There’s something depressing about a competently-produced bad game. You want to be able to root for it, because real people worked hard to create art and sound and get the code working right. However, there’s no getting around the fact that a game like Monster Mansion isn’t any fun to play.
Monster Mansion is a typical building game where you get to put together a big tower and make its residents comfortable. In this case, the residents are a creative assortment of monsters. You start off with stalwarts like vampires and werewolves, then level up to witches, swamp creatures, pumpkinheads, hunchbacks, zombie hippies, and more.
Each monster’s room is a unique habitat, which you can decorate with candelabras, cobwebs, organs, and other spooky goodies. There are ‘scare rooms’ in which the monsters earn coins by frightening hapless tourists, and you can even hire nannies to help the monsters raise cute little monster kids. Sounds fun, right?
I vant you to vander avay from my house.
There are lots of different monsters to collect, but there’s almost nothing to do with them. They spend most of their time standing around in their little box rooms, waiting for a chance to go over to a scare room and perform the same booga-booga animation over and over again. Sometimes they go to sleep, implying that even they think what’s going on is pretty dull.
Meanwhile, you’re buying new habitats, tapping bats to earn money, tapping tourists to scare them, and waiting for the monsters’ timers to tick down so you tap their rooms to collect more money and experience points. When you level up, you get to feed one of your monsters a cookie. That’s it. That’s the whole game.
There’s no energy system to limit how much you can do, so you have no incentive to optimize your actions. There are no strategies to explore, because you’re just tapping on the same things over and over again. Leveling unlocks new stuff to buy and increases the number of coins you earn, but you don’t gain anything new to do at higher levels.
House Hunters: Horror Edition.
There’s not even any challenge to building the tower, because the rooms can be placed anywhere in the building area. Want to stick a room up in the air with no visible means of support? Go for it! Nobody bothered to put gravity into the game.
Monster Mansion doesn’t ask for anything but your attention and patience, mostly because it wants to show you an ad for another game every few minutes. You can earn regular and premium currency from looking at the ads, and the game is aggressive about sending you notifications for various game events. Every time you open the app, it shows you another ad. If we were cynical, we would suggest that the entire game is designed around keeping you checking in so the developers can make money selling ads for other games.
It’s hard to see why anyone would want to stick around, though. If you enjoy decorating and think the creatures are cute, you might enjoy this for a little while. But there are so many better games out there, from Tiny Tower to the recent Hotel Transylvania Dash Deluxe. Monster Mansion is a painfully limited game in comparison, and there’s just no reason to waste time on it when you could be playing something else.