When it comes to auto runners, you always need to find a way to make improvements that will benefit players. For instance, how do you make the game feel like a much different beast than it actually is? In the case of Monsu, you add cards. In this cartoony title, variety is the order of the day.
In an attempt to recover treasure that’s being stolen by villagers where your monster protagonist lives, you’ll be tasked with hopping on the heads of those who dare cross you and clearing them out to teach them a lesson. The game is set up as an auto runner, of course, so your automatic speed through each level is, well, sprinting. Tapping allows you one jump, and tapping twice is a double jump. But there’s a catch — you aren’t always going to be worrying about simply jumping and avoiding obstacles.
In the style of Halfbrick’s excellent Jetpack Joyride, there are a cavalcade of power-ups meant to aid you in getting further and further each time you start a level. Each stage has a simple mission to complete as well, so the goal isn’t always “run until you screw up.” Instead, it could be “take out X amount of enemies” or “accomplish Y without using any special abilities.”
Power-ups are doled out in the form of collectible cards and floating bubbles that you can jump up and grab mid-air. A wasp flies around and kills off enemies for you. You can equip a spear that’s thrown every time you double-jump. A magnet can collect all of the golden diamonds in your immediate vicinity when you manage to grab one from the air, and similar power-ups crop up here and there to keep you on your toes.
The fun doesn’t end when you fall victim to a well-placed enemy, either. You can use some of your premium currency to continue right where you left off, or you can accept your high score and move on. As you move forward with each run and collect more cards the more you play, the further you’ll find yourself getting without having to burn continues. You can even purchase silly accessories to place on your monster, ranging from fearsome to ridiculous.
The game is rich with in-app purchases and prompts to get you to buy additional currency for upgrades and continues, but that is the nature of the beast, after all.
Monsu ends up providing an extensive amount of entertainment for a free title, and it’s genuinely hard to put down once you’ve started up a good run and a hot streak. There’s something hypnotizing about a well-timed jump or collecting the multiple cards that make Monsu a verifiably good time. If you enjoy endless runners or even mobile timewasters of any sort, this one is definitely a safe bet.