Eidos Monster Lab
"It's alive... Alive!"
- Can pick up and play any time, good cartoon graphics, clear sound
- Controls can be frustrating until you figure them out
A charming detour, Monster Lab is a fantastically tongue-in-cheek adventure that has just enough charm in its gameplay to overshadow some lacklustre controls.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
Monster Lab is a new role-playing title that puts you in the shoes of a Frankenstein-like mad scientist looking to create life. Much like Frankenstein himself, Eidos' Monster Lab allows you to construct various forms of monstrous life through a combination of limbs, parts, and special attributes. With so many options, what will you end up creating?
Monster Lab takes place in the Uncanny Valley, where you take on the role of the newest member in the Mad Science Alliance. Playing the apprentice to three very crazy scientists, each mentor will teach you different evil science techniques — the first being the zany Professor Fuseless. Your first mission is to leave the Gothic Castle, and go help the village by destroying the monster that is wreaking havoc on the poor villagers. Taking control of the monster is very easy, and allows you a wide array of actions. You can explore the land, hunt for monsters to fight, or go searching for "ingredients" to create your very own monster.
You gain your experience in Monster Lab by eliminating other hand-made monsters and stealing their parts (ouch!) With over a hundred different monster parts available, you can mix and match heads, arms, legs and torsos to construct your perfect monster. A downside to this rather innovative feature is that creating parts for your monster can be frustrating., but once you get the hang of the game's construction system as well as it's rather wonky control scheme, you'll be busting out Frankenstenian beasts in no time. Welding new parts can also be difficult, as the mobile screen can be distracting, not to mention a rather daunting time limit. If you don't complete the task under the sufficient amount of time, the item will be destroyed in the Weld-O-Tron.
The RPG combat style is great, allowing the player to choose which attack you want to use in order to most damage to the opposing monster. The graphics are wonderfully charming in an innovative 3-D cartoon style. The animation is very fluent and the battles are a breeze to figure out, each encounter a quick and fun exercise. The best part about Monster Lab is it's variety — with so many parts and monsters out there, it's almost guaranteed that you'll never have to fight the same monster twice! The game's sound is very clear and concise, with eerie music that really makes you feel like you're in a mad scientist's lair. Mixed with the game's fantastic visuals, the inherent charm of Monster Lab really takes effect!
Overall, Monster Lab is a great game. It's a fantastic pick-up-and-play title that's great for on-the-go creation, and an addictive battle system that always wants you leaving more. If the idea of creating your very own army of Frankenstein monsters appeals to you, be sure to pick up a copy of Monster Lab!
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