MinoMonsters Game App Review for iPhone, iPad

MinoMonsters Game

It wasn’t bad spending my teenage years in the 2000’s, what with the massively-misplaced furore over the millennium bug, the looming threat of nuclear war now being all but a decade in the past, and the Harry Potter books riding the seemingly endless waves of print-press popularity. Perhaps I need to get my priorities straight here, but what topped everything off for me was the outrageous popularity of the Pokémon franchise. Sure, Digimon had a feeble go at the whole idea, Duel Masters tried unsuccessfully to have a slice of the Pokémon pie, and I don’t even know what on earth Yu-Gi-Oh was trying to achieve (answers on a postcard for this one, I’m still baffled by it), but Pokémon has always had the monopoly on the genre of epic adventure RPG involving turn-based battles and the amassing of battle-hungry creatures. The mobile-device platform has played host to a narrow selection of similar titles, and it was Mino Monsters that most recently caught the specific section of my retinas that are reserved for gaming purposes. Turn-based battle antics and some adorably styled monsters at the ready, Mino Monsters graced my screen and caused some thoughts to surface from the depths of my brain. 

Download for iOS MinoMonsters Game: Visual Appeal

Pleasing: The unique visual style of Mino Monsters made has instant appeal

Mino-ature monsters

Ok, so we’ve got the obvious comparison to Pokémon to fall back on here, but in actual fact, the game isn’t all that reminiscent of its officially-licensed Nintendo counterpart. The action is based around the idea of a shipwrecked captain whose safety is threatened by the presence of a variety of monsters that seem bent on showing their faces. The aim is to make your way through each of the four island-adjacent areas, battling and collecting (officially called ‘taming’) the adorable little creatures along the way. Your creatures become stronger along the way since you are given the opportunity to level up the monsters by collecting stars that burst from the enemy with every blow you deliver. Other items such as health and energy are also obtained during battle, making the whole affair remarkable different and more immediately rewarding than its Pokémon-shaped colleague.

MinoMonsters Game: 3 Pokeballs Away from a Lawsuit

A familiar scene: We're just 3 Pokéballs away from a lawsuit, here

A Shortage of Shortages

Mino Monsters isn’t a game of shortages: whether it be levels to play or the gradual training and development of your monsters, it has quite a bit for you to get stuck into. The levels for you to explore are separated into three distinct islands that are divided further into regions of each island. In addition, it has an ‘Arena’ where you can battle friends over the internet, and a ‘Mystery’ island where you can purchase an area to explore with ‘mino credits’, which seem to be the in-game currency that can sometimes end up restricting the gameplay should you be in short supply.

The development of the strength of your monsters as well as their arsenal of moves is one of the main cruxes of the game. Your monsters can be levelled up by spending stars, and can be evolved through grinding through the levels or spending some mino credits to speed things up a bit. Skills can also be learned as your monster levels up, which are essentially the equivalent of the moves that your monster is able to perform. These moves in turn can be upgraded to improve their effectiveness, which also costs you a fair few stars each time. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is, and Mino Monsters is entirely unashamed of this simplicity since this is what makes it so fun to play in the first place.

Looks Good, Feels Good

Almost immediately after the first battle, I was more impressed with this title over any other Pokemon-esque offering available for the mobile gaming platform because of the way it looks and the way it feels to play. The unique artistic style is coloured so vibrantly you’d be forgiven for resting your eyes every ten minutes or so due to some mild ocular distress, and the battles themselves, while simple and fairly basic in nature, are fully animated, with your creature running up to the opposition and performing his attack in real time. In this manner, Mino Monsters has the jump on the battle mechanic of the original Pokémon, which uses fairly basic sprites and static creature models and has done since its creation. I was quite impressed when my fire-type Blazel rushed forth to actually perform his flaming uppercut in its entirety and scurry back to his original position. The dynamic movement of the creatures and the individual nature of each of their attacks make Mino Monsters a pleasure to play, as well as separating it from its competition both visually and functionally.

MinoMonsters Game: Stands Alone

Move matters: The mechanics are Pokémon but the game itself stands alone in its brilliance

Superb but Shallow

Mino Monster’s visual style is unlike anything that I’ve ever played, and its gameplay, while somewhat mimicking the style and battle mechanics of Pokémon, stands on its own two feet in its dynamic battle animations and levelling up of the creatures through the acquisition of stars and mino credits. The battling and levelling-up aspects are still comparatively simple, since there aren’t any stats or attributes to be improved or upgraded, with the emphasis being on pure number grinding and move-learning for improvement.

MinoMonsters Game: Superb But Shallow

I was somewhat put off by the gameplay’s reliance on purchasing credits in order to gain items and upgrades, as well as allowing you to speed up the evolution of your monsters. The multiplayer aspect of the game is extremely flimsy as well, with nothing much being gained from it whatsoever beside a little shallow battling action that seems to be of little consequence to the main game whatsoever. In spite of its drawbacks, however, Mino Monsters by Minomonsters, inc. is a beautifully designed game with an art style like no other, and is short enough for you to be motivated by the light at the end of the tunnel, but perhaps a little too short for a game that encourages in-app purchases for furthering of your in-game progress. It’s not Pokémon, but it doesn’t have to be: Mino Monsters will entice you regardless.


Download for iOS

Reviewed by Craig Sherratt

Android or Windows Phone Version?

There has been no anouncement as of yet with regards to an Android or Windows Phone version of MinoMonsters Game. As soon as we here anything we will update those users here.

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