Published on February 4th, 2013 | by octaneblue1
Review: Paper Monsters
Developer(s): Mobot Studios
Publisher(s): Crescent Moon Games
System(s): Android, iOS
Release Date(s): January 26, 2012 (iOS), July 12, 2012 (Android)
There are many platformers available on smartphones and tablets, but many of them fall into the “infinite runner” sub-genre. With those, players basically tap one button to jump, maybe another to roll or slide, as the game moves forward for you. Those games are numerous because they tend to work on mobile devices, because most lack buttons and a control pad.
Paper Monsters from Mobot Studios and Crescent Moon Games is more of a traditional platformer, taking inspiration from such 2D classics such as Super Mario Bros. Priced at a mere 99 cents, if you’re looking for some platforming action on the go, it’s hard to pass this one up!
Paper Monsters has a nice visual style in which most of the characters and environments are made out of paper or cardboard. Everything is nice and colorful, and the graphics really look nice on the small screen. It’s worth noting that since this is more graphic-intensive title on mobile devices, it does use up battery life quickly. The music in the game is fitting for the game’s different environments. The sound effects are okay too, although the jumping one, which you will hear plenty of times, is grating in particular.
The controls in the game are simple. Holding your mobile device horizontally, your left thumb controls the main character’s left and right movements, while tapping the screen with your right thump makes him jump. Double-tapping the screen makes him double jump. There are two different control schemes to choose from, and the second, alternate one is definitely the better one of the two. The first control scheme features a virtual control stick, and the second one has a virtual control pad. The control pad one seemed to work better. At some points in the game, especially when attempting to jump and move forward at the same time, the virtual control stick didn’t really cut it, so it’s recommended to use the virtual pad.
Gameplay-wise, Paper Monsters is a traditional platformer. The main goal in each level, with exception of the boss ones, is to get to the end. Along the way, there are enemies to deal with, platforms to jump across, and so on. Going between areas in levels involves going through pipes; what’s cool is sometimes you’ll end up in an area of the background, then end up back on the foreground. This has been done before, but it probably hasn’t been done much on mobile platforms. Besides the platforming levels, there are a few levels that include vehicles such as a submarine and airplane; these are nice diversions from the traditional gameplay. The main character has 3 hearts; when all of them are depleted from enemy hits, or if he falls into a hole, it’s a game over. There are checkpoints in the level so that game overs aren’t too much of a pain to deal with. The levels in the game are quite lengthy, and there are different paths to explore. Most of these alternate paths lead to treasures.
Each level contains buttons, with silver and gold ones available to collect. These are the game’s equivalent of coins. Collecting enough silver buttons make them become 1 gold button, and the gold ones are used to purchase new costume parts from the game’s shop. Also found in each level are gold paper clips. There are three in each level, so it extends the game’s replay value a bit trying to collect them all.
The main storyline goes for a decent length, taking only about a few hours or so to go through all the game’s levels. As mentioned, grabbing all the collectibles extends the game’s length a bit. There are a total of 6 worlds in the story mode, with four levels each. Besides the main story, Paper Monsters includes additional modes. Punkin’ Time is a Halloween-themed level pack, Drag ‘N Dash is an infinite-runner survival minigame, and Heartbreak Shakedown is a Valentine’s Day-themed level pack. And this is all included in the initial 99 cent purchase.
Another great aspect of the game is that unlike several other mobile titles out there, you get what you pay for — the game doesn’t force you to make in-game purchases to continue through the game, and there are no ads to deal with. That is very commendable.
For only 99 cents, you definitely get your money’s worth with Paper Monsters. It may not be particularly innovative, but it’s simply a fun, portable platformer that gamers of any skill level can pick up and enjoy.
+ Nice graphics and visual style
+ Great price
+ Large amount of levels and collectibles
– Default control scheme is spotty
– Battery draining
– Jumping sound effect is annoying
Final score: 4.5 out of 5