GI: Global insurance, how can I help you?
Me: Monsters ate my condo!
GI: Please repeat, how can I help you?
Me: Monsters Ate My Condo!
GI: What kind of monsters are we talking about, Godzilla or King Kong?
Me: No, this is a wicked Chihuahua, a weird crab, a quite gay unicorn and well a mutated Japanese man.
Gi: Ok, I will forward your call to our psychiatric evaluation department that also handles monsters eating condos.
Me: NO, MONSTERS REALLY ATE MY CONDO.
Sorry for the poor opening to this review, but I had a great idea that went bad. Thankfully the game I am reviewing is far from bad, and actually deserves a much better first paragraph. I had my doubts when Adult Swim teamed up with casual flick gaming powerhouse PikPok. I thought we would see re-skinned versions of Flick Kick Football featuring characters from Adult Swim shows such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Might have been fun, but not new or inspired. The first time I started up Monsters Ate My Condo I was pleasantly surprised, as it is really good. The second time I played it good turned into great. Now I am blown away by the gameplay, presentation and humour of it all. My wife has played it for two hours straight, and she keeps saying that this is a five-star game. Before I go into the ratings of the title I have to tell you what kind of game it is.
Monsters Ate My Condo is a match three puzzle game combined with a tower balancing element. Condos keep falling from the top, and you have to make matches of three or more to clear them away. To do so you have to feed condos to monsters. This is done by flicking the condos left or right. The controls work really well, and I never have any issues with the game mistaking the condo I want for that next to it. As you flick it friction causes other condos to move, and just like in Jenga you have to make sure the tower stands. This is the main goal of the game. Make sure not to drop any condo on the ground, as it spells game over.
Colour matching is done both in the match three process, but also in feeding the monsters. They want condos in their own colour otherwise you get scolded, and bonus multipliers are lost. There is one monster on each side of the tower. You have a blue unicorn, a yellow Chihuahua, a red crab and a green Japanese businessman. They each have their own special power up that is unleashed when you feed them special bonus blocks. These bonus blocks are created when you create matches. If you match three bronze bonus blocks you get one silver, and so on. The better quality bonus blocks equal longer lasting powerups.
Monsters Ate My Condo is a fun game with really cool presentation. The monsters are cleverly animated, and there are loads of special effects and flashing lights. The game is inspired by Japanese monster movies, Japanese arcades, and wacky game shows. Overall it is the kind of game I can play for hours just for the constant positive flow of colour. The music is also some of the best I have heard in an iOS game for quite some time. It is J-rock with some cool vocals on the title screen, and a opera singer when the game ends. As you play the music changes depending on what monster you feed, and especially the Chihuahua monster has a nice bassy loop. The presentation could be summarized in Shibuya trash flashing light bitpop fantastic mega power special greatness.
There is one area where I want to see the game develop, and that is the fact that there are only two game modes. And none of them are multiplayer. The endless mode is ok, and unlocks the timed mode after a while. The timed mode gives you two minutes to score as big as possible. In Game Center, and OpenFeint there is also a high score table for a Diamond Dash that is about matching three diamonds the quickest. There are also funny achievements found in OpenFeint. I would have liked to see some kind of missions like we saw successfully in Jetpack Joyride. Some kind of local, and online multiplayer would also be awesome. I sincerely hope that the devs will keep at it because this game is a winner.
Monsters Ate My Condo reinvented the match three formula for me, and that is no small feat. The combination of excellent presentation, lovable monsters, Jenga gameplay and cool music. It works just as well on the small screen, as on the large. No matter what device you play on just make sure to use headphones, and crank up the volume. At 99 cents it is a steal to get this as a universal game for both the iPad and iPhone/iPod. Get it today, or you will miss out on something quite special.
Monsters Ate My Condo $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod.
Only works on iPhone 3GS and up.
Seller: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.