I’m of the firm belief that funniness (rather like coolness) is an indefinable quality that can't be learned. You’re either funny or you’re not.
As a comedian, you can have the wittiest, most amusing material, but if you don’t have that mysterious comedic aura, you’ll never get grumpy guys like me chuckling.
This analogy sprung to mind during my time playing Moonsters. As a physics-based puzzler it appears to have all the right ingredients in place, yet somehow it doesn’t quite stick.We only want it for its looks
It’s got a gorgeous cartoon world bursting with vibrant colour, courtesy of design specialists Ars Thanea. It’s got a simple physics engine and an even simpler control system, where you have to ping cute characters into the air to collect clumps of tofu.
These Moonsters behave in different ways. One is rounded, bouncing off walls and objects in a predictable fashion. Another is square, springing off at awkward angles. They have to be used individually or in conjunction (depending on the level) to reach as many floating tofu chunks as possible.
Somehow, though, it just doesn’t feel right. Or rather, it feels just fine, but it lacks that vital spark and the solid feel that other similar games - like Parachute Ninja - have. Looking at it carefully, it comes down to a couple of seemingly small issues.All surface, no feeling
For one thing, the controls are imprecise. When you drag your finger down and release to propel your monsters upwards, it’s tricky to judge anything less than all-out power.
Then there’s the level design, which is pretty dull and unimaginative. When you look at the variety and imagination the aforementioned Parachute Ninja brings to a similar concept, Moonsters seems severely limited by comparison.
While it’s fun to play for the first few minutes, the lack of spark ultimately leads to you tiring of those times where you need multiple restarts to ace a level.
Your motivation isn’t helped by a Safari-based online leaderboard that dumps you out of the game or an ill-defined goal of collecting all the space ship parts.Moonsters is a colourful and moderately fun physics-based puzzler, but it lacks that hard-to-define spark of wit and imagination that the best casual physics-based puzzlers possess.