Some folks might say that all a game has to do to make my Gaming App of the Day pick is contain at least one colourful cartoon unicorn. While that's probably true, Monsters Ate My Condo doesn't just feature a giant cartoon unicorn. It's also got a puppy-controlled robot, a killer crab, and a leder-hosen wearing mutated Japanese businessman.
So it hits all of my sweet spots.
Adult Swim Games further establishes itself as a publisher of addictive, bite-sized, borderline offensive entertainment with Monsters Ate My Condo, a stacking puzzle game masquerading as a Kaiju monster battle. The name might be a little misleading, however, as you spend the game feeding condo levels to these bizarre creatures. It's like making a first-person shooter called Enemy Soldier's Body Stole My Bullet.
But we're not here to quibble over naming conventions. We're here to stack up colourful condo levels, feeding them to opposing monsters in order to form stacks. Matching three or more levels causes them to disappear, reborn as valuable points and leaving a special metal condo piece in their place. Stack the metal pieces for massive points, or feed them to the monsters to unlock their special powers.
It's really a two-part game. The first part is stacking, and the second is monster management. Each of the four creatures in the game is a specific colour. Clearing a combo of the same colour causes a monster to tap out for one of the other three. Feeding them condo pieces of the same colour keeps them from attacking your tower; feeding them different colours slowly enrages them. As their attacks destabilises the tower, and a toppled tower means game over, you want to keep these guys happy.
Each monster also has a special power, activated by feeding them one of the aforementioned metal blocks. Activating Reginald Starfire's (the unicorn, obviously) special power straightens out your tower, ensuring it won't fall for the duration of its rainbow glow. Lord Ferocious, the puppy robot, provides a 10x score multiplier.
Developer PikPok has crafted an incredibly addictive little $.99 game here, filled with charming character and distracting colour. Time Attack mode offers a perfect quick gaming hit for when time is of the essence, and Endless Mode is involving enough that the toilet seat imprint will take hours to fade.
And it has a giant cartoon unicorn in it, so it wins by default.
Monsters Ate My Condo [iTunes]