Following on from my previous post, Not all Facebook Games are Farmville, I have decided to write my first review, a review that just so happens to be a Facebook game that is nothing like Farmville.
Boiled down to its core components, Monster Story can at best be described as Pokémon meets Angry Birds. You begin the game by picking from one of three monsters before heading out into the wilderness to do… something (I’m sure there’s a plot somewhere but it’s so weak I honestly can’t recall what it is). In order to advance you need to clear obstacles in your path, which costs energy, and battle other monsters, which cost stamina.
The battles are the key feature of the game though unfortunately there has been no attempt made by the developers to do anything original with the design. If you’ve played Angry Birds, you’ve played Monster Story’s battle mode. It is an exact copy right down to the three star reward system. It’s a shame that a developer has seen that there is a place for Facebook games other than farming sims but neglected to do anything new or innovative with it.
There are also boss battles but these are tiresome affairs that require you to pelt an oversized monster repeatedly, causing minimal damage with each hit. There is a time limit in which you must defeat the monster too and so unless you have friends who volunteer to join the fight and help, you’ll be forced to return to the game multiple times over 2 or 3 days to eventually win, and be able to continue on your path.
My main complaint isn’t with the blatant plagiarism or monotonous gameplay but the ridiculous friend requirements. Yes you can advance without relying on friends to ‘help’ but you won’t be able to access all the treasure chests or defeat all the monsters (and achieve three star completion on all stages) without them. You could buy your way through with real world money but at the equivalent of £1 per friend and a minimum of three friends required to capture the very first monster it’s an option only for the wealthy.
Furthermore, even if you ‘buy’ a friend for one task, you don’t get to keep them to use on future monsters or roadblocks. I’m on stage 13 and if I’d opened every ancient gate and caught every monster I’d have spent well over £50 by now.
There are the usual social elements such as asking friends to send you items or posting news to your wall but these seem to be there purely because other games are doing it, and other games do it better. Not being able to choose between posting to your wall or selecting individual people to post to is a major design flaw.
Monster Story does look a far sight better than most Facebook games but this one redeeming feature isn’t enough to cover the aforementioned flaws.
Monotonous gameplay with no new ideas and overly heavy on friend requirements. But it does look pretty