Monsters Ate My Condo is a mesmerically bizarre, Japanese-inspired arcade puzzler from the combined mental juices of Adult Swim and PikPok. Swipe away coloured condos to the hungry mouths of curious monsters, while combining three or more of the same colour for special bonuses.
Quite unlike anything you might have ever played before and combining visual eye-candy and incredible sound with aggressively captivating gameplay, Monsters Ate My Condo might be the the most ridiculous game you’ve ever played. Read on for a proper insight into its monsterous neon soul.
What’s Going On?
Four inexplicably bizarre monsters (think Godzilla after way too much sugar) have invaded a peaceful city and their destructive forces can only be sated by feeding them floors from a tower block. Floors come in four colours – red, yellow, green and blue – and you must endeavour to swipe these floors into the mouths of the correspondingly coloured monsters. Send a wrong colour and they get angry… and things get decidedly unstable after a few such errors. If the tower block completely falls, it’s game over.
Gameplay is a simple process of swiping the floors into the mouths of the monsters, while also trying to group three or more floors together for a combo. Combos earn points and the presence of shiny condos which, also matched together generate more and more points. Feeding a monster a shiny condo triggers their special power. These vary but often mean lots of points for you!
This all happens at a frantic pace, so it’s best to concentrate of making combos and removing loose condos which are unlikely to contribute to anything. It’s also best to not worry too much about occasionally upsetting the monsters by feeding them the wrong colour – just try not to do it too often.
There are four deranged monster characters each with their own little backstory:
- Boat Head (red) is a mutated crab (familiar nuclear contamination story), but now seems to be a kind of environmental hero, although his reputation has been damaged after what he did to Mr Shigoto…
- Mr Shigoto (green) was peaceful business man until a nuclear tanker was dropped (by Boat Head) into the German beer garden he was frequenting. He’s now a giant lederhosen-wearing mutant.
- Reginald Starfire (blue) is a plucked and pruned unicorn popstar from the 1980s.
- Finally, Lord Ferocious (yellow) is a kind of floating dog in a robot suit and former Soviet deep-water exploration program survivor.
All these character narratives are contained in detail within the game, although paraphrased here.
Special powers are unique to each monster. Boat Head’s power is called Lullaby and slows down time. Reginald Starfire’s power is incredibly helpful: called Solid Tower, its straightens your tower block up – vital when things are getting frantic and messy. Mr Shigoto’s special power is a Double Combo, which creates more shiny blocks. Another good one for points is the special power of Lord Ferocious: Super Points multiplies everything by 100. These powers are triggered when you feed the monster a shiny block, so use appropriately.
If you think this sounds weird, you would be right. The humour is bizarre yet highly infectious and genuinely funny. The whole game is a crazy mash-up of ideas and silliness that’s wholly backed up by simple and addictive gameplay. The condos persistently fall from the sky so feeding them to the monsters – which consists of flicking them either left or right – is the main thing you have to do.
You have to monitor where there is an opportunity to create a combo (usually if there are two or more condos of the same colour and another within a block or two) and feed monsters accordingly. You also benefit from watching the shiny blocks and trying to boost them. These combine, too, so you go from having bronze blocks to silver then gold; the better the brick, the longer the resulting special power lasts.
The aim really is to accumulate as high a score as possible. The game is over when the tower block collapses. At this point a Wagner-esque opera singer rises from the destruction to belt out the closing theme or, if you’re lucky, the fact you’ve achieved a new high score… so there’s winning even in the losing.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics contained in the game are detailed and smooth and, although 2D, are incredibly rich, polished and stunning. It’s utterly gorgeous and responsive in every department; from the sliding menus, frenetic in-game visuals and slick tutorial and character narratives, every inch of the game is stunningly designed and created, dripping quality throughout. For a mobile game, it’s as flawless as I’ve seen on the Android platform.
The sound is truly epic in every way. There are a few different musical tracks, in addition to different themes for each monster. Additionally, when a special power is activated, there is yet another theme played- which seems to be part musical score, part elaborate sound effect. The singular sound effects are varied and perfectly executed. Finally, the operatic finale when it’s game over is the icing on this utterly deranged cake of a game. I would challenge anyone to find a title with better sound than this.
PikPok and Adult Swim Games
There is really nothing quite like Monsters Ate My Condo. Title-wise, I was immediately reminded of the game Monsters Ate My Homework, but this is different in many ways. You also have fast-paced tower games like Pixel Towers (which we recently mentioned in our 33 Fantastic Retro Games to get Nostalgic About) which gets you to build a tower, so this isn’t quite the same either.
It could be noted however that both PikPok and Adult Swim have released games prior to this. PikPok’s Flick Kick Football is a sublime and addictive football game that I reviewed a number of months ago, but it’s a completely different beast to Monsters Ate My Condo. Often with game developers, you can see a theme (Kairosoft’s retro titles, Full Fat’s ‘flick’ series) but PikPok’s leap into this bizarre gaming soup is pretty unexpected, although it clearly shows incredible diversity.
Adult Swim, obviously those behind the niche television network and online gaming resource, did release a mobile version of their popular online flash game Robot Unicorn Attack. This has you racing a robot unicorn through various platforms to the sound of 80s synth-pop band Erasure. Conceptionally, it shouldn’t work, but it really does (saying that, it physically doesn’t work on Ice Cream Sandwich devices, so be wary!)
The Fat Lady Is Singing
Monsters Ate My Condo is a epically bonkers game that is impeccably designed and provides buckets of surreal fun. Gameplay itself is frenzied and multi-faceted, which means that every game feels like a very different experience from the last.
The graphics and sound complete the game perfectly, immersing you into a demented and visceral experience that you just don’t get very often with Android games. Definitely give the game a go; it’s relatively inexpensive and well worth the money. It might not quench the gaming thirst of all Android users, but it’s both jaw dropping and original.