There are some conflicts in life that cannot be solved amicably with friendly chatter, tokens of reconciliation, or even a nice hot mug of tea. In these situations the only real option seems to be to lash out without any thought for the consequences.
Although we’re not entirely privy to the facts, we imagine that is what has happened on Monster Island. We’re given no explanation as to why a state of war exists between the two sets of monsters - all we know is that you have to hurl small monsters (known as Minis) at your enemies in an attempt to clear them from each region of the contested land.
While Monster Island may be pitifully short of exposition, it more than makes up for it in physics-based monster-throwing gameplay. Each stage has a certain number of blue enemy monsters, and you must use your limited stock of Mini Monsters to clear each screen.Monster mash
You can do this either by blowing up the enemy monsters (the majority of the Minis you throw have explosive properties) or knocking them off the bottom of the screen and into oblivion.
The process of unleashing your projectile is straightforward. Touching any part of the screen causes your aiming arrow to lurch in that direction, and by sliding a finger along the arrow you can adjust the power of the eventual throw. Tapping the Mini symbol at the side of the screen throws the relevant Mini.
Of course, it’s rarely as simple as just chucking a Mini and clearing the stage. Your targets are often located in fiendish places, which requires you to think a little harder about where to place your throw.Throw caution to the wind
You’ll also need to think about how the different Minis can be used to successfully complete each stage. Some explode on impact, which proves to be ideal for blowing up rock obstacles. Others only detonate when they come to a standstill – which makes them perfect for eradicating enemies that you don’t have a clear shot on.
By the time you’ve spent an hour or so in the company of Monster Island you’ll have reached the difficult stages, and that’s where the option to display a solution comes in handy. However, to actually unlock this choice you need to spend coins – the game’s virtual currency.
This is where Monster Island’s in-app purchase system comes into play. Although normal play rewards you with coins, the volume of currency needed to unlock solutions, skip levels, and acquire new monster characters is vast – so vast that to accumulate enough wealth you’d have to play for ages.Penny-pinching
The quick option is to spend real-world cash on coins, which is obviously what the developer is hoping you’ll do. Our problem here is that the balance is all wrong: the game is practically designed so that you’ll get fed up with waiting and reach for your wallet, rather than try and earn the coins the reputable way.
Payment model aside, Monster Island remains decent fun. The levels are intelligently designed, forcing you to put some serious effort in to achieve a result. The controls are also tight and responsive, and the physics engine is thoroughly convincing.
Should the allure of Angry Birds have subsided and the desire for a fresh challenge arisen, Monster Island is well worth investigating – although we’re still waiting to know why these monsters are at each other’s throats.