Mobile games are fun, simple and accessible, but that doesn't mean they are lightweight or insignificant. They have the ability to bend time and make commutes bearable; they transform idle moments into thrilling distractions. In a new series, CVG celebrates the most impressive examples of this exciting new wave of games.
Click through the link to find our full list of the best mobile games.
The Best iPhone games: Monsters Ate My Condo
- Also available on:
- iPad (HD),
Adult Swim's brand of goofy stoner entertainment is secretly becoming a mark of App Store quality. All of its output thus far has that trademark offbeat humour on top of glossy presentation and well-executed, accessible gameplay. Among so many average mobile games, the likes of Robot Unicorn Attack, Super Mole Escape and Velocirapture feel far superior.
Monsters Ate My Condo, though, is Adult Swim at its best. The slacker brand's kooky cartoon sensibilities are met with simple but compelling play, though its vibrant style sometimes threatens to overwhelm. The game's dazzling audiovisuals can, at times, distract from the action-puzzle fundamentals - it might be too much for the average stoner to take on all at once.
The title screen alone is an assault on the senses - a psychedelic, spinning, scrolling pixel art rendition of Japan in flames, soundtracked by cheery J-pop. In the game itself, condo blocks tumble in from the top of the screen and stand in between any two of the four titular monsters - a gurning blue unicorn, a pug controlling a yellow robot, a green cyclops in Lederhosen or a giant enemy crab. Your guide through the pithy tutorial is a finger dressed as a geisha, and on the Game Over screen, your failure is serenaded by a buxom cartoon opera singer. Every combo and point scored is greeted by a pixelly rainbow-coloured explosion and hand-drawn cookies, moustachioed top hats and winking cups of tea appear as the monsters eat each section of condo. Retro bleeps and whistles add to the sensory overload.
Strip away the madness and Monsters Ate My Condo is a quick-witted fusion of colour-sorting, Jenga and vertical match three. Your tower is protected by 'feeding' the monsters standing either side. Slide each slice of your condo left or right, matching it to the colour to the creature, and they'll be happy. Feed them the wrong colour and they'll be cross, and eventually they attack your stack. Keep 'em sweet by chaining or feeding them blocks of their colour.
Vertically chaining together three or more of the same colour block combines them into one condo of greater value, Triple Town-style. Stacking three or more standard coloured blocks turns them into one bronze one, three bronze blocks create one silver, three silvers turns into one gold, three golds are transformed into one diamond, and so on. Then, there are feature blocks which must be chained within a combo or they clutter up the playspace. Or worse, they explode. Other special blocks can be fed to the attendant monsters, which activates special powers unique to each creature.
That Monsters Ate My Condo requires so much explanation is tribute to the detail and love in every pixel. Perhaps most famed for its Flick Kick series, developer PikPok already has a fantastic track record on mobile. This game has been made with Adult Swim's exuberant, offbeat attitude to presentation, yes, but PikPok hasn't forgotten to include an accessible, intuitive core conceit, and it feels instinctively at home on mobile, for five minutes or for longer play. Monsters Ate My Condo is a smart action puzzle game disguised as a slice of cult pop culture, and it's superb.