Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess

Game characters aren’t often celebrated for their emotional depth, concerned as they are with a singular focus: rescue the princess, kill all the bad guys, collect all of the coins...

But the self-obsessed protagonist of Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess redefines the word shallow.

Of course, the joke’s on ‘The Duke’, who isn’t nearly as fantastic as he thinks he is, but despite this, it’s impossible not to like him. Whilst his shallow nature echoes that of the game, both are contagiously self-assured, and both will charm you from the first screen - even though you’ll be left with the nagging feeling that you haven’t gotten very much for your money.


Having woken to find his beloved princess abducted, our ‘hero’ - starved of logic but gorged on histrionics - accuses the first monster he can find of the crime. After all, monsters steal princesses all the time, don’t they?

Drunk on his own conclusions, despite having no evidence, he gives chase across the six stages, and this is where you come in.

Using the D-pad to move left and right, a tap of X makes you jump, while double jumping enables you to span larger gaps. Leaping to the edge of the screen provides the opportunity to wall jump, adding a third option to your options.

Play consists of ascending multiple platforms in order to catch the fleeing defendant, double-jumping into it three times. Each time you do so, it races further up the screen, meaning you must stay focused in order to ensure your quarry doesn’t escape.

And splutterin’

Similar to Doodle Jump, the mechanic is complicated by the aforementioned need to defeat each monster, as well as by an initially promising combo system.

Each unique platform landed on adds to your multiplier, while landing on the same one twice breaks the chain. The higher the combo, the faster you are able to move and more spectacular the finishing move.

Unfortunately, this system proves frustrating, as there is no opportunity to regain a high chain and catch the monster should you break it. And annoyingly, the screen-filling creatures will often obscure your view of the next platform, reducing a system that demands accuracy to luck.

Moreover, while the game is short, there is little variation, so the repetitive nature of play soon starts to grate.

Check under the bed

Regardless of these flaws however, the hugely charming artwork, genuinely laugh out loud writing, and satisfyingly ridiculous finishing moves will keep you grinning throughout.

And once the brief Story mode is complete, there are three more versions of each level to try in Score Attack which will test your mettle further.

Players hoping to heroically rescue the girl yet again may have to face up to a few home truths about their own egos though, as the game doesn’t pull any punches.

But as an experience, Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess is certainly memorable. It’s just that, much like the Duke, there’s a lot more style here than substance.

Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess

Its flawed-yet-enjoyable core experience means Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess is charming but also frustrating
Ben Maxwell
Ben Maxwell
Ben is an eager young games journalist who, when touring with his band, happily replaces sex, drugs, and rock & roll with Advance Wars, Drop7, rock, and Rolando...