With the likes of Minecraft and Terraria encouraging gamers to create and cultivate, it seems that we’ve forgotten how much fun it is to simply destroy stuff. CGMatic and Chillingo haven’t forgot though, as their latest mobile game, Madmonster, proves.
In true giant monster style, Wolfy and his fellow beasts just want to crush, kill and destroy. Obviously, the military aren’t too keen on mass destruction. What follows is a relatively simple game that feels like an updated take on Midway’s 1986 arcade title, Rampage.
Being a mobile game, Madmonster has a suitably simple approach to controls. Pressing the left hand side of the screen moves left, and you can imagine what happens when you touch the right hand side of the screen (If you were imagining anything more than moving your monster to the right, you probably have a far less logical imagination that I). There is also a tilt move that is also sufficient for control, and you may be prompting at times to touch a button on screen to activate a special ability, but it’s all relatively intuitive.
Playing as one of several monsters (you start off as Wolfy, with more available once you’ve collected the requisite amount of coins), you must bounce off of soldiers, vehicles and buildings to reach higher altitudes and collect more and more coins as you climb. However, your health is constantly falling and you must destroy things to raise your bar. To finish each of the game’s 60 levels you need to complete three objectives. These range from destroying so many of one particular vehicle, collecting a certain amount of coins/stars, or even performing specific abilities.
Essentially, it’s like a destructive pinball machine as you rush around to find things to destroy to keep your health up and reach higher altitudes. Obstacles such as spikes will stun you for a few seconds, and purchasable power-ups are also available such as extra lives, jetpacks and other aids.
Once levels are complete, you can take any coins you’ve received to purchase upgrades, usable power-ups and all new monsters, each with their own special abilities. Naturally, in-app purchases are a part of this game, with the ability to purchase coins to save time on earning those extras. You could earn enough coins legitimately to buy everything, but this game is so repetitive it’s unlikely you’d play the game enough to do so, and it never really feels like you need to either.
In terms of graphics, Madmonster’s hand-drawn 2D visuals suit the game, but don’t particularly stand out from the hundreds of other iOS games out there – but at least the various items to destroy are easy to distinguish from the background and aren’t obstructive to the gameplay. The same cannot be said of the audio, which is pretty terrible, with a handful of painfully generic music tracks that repeat over and over again, with bog-standard sound effects on top. You’ll be reaching for the mute button in a heartbeat.
VERDICT: Madmonster feels like a mobile adaptation of Rampage, and like that ancient arcade machine, this game is pretty repetitive and not rewarding enough to merit repeated play. Madmonster doesn’t do anything particular bad, but neither does it do anything particularly good. It’s hard to feel anything other than apathy for a game like this and I’m afraid this is simply just another mobile title.
DECENT. A 6/10 indicates that, while this game could be much better, it still has a fair amount to offer the player. It might be an interesting title sabotaged by its own ambition, or a game denied greater praise by some questionable design choices. Don’t avoid it outright, but approach it with caution.