Role playing game fans who want a virtual pet in their lives finally have it thanks to Gameloft's Monster Life, an app that blends elements from both genres. While light on story, Monster Life is heavy with charm and should enchant young gamers with its deft, hybrid gameplay.
The virtual pet elements of the game seem to be the most well-developed. Players train a tiny monster that grows and evolves from an egg to a more robust beast through a leveling system. The monster must be cared for, fed and entertained. Taking care of the monster is not too dissimilar from the sort of activities found in virtual fish tank or theme park builder apps, although the player can interact with the monster by “tickling” and shaking it.
The RPG portion of the game is where the player trains their monster to fight via simple turned-based gameplay. Players can try to defend, attack and heal their creature as it takes on various foes and levels up. The battle gameplay isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but there are a few wrinkles to the game, including a button that, if you blink you’ll miss its appearance on screen, allows for a hit with double the power. It’s broken down into bite-sized portions and not just a room filled with endless enemies is also refreshing.
Visually, Monster Life is endearingly cartoony. The characters are colorful, blocky and inviting. While Monster Life might be a little too complex for very young children, the visuals suggest a game best enjoyed by younger kids. Monster Life might be just the right kind of introduction for a pre-teen who wants to check out a simple role-playing game.