REVIEW: MONSTERS ATE MY CONDO

Purveyor of absurd and off color media, [adult swim] has delivered many wonderful games such as Robot Unicorn Attack, Hemp Tycoon and Amateur Surgeon. Now, teaming up with the developer Pik Pok, they’ve released Monsters Ate My Condo (M.A.M.C.).

For a measly $0.99, this App Store ‘Game of the Week’ (9/16/11) is a wise investment for any lover of the strange and flashy.

Game Mechanics

M.A.M.C. consists of two game modes, Endless Mode and Timed Attack. The difference is simple, in Endless Mode the player continues until they lose, and in the Timed Attack, they only play for a set time.

So the player has a condo building and feeds the separate blocks to monsters. In essence, there is a stack of condos on the screen that look like Jenga blocks and a monster on each side of the tower. The condos come in four different colors (Blue, Green, Yellow, Red) and the goal is to create “combos” of three or more of the same color. Now to line up same color condos, the player can use their finger to “flick” condos to either the right or left, feeding the monster waiting there. There are also four different monsters, one for each color. While the player can feed any condo to any monster, feeding a monster a off-color condo makes them angry, and a same color condo soothes them. Make them angry enough and they’ll knock your condo building over.

Beyond the basics, there are shiny condos to create bomb condos, concrete condos and all sorts of mayhem and strategy. The player aims to level up, which increases the size of their tower and their score modifier. Scores can be uploaded to either OpenFeint or the Game Center.

M.A.M.C. delivers what it promises. The motion response is accurate and realistic. If the player is too haphazard in their condo flicking, they can actually disturb the condo stack and potentially knock it over. Condos can also be flicked mid fall from the tower, and gameplay extended.

There were reviews in the App Store that complained of this game crashing on startup, but I haven’t experienced any troubles during my playtime.

Game Mechanics        Score   4 / 5

Ambience

The game is a visually intense experience. The background flashes and the bright monsters dance while you feed them. The music is up-tempo and keeps pace with the scintillating, rainbow-like barrage of colors. The music, and sound effects, though appropriate is ultimately forgettable.

The only drawback is that all the colors and music can easily distract from the game itself. Sometimes it’s more enjoyable to play slowly and watch the monsters react as they’re force-fed condos.

Ambience                    Score   3.5 / 5

Fun Factor

Monster Ate My Condo definitely pumps the pulse and can be an exhilarating time killer. Intensely addictive in short bursts, M.A.M.C. will drive a player’s flicking finger sore. While it’s enjoyable and satisfying to go for a high-score, sometimes it’s just a fun game to play whether the condos stand or fall.

Unfortunately, in most games like this there isn’t a long-term play value. That’s not to say there’s isn’t a high replay value, as M.A.M.C. will drag its player back time and time for another bout. After the initial tutorial game, in Endless Mode, Time Attack is unlocked; otherwise, there are not any other rewards besides bragging rights. Most sessions of M.A.M.C. won’t last over ten minutes because of the lack of long-term play value. Perhaps a couple unlockable monsters or something would extend the average game time.

Lastly, the bizarre, Japanese-pop-esque sound track can get a little repetitive after a while. Now it does enhance the game tempo, but a change of pace every once in a while would be nice. Maybe an option to play the device music instead of the standard music?

Fun Factor                  Score   4 / 5

Guidance

There isn’t any need to go beyond the game for any guidance. In the Settings menu, there is a Tutorial Mode that can be switched On or Off. More games could benefit from this smart feature. To play with the Tutorial enabled allows a player, who may have set the game aside for a while, to pick it back up without feeling completely lost.

As mentioned before, the problem M.A.M.C. is that while it goes a step further than most in its genre in allowing varied gameplay, the frantic pace can hinder that aspect. There are basic combos to create shiny condos, then combos with shiny condo, bomb condos to defuse via combos, concrete condos that can only be removed through combos in addition to using shiny condos to activate the monster’s special abilities. The player can also use combos to switch out the onscreen monsters for new ones. There is a real in-depth focus for such a seeming simple facade, but sometimes in the chaos of condo flicking and monster appeasing, these nuances can be overlooked.

Guidance                     Score   3.5 / 5

 

Final Thoughts

There is little more to say about Monsters Ate My Condos than what has been said in the preceding sections. The App Store is saturated with games in this genre, addictive time killers without any long-term goals, some better done than others, but Monsters Ate My Condo ranks close to the top. It’s quirky and bright design might hinder it proliferation across the massive spectrum of device users, but this is the type of game that attracts a solid cult fan base. For $0.99, this game is a steal. You should almost feel bad about having this much fun for so little money.

Final                            Score   3.8 / 5

Written by Andrew

GD Star Rating
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REVIEW: MONSTERS ATE MY CONDO, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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