MonstrosCity: A Facebook Game For Nurturing Destructive Monsters

Japan, eat your heart out. Tokyo isn’t the only city getting ravaged by giant monsters anymore. While a number of developers have been hard at work creating SimCity-like city building titles for Facebook, the folks over at BitMinion Ltd. have been hard at work on the opposite. They aren’t building cities, they’re wrecking them – Paris, to be exact – with cute and cuddly monsters in the animal(?) husbandry app, MonstrosCity.

Now, anthropomorphic monsters and animals is hardly anything new to Facebook, or games in general. Even the cute ones are fairly common. However, they always seem to be doing what any good citizen might be doing. Moshi Monsters, for example, has these creepy critters decorating homes and going through a day to day life. In MonstrosCity, your personal monsters do what they do best: Wreck stuff.

Essentially, players purchase a baby monster ranging from very off-looking teddy bears to a Black Lagoon sort of creature. From here, the concept is centered around growing them. Periodically, you have to feed your, err, pets with food that lasts anywhere from five minutes to a couple hours. After the time has expired, you can make them grow. The idea, is to grow them from around the size of a teacup, to about the size of the Eifel Tower.

This is where MonstrosCity gets interesting. Making money is not the same as other husbandry applications. You don’t sell your monsters. Oh no. You “unleash” them. After a period of time, you monsters will be able to use an ability called Unleash which has them perform a monstrous roar that shakes the room and damages the décor, earning both money and pet happiness.

To add a little more to this money-making concept, the amount of happiness (which, for the record, doesn’t appear to do anything when full) and money earned is dependant on two factors. The first is the level of Unleash used: After about two minutes, V0 is ready. Three minutes after that, V1 is ready. This continues exponentially as time goes on. The bigger the version, the bigger the reward.

The second element is the actual decorum used within your virtual space. Players start with a simple apartment with decorations such as plant pots, tea cups, action figures, toy buildings, and so on. The more decorations one has, the more destruction is caused, and in turn, a happier critter you have.

While this also earns more income, it damages your decorations. These have to be repaired regularly or they disappear, but don’t worry, it’s free (at least in the apartment) and you keep on top of it. Once you earn enough money, however, you can expand your space to Paris’ town square and downtown area and cause some havoc there as well; also decorating them as you see fit.

Unfortunately, while each areas’ purchasable décor is different, such as a glass pyramid in downtown representative of the Louvre museum in Paris, it is very, very limited. The apartment area has only 10 objects for purchase, while the exterior zones only have five and three respectively. Moreover, if you count the fact many of them, a police car for example, are just scaled up from the toy version, then the number of items is even less.

Of course, more will almost certainly come in time. The only real complaint is that the destruction could be a little bit more… well, destructive. It takes a long time to make anything look damaged, and the only way anything is busted up at all is with a roar. It would be nice to these monsters do a something a little bit more monstrous (smashing, biting, etc.) when you let them loose.

Nonetheless, this is just personal preference, as MonstrosCity is already much more interesting a concept than other husbandry titles. Of course, since it is one such app, it also warrants mentioning that it is a very slow burn game. There is very little one can do in one visit. Of course, when you’ve been saving up your Unleash, there is a good chunk of money and happiness to be gained, but it still is only about 10-30 seconds of play at any given time. It does make it a bit of a difficult app to get into because it doesn’t feel like you’ve made any progression early on.

In the end, however, MonstrosCity is a relatively new game that really does something interesting with a simple concept. Rather than making another title that happens to be of a current fad, BitMinion has taken a fun spin on a basic concept. Could it be better? Of course. But does it have lasting potential? Likely, yes, assuming it can increase its distribution. MonstrosCity is a game worth checking out.

Publish date: April 6, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT