire, that will destroy the bugs before Monstaaa can snack on them if the player isn't careful.
This game requires finesse. It takes only very slight movements of the device to send bugs rolling off in different directions. To enforce that need for finesse, the levels are very challenging and require players to focus on fine control instead of rocking their device back and forth haphazardly until something happens. The tilt controls work very well too, they are responsive and consistent, and they allow the fine control required to enjoy the game.
Of course, as a puzzle game, Monstaaa! has elements in its levels that take it beyond just getting a bug to a cute monster. Some levels have keys that must be collected first to open doors. Other levels will have more than one bug and players must pay attention to how every bug moves together as they endeavor to get each one into Monstaaa's mouth. There are also various bugs that act differently by doing things like changing their size to make them too big to fit through certain spaces in the cave or eating other bugs in the level. These mechanics are all very well thought out and work together in splendid fashion to make a game that is quite challenging, but not impossible to figure out with a few minutes of thought.
This is a really gorgeous game. The hand painted qualities of the characters and other game elements all blend into a beautifully seamless environment. The controls are some of the better tilt controls to be found on an iOS game right now, and the gameplay is superb. While the idea of fighting physics to feel a little monster might not be the most original, it is very well executed here and the quality of the experience is undeniable.