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Monster Life

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

Gotta catch, pet, and feed 'em all!

Product: Monster Life | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
Monster Life iPhone, thumbnail 1
For many gamers, social freemium games are a bit like pets or kids - all very cute and cuddly, but far too high-maintenance and better suited to other people.

Here's Glu with the latest attempt to pull committed gamers in to this casual craze. Monster Life does this by dragging in elements of two much loved gamers' games, so it has a better chance than many.

Will you want to adopt it?


The two games we're referring to are Viva Pinata and Pokemon. Viva Pinata in the way that Monster Life has you nurturing and tending to a bunch of fantastical animals, and in its stylised Nintendo-meets-Hobbycraft world design.

And Pokemon in the way that you then pitch these cute creatures in mortal combat against other cute creatures. Like Nintendo's playground hit, there's a tactical side to fights, with water creatures cancelling out fire creatures, which beat air creatures, and so on.

In truth, these combat sections are very light and not particularly challenging. If your creature has been levelled-up sufficiently it'll generally take care of business for you, and if you plough enough currency into plasters and special attacks you can usually beat even superior opponents.

Petting permitted

And there are plenty of things to be getting on with between fights. You have to purchase monster eggs and then hatch them, pet them (by physically touching or shaking them), feed them, and play with them until they reach maturity.

At this point you continue the feeding, petting, and playing, while also building habitats for them. Each monster can level-up into a higher form, which is another nod to Pokemon.

Of course, every action costs some of the game's three internal currencies. While you can earn some of each through everyday acts such as visiting another player's town, winning fights, and ticking off items from the constantly updating activity list, you'll soon run into a familiar paywall.

Show us your wallet

Yep, this is a game that frequently prompts you to open your digital wallet. As we've grown accustomed to, Monster Life gives out the freebies to get you hooked, and then snatches them away. If you're emotionally invested in the game by this point, you'll have little choice but to pay out.

Of course, you could make progress through grinding out results, but the game smartly heads off such persistence by making you wait between fights, visits, and the like. You can speed things up but, yep, you have to pay for it.

Monster Life isn't alone in this model, and it's one of the more polished social freemium titles. As with other games of its kind, though, there's no real depth, and no real joy to be found in any of the core mechanics.

It won't convert you if you've already decided that social freemium games aren't for your, but if you're sold on the genre you'll be sold on Monster Life.
Monster Life
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 7 August 2012
Monster Life is one of the prettiest and best constructed social freemium titles we’ve ever seen, but its core gameplay systems don't offer anything new or particularly interesting
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