App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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There are few things I've soured on so much over time as the Supercell-ification of free-to-play multiplayer games. Specifically, I find the part where your ability to perform well in the game is directly related to how much time and/or money you've invested in it to be particularly grating. Every once in a while though, a game comes along and just has a good enough premise and core concept that I can overlook this sore spot and just have fun. Monsters with Attitude is very much one of those games. I'm genuinely shocked at how much I appreciate its mix of genres and mechanics to make for a really fun multiplayer experience.
Monsters with Attitude is a multiplayer game where up to eight players take control of giant, kaiju-like monsters as they wreak havoc in various different environments. Each player is competing to be the most efficient destructive force, which is determined through points players earn by smashing things.
Players can't simply win by constantly throwing their monsters at any old objects to smash though. Similar to something like Katamari Damacy, the monsters in each round start out quite small and are only effective at tearing through fields, fences, solar panels, etc. As they destroy these things though, the monsters gain size, which then allows them to take down vehicles, trees, and even buildings with relative ease. Also, when your monster is bigger than another player's monster, you can start attacking them to steal their points, which is an important tactical consideration for trying to maintain your position on the leaderboard.
Controlling all of this destruction couldn't be any simpler. Monsters with Attitude just asks that players swipe to determine the direction of their beast, and the game pretty much takes care of the rest. There are other things to focus on though that keep the game from feeling too simplistic.
Specifically, each monster in Monsters with Attitude has their own special powers they can activate to help them gain an edge over other players, and there are also special powerups littered across the map that players can pick up and activate to create some Mario Kart style antics that either benefit you or screw up the plans of your opponents. On top of this, each round of Monsters with Attitude follows three distinct phases which encourage somewhat different tactics across each match's short, two minute timeframe. This is all to say that Monsters with Attitude is a pretty fast and frenetic game that has a bit more going on in it than there might seem on the surface.
As mentioned at the top of the review, Monsters with Attitude is a free-to-play game, and it very much mimics Supercell's Clash Royale for its monetization scheme. There are lootboxes that unlock over time, premium currency to upgrade monsters, tiered cups, etc. The only part that bugs me about this (and the same is true for any game that uses this f2p style) is that this grind can actually result in players having characters and abilities that are better than someone else's. For a multiplayer game, this–obviously–is ruinous to the idea of providing an equal playing field to everyone.
With all that said, there's something about Monsters with Attitude's gameplay that makes me not mind its unbalanced monetization scheme. I think part of it has to do with the fact that this game is a competition between eight players instead of a head-to-head affair, but there's also something else at play here. Almost every aspect of Monsters with Attitude makes it feel more like a party game as opposed to something to get seriously competitive about. This takes a lot of the sting out of the idea that you could be playing against someone who paid to have more powerful monsters than you.
The bottom line
The layers to Monsters with Attitude makes it tactically interesting, but it's also got a bit of a wild side that encourages you not to take it too seriously. This combination works surprisingly well and can make you forget you're playing an inherently unbalanced competitive multiplayer game. This is quite a feat, and it makes Monsters with Attitude worth checking out.