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Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake dev has been accused of plagiarism, but what do you think?

Who ate the cake?

Product: Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake | Developer: SleepNinja | Publisher: Cartoon Network | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad
A little bit of controversy has flared up over SleepNinja's Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake. An artist has claimed that a good chunk of the design of the game has been lifted from his own creation.

The artist in question worked on a game called MonsterUp Adventures, and has suggested that the world map in Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a direct lift from his own designs.

We've stuck the infographic where the artist lays his claims out below. There are some similarities, but we'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not this is plagiarism or something a little more mundane.

You can click on the image to see a larger version.

You can find more details about the claim by clicking this link here. We've reached out to SleepNinja about the allegations and we'll update the story as and when we hear something from the dev.

Reviewer photo
Harry Slater 27 June 2014
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Aug 2012
Post count:
RockinIt | 21:15 - 27 June 2014
Loads of games have similar art styles... doesn't mean it's plagiarism. I just looked up MonsterUp Adventures, it looks like a pretty crap freemium game with 1 star reviews from players on Google Play.

This is a blatant attempt at copyright trolling, they're both completely different games, it's not like Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake was developed in some cave in Afghanistan, it was funded through Kickstarter and had thousands of views, and somehow this well produced "plagiarism" allegation has cropped up magically when Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake was released. It seems too well timed.
Jun 2014
Post count:
@slothwerks | 20:39 - 27 June 2014
What a ridiculous claim. Even in the "worst" case where MonsterUp's art style inspired Monster's Ate My Birthday Cake, there's no basis for a 'plagiarism' claim. If Monster's had copied the same characters, then they may have a claim. Since when do we accuse other artists of outright plagiarism for using a similar style? Should we allow a copyright for "cute monster vector style"? Aren't all artworks inspired by something?

All I see is two games that use a similar vector style that is quite popular these days. Hell, Google search 'vector monster' and you'll find dozens of monsters that would look right at home in either game (on stock image sites, no less).
Apr 2014
Post count:
Greg Zimmer | 20:08 - 27 June 2014
I agree with most of you...there are too many, (WAY too many) similarities to be a coincidence. Just check out how the 6th picture down of the hills rising from the water are identical except for the color of the caps.
Feb 2013
Post count:
John McNichol | 19:51 - 27 June 2014
All I see are similar art styles NOT similar details.
Jun 2014
Post count:
@KariosGames | 15:19 - 27 June 2014
@PoloBaquerizoH My point exactly. NONE of these game island maps have so many similarities. Like @Tasos Mythbuster mentioned, having so many similarities can be no coincident.
Dec 2013
Post count:
PoloBaquerizoH | 14:58 - 27 June 2014
Is pretty similar, but go ahead and google image search " game island map"
That have much to say also
Jun 2014
Post count:
@sounas | 14:39 - 27 June 2014
Thank you very much for your article and your time to present the case.

To clarify things for all of you, I'm not talking about the game mechanics, not about the overall style, I'm talking about the Game Map, which is almost identical along with many graphics. It has the same perspective, the same shape, features the same hills, the same trees (even the shadow is same), the same islands around the big island, the same waves, the same layouyt, the rivers have the same round flow like my milk lava. They are all identical. The minor changes don't affect the fact that my map was copied. This is a fact!

This is not an inspiration, this is rip-off of my world. And I don't accept young, lazy designers to steal my creativity, especially when they have taken people's money via Kickstarter presenting the map as theirs. If the company removes the Game Map and use a totally different map using other style, then everything's fine of me. Inspiration by my creations is totally acceptable but plagiarism is a lack of design ethos.

By the way, Incoboto Mini game ha been inspired by my "Space Alone" video, but its creator and designer never ripped off my graphics and my world.

They were just inspired and this is an honour for me:



Jun 2014
Post count:
Tasos Mythbuster | 13:50 - 27 June 2014
There are so many elements that have been lifted that there is zero chance that this is an accident. Considering that the game is 2 years old I think that Sounas has a case and he would take legal action. Maybe the developer of "Monsters ate my cake" outsourced the graphics to a less than honest designer...
Jun 2014
Post count:
@KariosGames | 13:42 - 27 June 2014
@curtisrshideler You are missing the point. Noone is accusing the dev that they made a game with monsters that has mountains with round tops. The MonsterUp Adventures artist shows very specific elements (and a LOT of them) that are nearly identical.
Jan 2010
Post count:
curtisrshideler | 13:10 - 27 June 2014
It does look similar. But if we listed every game or cartoon with monsters like this or hills that are rounded or a skull shaped cave then we'd run out of space. These cases have to be tough to handle. I mean just because things look like a similar art style, these two games aren't the only things to use cartoony monsters like this. Are the games the same genre and played the same way? Then he might have a case. Otherwise it might just be another popular game going up against many other games that either had the same idea sooner or that helped influence them.
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