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MonstroVille
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MonstroVille

Release Date:  April 5, 2012
Publisher:  Feerik
Developer:  Feerik
Genre:  City Builder, Social Game
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MonstroVille is a Facebook game that gives players a chance to create their own virtual monster paradise by taming weird-looking but cure creatures.

Review:

It seems to be another game which owns a name ending with “ville”, but MonstroVille is not the latest title from Zynga’s “ville” arsenal, it is an original game developed by French-based Feerik. Although you can inevitably find the same basic gameplay as it ever is for a city-builder genre and is far from being a “complete original” game, it combines a lot of nice gameplay mechanics from other best games, making the game looks gorgeous.

MonstroVille is complex enough that a mission structure is introduced to help players get on their feet. Missions encourage you to develop a complex supply chain beginning from clearing land by chopping trees, building a sawmill which turns wood to lumber, constructing a caravan where you can collect money, and then growing strawberries to re-supply it. The building content is more extensive than most other Facebook games, it includes a variety of options of crops, houses, and business which you may add to your city later.

Most city-builders on Facebook appear to be relative single-minded and dominate the gameplay with single objective, though, MonstroVille is relatively complex. Besides managing your real estates, you also need to take good care of your monsters: you need to keep your pets well-fed, get them married and produce babies; interact with your baby monsters by giving them a gentle touch; you feed them their favorite food and their appearance could be vastly different as they grow up. Players also have the option to build a scary laboratory, in which you can carry out some weird experiments by turning some recyclable wastes into new screwy monsters. There is no singular activity forcing you doing repetitive jobs, like the way you do in Ravenwood Fair, which is just about digging up titles.

The game allows players to send monsters on expeditions to gain experiences in order to level up. Most of locations are greyed out and I think they will be gradually unlocked as I proceed in the game. Monsters are distinguished from one another, because even for the same species, they are born with random “specialties”, which are displayed in the form of different small icon sprites. Since the game tutorial does not cover the walkthrough guiding you through the “expedition mission” part; moreover, texts showed on many buttons and HUDs are still German, so I totally have no idea what are the significance of monster “specialty” and “level” in the game. Based on my ingame experiences thus far, MonstroVille doesn’t incorporate any combat mechanism. Additionally, “joy” and “fright” will be randomly brought back by monsters sent or expedition missions. They are represented respectively by a “smiley face” and a “frightened face” showed on the upper-center of the screen. But I don’t how they contribute to the gameplay.

All of these things are enough to make MonstroVille a very good social game, but it’s the social part that makes it even exceptional. Everything you wish you could do in most other social games that enable you to visit your friends is also available in MonstroVille. You can hire neighbors to do jobs for you when you run out of energy. You can also return the favor by doing useful work at a neighbor’s land, like feeding monsters or watering crops.

So far, there is very little to criticize except for the careless localization problem; besides, all the ingame FAQ’s links direct me to the game forum of French version. So I just hope the developer could soon fix these problems.

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