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iPad  header logo

Monster Legacy

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Legacy of payin'

Product: Monster Legacy | Publisher: Outplay Entertainment | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Monster Legacy iPad, thumbnail 1
In some ways Monster Legacy is a terrifying glimpse at what a free-to-play Pokémon might be like.

There's base building, multiple currencies, and special moves you can only use if you're willing to throw some rare-but-purchasable gems away.

But at the same time, wrapped around those store front trappings is a reasonably enjoyable little dungeon crawler that fits surprisingly well into the short play times that mobile gaming sometimes demands.

It has the cute creatures and a simple levelling up structure, it has the three star quest system that sometimes has you heading back to previous levels with new found powers to unlock previously unseen areas, and it's all wrapped up in a reasonably intriguing tale of darkness versus light.

But sometimes you can't quite shake the feeling that it's weighted against you, like the beneath-the-surface machinations of the game are designed to make you spend rather than to help you enjoy.

That's the curse of this type of free-to-play in a nutshell, and it sours what should have been a breezy, beast-nabbing adventure.

He looks grumpy because I left his wife to be attacked by bees

You start the game by picking a male or female avatar and giving him or her a name. Then there's some fluffy early quests designed to walk you through the basic bits and bobs of your forthcoming quest.

You're given your first Monster, a cutey fire thing that looks like a monkey dog and probably shouts boo every time it's thrown into a fight.

The battles are turn-based affairs that see you picking from a bunch of powers and attacks along the bottom of the screen.

You can swap between monsters when you've caught some more, and you'll need to assemble a team of different elementally-infused beasts if you want to stay competitive.

Fiery dog monkey, use your flaming balls

Basic punching moves don't cost any magic points, but they're a bit flimsy. You've also got more powerful magical attacks and buffs that require you to stop a swinging meter at the right point if you want them to connect.

Then there's the slightly icky super special move that you need to pay for with some of the game's premium currency. It's basically a 'get-out-of-a-tough-fight free' card that costs a couple of gems.

IAPs explained
There are two currencies you can buy in Monster Legacy, coins and gems.

Coins can be spent on more mundane items and comes in bundles ranging from 10,000 for £2.99 / $4.99 up to 350,000 for £69.99 / $99.99.

You use gems to buy more exotic items and the bundles range from 100 for £2.99 / $4.99 up to 5,000 for £69.99 / $99.99.
When it comes to catching monsters you've got three classes of traps. If you don't have any traps that you've built or found, you can pay for them there and then. The best, which guarantees you'll snaffle a monster, costs gems too.

You can spend coins to get less reliable traps, and add buildings to your ranch that produce them on a not-particularly regular basis.

The ranch is where you keep the Monsters that aren't in your party. They just sort of frolic about, minding their own business.

You can add buildings and other structures to help produce more energy and other things you need, like traps, as you level up.

You've had some cowboy builders in here

There's a neat, bite-sized rhythm to the questing in Monster Legacy, and some of the settings and monsters are just breath taking. It paints its world in bright, vivid colours, and it's all the more exciting because of that.

But at the same time it shifts the Pokémon formula further down the casual spectrum, adding elements that don't gel particularly well with the adventurous feel of the rest of the game.

It's by no means perfect, then, and its pricing structure does intrude on the simplicity of play it's trying to offer. But if you're looking for a pocket-sized monster grabber to stuff on your phone, Monster Legacy just about fits the bill.
Monster Legacy
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 20 March 2014
It's what you'd expect from a free-to-play Pokémon clone, but Monster Legacy pushes enough of the right buttons to still be entertaining
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