Seeing puzzle or casual games arrive on the eShop usually spells two different results. It could either be a hidden gem, one that is just as intriguing as a Tetris or Chess, or it could be felt like an easy cashgrab that leaves your mouth sour after you played for twenty minutes. Monster Puzzle has a good way to start of in the right direction, but it does seem to fall flat on its face while you play.
The story behind Monster Puzzle is cute and simple. You play as the alien creature Trekkie, he roams the dreams of the humans to collect dream shards and makes them have happy dreams, but there are also nightmarish creatures that threaten the dream shards that you need avoid whatever it takes. That is about as far as it goes and it clearly is aimed more towards the kids, both through story and visually.
You play the game in a colorful 3D world with a rotatable camera accompanied with an 8-bit soundtrack. It al sounds really simplistic so far and it truly is. The game is based on 50 levels that you need to clear with increasing difficulty. Each of the 50 levels has you navigating a maze platform, you must collect each fragment before you can enter the rocket ship and progress to the next stage.
The games puzzles are based on falling platforms that you need to traverse in the correct order to collect all the dream shards or avoid the nightmares. A couple of platforms will hold in place, these are represented with solid white blocks, some fall away after one move, some last for two steps and as you progress through the game you will encounter more and more enemies roaming around. The game isn’t all that hard, definitely not in the beginning and if you do happen to get stuck or fall you can easily restart the level and try again. rotating the camera helps alot with the planning ahead so it’s best to use it wisely.
While the puzzles can be fun for a while, the main character Trekkie is a truly frustratingly slow hero that moves like you wake up on a lazy sunday. And even if he moves slowly, controls can still feel a bit off now and then making you miss a turn you crucially need so you have to restart the level again. Repeating sections in games like in Dark Souls can be committing, but it doesn’t feel great if you fall down due to bad controls.
While we did say that the world is very colorful, the graphics and details are very basic, something you would be used to seeing from older smartphone games. Just like the graphics, the simplistic tunes that come out of your speakers are also basic at best, making you not mind just turning the music off while you play. A bit more of a lively tune would help as wel as a faster Trekkie, hopefully they can patch this in later on. For now I would only truly recommend Monster Puzzle if you desperately want a puzzle game that last you a few hours.
The slow paced Monster Puzzle is mediocre at best and while the puzzles can be well thought out. The slow and lacking controls and simple music make you forget about this game quite fast.