Perils of life in the city getting you down? Perhaps your rural existence is maddeningly quiet and the constant chirping of crickets and hooting of owls beyond the midnight hour is driving you around the bend? Whatever your frustrating predicament, there are plenty of destress games on hands to sort you out, and Smash Monsters is absolutely one of the ones to which you should consider dedicating your time.
Its gameplay has obviously drawn inspiration from a wide variety of other titles such as Sim City and even the Pokémon series of games, but the main objective is simple: grow your very own destructive monsters and wreak havoc in various cities. The more wayward you are with your destruction, the more enjoyable the game becomes, so this is a game where you can really let go of any pent-up anger that you’re holding on to.
There are two main elements of gameplay in Smash Monsters that are worth dividing up into distinct sections. The first is the meat of the action, and what most people come to Smash Monsters for when performing a general search on the app store. This is the city-smashing element, and it’s all pretty simple to explain. Effectively, you’re presented with a small grid on which a city is displayed, and it’s really just your job to destroy the living hell out of it by tapping on the buildings. No target is off limits, so you’re aiming to lay waste to residential buildings, places of work, skyscrapers, factories – you name it, you should be destroying it.
The destruction itself is initiated by swiping across the section of the city you wish to destroy. This swipe sets off your Smash Monster as he tramples and destroys as much as he is able according to his stats. Beware however, since the military/defense systems also get a go at stopping you, so don’t think that this is a sandbox city-destroyer where you run unopposed; the military will try to take you down, so bear this in mind when devising your overall tactics for the city.
The mechanics have a zingy twist to them however, introducing type-based mechanics that are somewhat reminiscent of the elemental mechanics of Pokémon (as well as any other number of type-centric game mechanics like the mobile Moshi Monsters game). You see, the amount of destruction you cause depends on how well developed your very own Smash Monster is (more on this below), and each of your smash monsters as a particular strength that means it works well against a certain kind of building. That pretty much covers the mechanics involved here.
The second prong of Smash Monster’s two-pronged gameplay elements comes in the form of growing monsters. It’s exactly as it sounds: you have your very own lab in which you must grow and nurture your Smash Monsters to optimum health and destructive powers. And, as mentioned above, these monsters possess certain affinities for particular building types, which means amassing a healthy collection of monsters with varying effectiveness for each of the buildings in each city is your best bet for success.
You’ll meet with much resistance in your quest for destruction however, so bear this in mind before you make your city visits draw out for too long. There will be guns aimed at you and you’ll have a hard time breaking through some of the bigger cities’ defences before you can get to any part where you can score serious points.
In spite of the fact that the game is all about creating maximum destruction, the visual style is all rather light-hearted. It’s a very cartoon-feeling game, with bright and colours being one of the most striking elements as you trundle across the city; the monsters themselves also look more dastardly than they do devastatingly destructive, but this just adds to the wonderfully lightweight and casual feel of the gameplay. If you’re looking for serious, straight-laced, and detailed graphics however, you’re better off playing the Sim City games and running your creation aground the old-fashioned way through poor infrastructure and natural disaster planning.
Don’t let the cartoonish design of the game fool you however; it is tremendously fun to wander about various cities destroying everything in your path, and moreover being rewarded for doing so! The variety of cities is also magnificent, with many waiting to be unlocked and acting as incentives to do well in each of the current cities you have on your radar. As far as stress-busting goes then, Smash Monsters is a smash hit, and its monster-growing elements only serve to make it a more addictive and multi-dimensional experience.