Did you play Fragger? If so, then you know what to expect from Monster Island, because the two games are extremely similar. In both, you play as a stationary character with a skill set limited to tossing projectiles. Your goal is to kill the “enemies” standing elsewhere on the screen. We use the term “enemies” loosely, because they don’t actually do anything but stand there waiting to be killed. Monster Island is fun, but is it worth purchasing?
That all depends. First off, the two games aren’t exactly the same. Monster Island has a fun things-that-go-bump-in-the-night feel to it, so it’s a great game to get you in the mood for Halloween. All of the characters are monsters, and all of the projectiles you toss at the enemies are monster heads. Another addition is that not all of the projectiles explode. In Monster Island, you’re given a variety of monster heads to help you decimate your foes.
Armed and ready.
Blue heads act exactly like the grenades in Fragger, which is to say that they detonate when they stop rolling on the ground. Green heads explode on demand, which helps synchronize your detonations when necessary. Our favorite new projectiles are the sticky purple heads, which let you glue explosives to walls or ceilings so you can blow up otherwise unreachable bad guys.
What the developers of Monster Island really nailed is the level design. Each screen-sized level is essentially a puzzle that you have to solve. Solving a level means figuring out which projectiles to toss where, and in what order. In one level you might have to destroy a few breakable platforms before you can lob a grenade at an enemy. In another you might have to throw a sticky head at a moving platform so it’ll pick up an enemy, bringing him out into the open where you can blow him up. The game has a ton of content, and the levels slowly become tougher as you progress.
And the clock struck twelve.
As you play, you also earn currency that you can spend to unlock new monsters. Unfortunately, none of the monsters have special abilities, so the changes are only aesthetic. You can also earn up to three stars on each level, which is great for completionists, and gives you reason to come back to levels you’ve already beaten.
Our biggest problem with Monster Island is that it’s very similar to Fragger. It would have been great if they’d branched out and added more new features. But if the worst insult we can level at the game is that it’s similar to another great game, then it’s probably worth getting, particularly if you never played Fragger. We should also mention that you can play a Flash version of Monster Island for free here.
So that’s it. If you played Fragger and loved it, Monster Island is just what the doctor ordered. If you didn’t care for Fragger, go ahead and skip this game, because you’re not going to find enough new here to keep you satisfied. But if you never played Fragger, be sure to pick this one up. After all, Halloween is coming, and blowing up stuff is always fun.