Feature Article

June 25, 2013

iOS Game Review: 'Monsters Invade: Oz'

iOS developer Little Box has released a game app titled “Monsters Invade: Oz.” l Winner of GDC's Best in Play 2013, “Monsters Invade: Oz” has players explore L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz to find, battle and capture monsters that can aid them in their adventure to stop the Wicked Witch. Little Box is the creator of “Geared,” and composer of “Scribblenauts.”

The game is a ‘freemium’ game, meaning that it is free to download and play, but to gain upgrades quickly and move through levels you may have to purchase additional upgrade packs in the form of gold bars. These gold bars you spend on upgrades for your monsters, as well as nearly every other significant action in the game. It is entirely possible to play without spending any real money, yet it will be at a slower, more casual pace.

The idea behind the game is fairly simple. The player is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz story and she must battle monsters in order to save the land. Every time she defeats a monster, Dorothy can then employ them to help her in her quest. After a while, you gain a selection of monsters that you can employ along the way. As they gain experience, you can upgrade them to be more powerful.

To fight your monsters, you have three spinning wheels. By stopping the wheel and letting the pointer land on the green marker, you can succeed in your attacks. One ring spins at a time, and each goes faster than the one before it. When you successfully stop each wheel on the green mark, you deal damage. Get to three successful spins, and you will receive a hit multiplier. Fail to do so, and the attack will deal significantly less damage.

After several hours of game play I can say that the user interface (UI) is fairly complex and clunky for a game of its kind. The game is very aggressive on In App Purchases, and game play can be severely hindered because of it. If fighting monsters in the Land of Oz is something that you have been yearning to do, I would try it out. Otherwise, you can pass it by without worrying about missing the next “Angry Birds.”

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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