Here Be Monsters is a Facebook style game that has been adapted for use on the iPad. Unfortunately I don’t have much experience of playing Facebook games, as most of my gaming time is dedicated to console gaming, but first impressions I thought it was an excellent looking game that used the iPad’s touch screen controls very well. My two little girls are experts at playing Moshi Monsters online, so my wife and I thought they would both be able to play this game with little help from us. However, there’s a lot of interaction with other characters at first that requires you to read text boxes, so I did have to sit with them in the early stages to ensure they familiarised themselves with the different icons.
The game is about the cute world of fantasy creatures, such as fairies, elves, gnomes and monsters, who have recently been overcome by a powerful evil know as ‘The Corruption’. This evil is making the monsters more ill tempered than ever before, so now it’s up to you the player to become a ‘Trapper’ and capture all the monsters to make them good again.
At first you will create your custom avatar for the game, a creature that resembles something like an elf or a pixie. You’ll then receive tutorials on how to set traps for monsters in the right place using the right bait. Sometimes you will capture a monster but they can also break free of your traps and make off with the bait. The more you progress though the better and more elaborate the traps you can set. There are lots of coins and experience points to earn as you progress through the game capturing monsters, but there is also the option of completing side quests such as foraging, crafting, fishing, mining and catching butterflies. I know what you’re thinking, this all sounds very much like Animal Crossing New Leaf, which is true, so if you or your children like that sort of game then this will be perfect.
A great feature is the ability to play online with people who you meet in the game or those that are on your Facebook friends’ list. This works well when you need a specific item and can’t be bothered speaking to the game’s AI characters. A real downside though is the in game currency. Of course you can earn bank notes and coins through foraging and selling supplies but there’s still the ability to buy them for real money through micro transactions. It is pleasing though to hear that you can progress to the higher levels of the game without actually having to cough up.
The creators of Here Be Monsters might be better known for making gambling apps, but with this game they seem to have captured all the necessary elements of monster trapping, farming, foraging and other staples of this genre to make one heck of a game. Whilst it’s a certainty to be a hit with the younger generation, I’ll bet there is going to be a huge adult fan base as well.