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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Palm OS games

Monsta by iNDUSTRY Entertainment, Price: $15
Reviewed April 2003

If you are looking for a game with humor and cute graphics combined with puzzle and action, check out Monsta. Developed by iNDUSTRY Entertainment, Monsta is a turn-based puzzle/action game that is set in tile-based dungeon looking rooms. You, playing as our hero Joe, will need to either kill all the monsters or escape from the dungeon without being killed in order to complete the level. There are 50 levels with well laid out puzzles and plenty of monsters to be slaughtered.

You control the game using either the hardware buttons on your PDA, the stylus or combination of buttons and stylus. As a turn-based game, your hero will take 3 action steps (later in the game, he may pick up items that allow more moves/turn), which can include moving or killing. The monsters’ actions however vary in number of moves and level of energy they have. You will need your fire power to kill the monsters, or use your intelligence outwit them. The AI levels of these monsters also vary, making the fight both interesting and challenging. Some monsters are outright dumb; others make you wish you were hiding behind Arnold Schwarzenegger. Knowing the monsters’ movement patterns and Joe’s winning strategy is essential in beating the game. Every time you beat a level, you should make sure that you save the game in one of the several game save slots.

Modern military hardware is also available throughout the dungeons. These deadly weapons include flamethrower, double-barreled gun, grenades and dynamite. I don’t have to tell you how important it is to not let the monsters beat you to these nice toys. If they do get there first, you’ll need to find protection items to minimize the damage.

The humorous part comes in as Joe makes comments in the beginning of each level. Some of his remarks sound like Chinese fortune cookies, others I can’t repeat here. For those of you who will play the game with young children, find the Censored option in the menu.

The colorful 2D graphics in Monsta are stylish and sharp. Each room has its unique color theme, design and layout. Each monster has its own unique appearance. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. You can click on any monster to see their stats, which is very important for Joe to come up with the right strategy.

The sound selection is good and styled to fit with the cute animated graphics and characters. The game does not yet support hi-res, but will run on any Palm OS 3.5 or higher devices, both color and grayscale, including Palm OS 5.

Beating up monsters guns-ablazing is fun, beating up monsters with only three moves is challenging. If you think you are up for the challenge, pick up a weapon and step in this monster infested Monsta world.

Playing Hint and Tips

First you need to check the stats of each monster in the dungeon and then plan your moves. You don’t have to kill everyone in some cases, just locate an exit and move out.

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Read our Interview with iNDUSTRY Entertainment!


Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics Stylish graphics fit the theme and game play. Adds fun and humor in dungeon crawling.
Sound Good collection of sound effects.
Fun Meter Original game design with polished visuals and challenging game play makes this game a great title for those enjoy a little brain exercise. You can also play this with your children; just make sure you turn on the censor meter.
Addictivity 50 levels of dungeons with different monsters and layouts provide you with enough challenge and great fun.

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