Thursday, June 26, 2014

IOS Spotlight #74: Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake

Title: Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake
Developer: SleepNinja Games
Platforms: IOS Universal
Price: $4.99
Successfully Kickstarted over a year ago, Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a charming new puzzle game, the debut title of SleepNinja Games. While it shares elements with other games in the genre, Monsters stands out due to its colorful cute visuals, a narrative, varied mechanics, and just offering a fun polished puzzle adventure experience.
While many puzzles games are simply a series of challenges, Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake presents its brain-teasers within the framework of an interesting story and design more akin to a RPG than your usual puzzle game. You play as Niko, a young boy who wakes to find his birthday ruined when the nefarious Boogins steal his precious cake. This theft sets him on an adventure across the various areas of Gogapoe Island, where dangers and new friends await. Most puzzle games would be content with a simple string of levels, but Monsters lets you explore Niko's village, take with villagers for side quests, visit shopkeepers along your journey to purchase new items and outfits: a fleshed-out structure that adds purpose to your puzzle solving.
But the meat of the game is obviously the puzzles and in that regard, Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake delivers a polished array of challenges. Niko and the monster friends he meets throughout his journey each have their own unique abilities, useful in their own way: pulling and pushing blocks, an obstacle- and enemy- crushing ramming dash, a shriek that destroys obstacles and stuns enemies, and more. You have to use these abilities in conjunction to open blocked paths, avoid or defeat the varied Boogin enemies, and collect coins, keys, and pieces of cake. The enemies also add their own puzzle element, as one must rush at you when you enter its line of sight, another may patrol an area, or unleash a shriek of its own that disables your special abilities. Figuring how to move through the levels, how you need to work together, timing and syncing your movements makes Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake a fun game, and special objectives such as not using a certain abilities or not killing enemies adds extra challenge and replay value.
Personally I think Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake controls well; you simply draw your character's path and double tap to activate your abilities. The game is easy to play, allowing the visuals and overall polish to shine. From the character bios in your journal and the notes you find along the way, to the charming aesthetic, to the varied puzzles and the game's RPG-esque elements, to the story framework that ties it all together, Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a complete wonderfully-crafted package.

You can purchase Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake for $4.99.

1 comment:

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