Those of you who have met me will realize I’m a geek. A huge geek. Some may even go as far as to say I’m a bionic geek, built from parts of lesser geeks. And with that, growing up, I was a major Pokémon addict. So coming across Haypi Monster while looking for the last app reviewed. I stashed it away to play next. And let me tell you, I was surprised at how…. this game is.
Haypi Monster does play quite a bit differently than Pokémon. You start off choosing the gender of your “trainer”, which in this game is represented by leprechauns with comically-sized noses, which is on par. The basics of moving around, battling creatures, leveling up and evolving my creatures is there, movement is quite different, however instead of moving around in an open world with cities connected with routes, the games world is separated into different chunks, based on element and level.
Each chunk contains a path with a fairly linear path and only a few break offs. Moving around is done with a die, very much like Mario Party, moving around 1-6 spaces. Thrown around randomly are special squares that may contain money, loot, or heal/buff your party. Once you get to the end of the area you fight a Boss Monster that can’t be captured, and given a spin on a wheel of items (yes, you do occasionally land on the good stuff).
I have to admit some of the monster design is pretty cool. Scythe really reminding me of Kabutops, but still, great design. Others, I’m not sure if the artists fell asleep in the project and said “Oh well, here, have this bush, that evolves into a tree” or if it was intended for some of the creature’s concepts to be quite dull. I’m finding a lot of similarities to Pokémon creature designs, what seems to be a cuter Growlithe, and a Paras that has a scorpion tail. Sure the game has some original ideas, but I’m not sure they flushed out the creatures to the point they needed to be. I just fought a jack-o-lantern. That’s it. Nothing fancy, no legs no arms, no cape, no quirky tail. Just… a pumpkin… with a face… thanks guys!
Haypi Monster is a pseudo MMORPG, in the fact that you always have a chat open and your able to compete in real time Player VS Player combat. Ok, I get it. You want people to be online so there are players for PVP. But you just alienated all the players who are on the go, because lets face it, you can never get a good signal, and this game REQUIRES a constant internet connection. iPod users on the move, sorry guys, look for my next review on Random Heros for a great game on the go.
This game does a great job of delivering quite a bit of content, many areas to “explore”(walk down the path) and has many game functions that aren’t the main core game; From PvP battles, to the ability to train creatures in town for a very small amount of in-game currency. Speaking of currency, as with many free titles, this game leans towards In-App-Purchase of a secondary currency for most things. Good news is you do earn a small bit of it as you progress, so those few items ( like rare/epic creature eggs ) can be snagged with out having to shell out cash.
And after all of this? I’m hooked. Maybe it’s my burning passion for shove-monsters-in-things-and-make-them-fight-later titles, or maybe its just a quality game. I’m biased; I’ll let you make that call. Bottom line is if you have ever played a Pokémon style game, you will likely enjoy this title quite a bit.
This game has one of the cleanest user interfaces I’ve seen, and the artwork is great! Sadly the character designs are unimaginative and seem to be generated by a drawing faces on random things popped up on google image search, then made to look really cute. Even the names were things like “Twiggy” which evolved into a “Branchy”.
Plenty of monsters, sure by no means the legendary amount that Pokémon contains, but they’ve been around forever, comparison would not be fair. While I don’t think moving around the board Mario party style is a bad thing, per say, but it just seems awkward, and out of place. But the core gameplay of combat is solid. There is plenty of creatures and attacks to keep me busy.
Well, I’m not humming the theme song, but I have sure heard worse, and for a mobile title, it’s pretty good. The sound effects are generic and nothing gloat about, but get the job done fairly well.
I pondered leaving this section blank, or populating it with a single frowny-face. I decided to instead mention that while this game did not innovate… well anything… and is most defiantly a blatant knock of title, scoring low here does not mean this is a bad game.
I’m a little torn up inside over this title, but overall hooked. I want to love it, since the genre is one of my favorites, and there are not a lot of options for it on the mobile market. But it physically pains me to force myself to enjoy the generic creature designs. I can ignore it for now, and really enjoy the title since the base gameplay is there, but I’m not sure for how long.