Hands-on with Creature Battle Lab, the arena brawler where you make your own monsters

Creature feature

Hands-on with Creature Battle Lab, the arena brawler where you make your own monsters
| Creature Battle Lab

It's all about customisation these days. The kids are crazy about it. Or so we're told.

Perhaps this is why Welsh studio Dojo Arcade have focused so much on this aspect for their upcoming iOS creature creator and real-time arena battler, Creature Battle Lab.

You are a scientist of some sort, probably the underground variety that hides from animal rights activists. I can only hope the promised career mode takes this route.

It's tough not to get caught up in creating your own monster with so many different ways to shape and doodads to plonk on it. It'll also be interesting to see how many other players have created vaguely member-shaped foes for you to fight against om release.

You can choose from all manner of shapes when crafting your critter. A smidgen of Spike, a tad of Trapezium, and some Knobbly Top for good measure. What could go wrong?

The next stage is to select parts for my beast's body. Eyes, nose, ears, arms, legs, tail and backs to be precise.

In my two playthroughs my final results were a sad brown leaf demon with a British power plug tail, and a grumpy goth bat with antenna ears, floating atop a life preserver.

Once I had mucked about to my liking, I had to select four moves that to use in battle. These include short and long-range attacks, buffs, and moves to teleport around the arena. New moves can be unlocked using DNA, Creature Battle Lab's in-game currency.

After selecting attacks such as Slash, One Inch Peck, and Grass Blade, I jumped into the Quick Battle mode to fight a CPU player.

I juggled each of my moves, dextrously tapping away the moment each wait timer cooled down, all while running around by tapping every corner of the arena. Despite a valiant effort, I lost.

I tested both the lab and desert arenas, much preferring the latter. With its batteries, speakers and assorted desk tat, the stage had me harkening back to the illegal hamster fights I used to have in shoe boxes back in '05. Memories.

The final version promises a career mode and Creature Battle Lab leagues to take your creations online and test your mettle. I certainly have high hopes for the full version after my first taste.

Creature Battle Lab will arrive as a free-to-play game on iPhone and iPad soon, with releases planned for plenty more pocket platforms down the line.

What sort of character would you like to create? Let us know in the comments below!
Danny Russell
Danny Russell
After spending years in Japan collecting game developers' business cards, Danny has returned to the UK to breed Pokemon. He spends his time championing elusive region-exclusive games while shaking his fist at the whole region-locking thing.