Monster Island HD explodes onto iOS

Sep 30, 2011
Games

Monster Island HD takes the game mechanic from its popular big brother, Fragger HD, and gives it a new, more kid-friendly skin. The result is a quality title that will appeal to gamers of all ages, even if it doesn’t bring a ton of innovation to the table. If you’ve played Fragger HD, the concept […]

Monster Island HD takes the game mechanic from its popular big brother, Fragger HD, and gives it a new, more kid-friendly skin. The result is a quality title that will appeal to gamers of all ages, even if it doesn’t bring a ton of innovation to the table.

If you’ve played Fragger HD, the concept will be quite familiar. Each stage contains a number of bad monsters that must be dispatched in as few mini tosses as possible. You might be wondering what minis are. Well, I’m here to say that they are not grenades. They are cute, cuddly, monster-faced balls, that explode. OK, for all intents and purposes, they are grenades. Surely though, the developers are banking on this new younger-themed game being more palatable for the six-year-olds who will undoubtedly love this app.

The grenade types, I mean minis, all have very different characteristics. Some varieties of these include: non-exploding rocks, a mini that explodes on contact, a sticky ball and a mini that will only explode after it has been triggered by you. Most of the stages require some combination of these to clear the screen, and the most efficient use of each type is what makes the app challenging.

I don’t want to give the false impression that Monster Island HD is only for kids. If you progress far enough into the app, there are some puzzles that will make even avid gamers stop to think. This brings me to a flaw. To obtain a perfect three-star rating on a stage, you must defeat all the monsters with some minimum number of throws. The problem is that for the first 50 stages or so, the three-star solution is painfully obvious, and only slightly more difficult to actually accomplish in one or two tries. To me, this suggests the developers might have been going through the motions on much of the early-level design. It isn’t until well into the game that levels begin to show truly inspired design.

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With that being said, I still enjoyed this quite a bit. The art and sound design are on par with similar apps, and the game looks quite good on the iPad. Developers also nailed the physics and controls. The smallest adjustments to the power of your throw will give predictable results, which is a must for this type of game.

All in all, Monster Island HD is very easy app to recommend. It certainly holds its own versus other apps in the genre, and has the bonus of being quite kid friendly. Fans of physics puzzlers will find a lot to love with this app.

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Wayne Stuckey

After receiving his bachelor's degree in management information systems on planet Earth, Wayne decided to settle down and live there. He writes from the plains of the Midwest.

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