Monster Falls Review
We have so many competitive sports available for the iPhone. From football to racing, there’s no shortage of them. Apparently, for monsters, their favorite sport is to freefall in a cave. Fortunately for us humans, that results in Monster Falls, a fun new arcade game for your iPhone.
The silly yet simple premise of Monster Falls is to guide a free-falling monster down a long cavern as quickly as possible while colliding with point-giving orbs and other power-ups. The score starts at 2000, and ticks down 100 points per second. Obviously, it’s imperative that you snag as many points as possible to bump up that score. If you can freefall cleanly without hitting any obstacles, you’ll see “2x” flying off your monster, indicating that these orbs are now worth double.
Once you get to the bottom, the game tells you your score, then tells you what the world’s highest score is. Chances are, your initial run will be about 40% of the worldwide leader’s score. This display is a great motivator, given how progress is ultimately made (more on this later).
Controlling your monster’s fall is easy thanks to the solid tilting controls. They are very sensitive, but for some players maybe too much so. With a total lack of options, there’s nothing you can do but adapt.
The levels themselves are surprisingly dynamic. The first few levels are straight-forward, but very quickly become more labyrinthine. Obvious obstacles are introduced, such as moving hazards and bombs and fans that blow you off course. The best challenge, however, is the directional arrow that forces your monster into a specific path. Sometimes these arrows actually force you back up the cavern. Since the point of the game is to get to the bottom without the score drying up, it adds a fun arcade-style challenge to the gameplay.
The challenge may be a bit much for some players. As previously mentioned, progress is made by your cumulative score. After tallying a certain number of points, the next set of levels unlock. There are 19 levels in all, unlocked a few at a time. However, the number of points needed to progress to the next set of levels can seem very daunting. In order to get anywhere near the worldwide leader’s score, your run has to be absolutely flawless. The double-scoring bonus is vital to getting a good score, not to mention making sure you don’t take any wrong paths. It’s another example of that old-school arcade challenge of pattern memorization, for better or for worse.
Fortunately, Monster Falls does offer some carrots for doing well in the form of bonus levels. These stages are unlocked by earning a set number of points on specific levels (the game tells you exactly what to do). Not only are these levels fun, but they also afford you another level to rack up points to unlock further progress. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to unlock. And unless you want to be the top of the worldwide leaderboard, there’s little other reason to go back.
Finally, the music is a bit… off. The title screen’s music is a high-quality recording of some sort of Klezmer tune, but the in-game music is a low-quality short drum loop that sounds like it was played off a computer from the early 1990s. Even if you play your own music before starting the game, that darn drum beat will still be there. Without any options at all, there’s nothing you can do to change this.
Overall, Monster Falls is a fun, challenging game for your iPhone. The simple gameplay is addictive, and there is some creative level design. The challenge may be too high for some players, and the game needs to allow some tweaking of the control sensitivity to be more accessible. Still, most players will want to keep these monsters in their pocket.