Oct 2, 2010

Monsters Splatter

Back when I was in high school I had to take a test. This test consisted of copying information from one page to another. It was easy! I copied as much as I could as accurately as I could and when the results came back I did surprisingly poorly. No explanation was given other than a percentile score versus other students. The test itself was based on accuracy and how much one could get done in the allotted time. I like to think the problem was that I'm more meticulous than others so while my accuracy was high I wasn't racing through the exam to get the most done.

Bye, bye Frankenstein!
 So what does that have to do with Monsters Splatter? In this game, rows of monsters descent upon your Android's screen and you have to eliminate them before they get to the bottom. Doing so is easy. Just touch three like monsters in sequence and a triangle of death destroys everything within its bounds. There's a bit more to it than that, though. Some monsters have double strength and have to be killed twice. Then there are the pumpkins and the holy water. If you destroy a pumpkin then two extra rows of monsters quickly appear. If you destroy holy water then all monsters of the type forming the triangle are also destroyed. Furthermore, pumpkins and holy water crossing the bottom of the screen are harmless.

The graphics on the game are good with nice little monster icons that look like they came from an emoticons clip art gallery. Sound is done well too with some nice extra monstrous sounds when destroying the pumpkins and holy water. Controls are simple and the monsters are basically large enough to make touching them error free. Rarely did the game and I disagree on which monster I had selected for doom.

The problem with the game for me is that it's just not terribly exciting and reminds me of my clerical aptitude test I took so many years back. It's pretty straight forward that you're going to want to destroy the monsters at the bottom first and that there's no other choice when they get a few rows away from end game. There's some thought as to how/when to trap the holy water and possibly avoid the pumpkins. The game does get harder by playing faster and the later levels do get quite difficult. Yet, I'm not so sure there's much I can do about it other than play faster. It almost seems like too much twitch in a pseudo-strategy game.

Monsters Splatter also represents my first obvious encounter with the new Android copy protection where my license is validated on the server. This means then when I first tried to play that it promptly shut down on me saying it couldn't validate my license because of a lack of network connectivity. This was when I HAD network connectivity. I like to give apps the benefit of the doubt so I tried again and no problems. I then decided to shut down all network connectivity and run it again. Once again, no problems. I'm pleased to see that, with the exception of my first load, the system seems to work ok. I presume after a preset amount of time it'll need to validate with the server again and that's fair enough. I fully respect the need for Android developers to protect their games, am glad to see something done about it, and hope this new method delivers results.
In conclusion, this isn't the game for me. Then again I'm not a big fan of a lot of these lighter puzzle games such as the acclaimed Peggle. If you like those kinds of games then this might be a nice addition to your library. At half a euro it's certainly priced more than fairly and that alone did result in me keeping the game mainly for others that might want to play a simple game on my phone. They have also released a free version that is ad supported so it's probably worth a try just because of that. 3.5/5 stars for a game that's well done, but just doesn't make me scream with delight.

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