Outside of having one of the coolest names for a game development company, Funky Panda Games has recently released their game Monster Mountain for Android. The game was released awhile back on iOS. Now you have an opportunity to play this turn-based action game that sports an intriguing story, strategical gameplay and fantastic art.
Yes, once you say Funky Panda, you will probably find yourself saying it over and over again. Fortunately, their game Monster Mountain is just as interesting as their name. It is an RPG with a story that is somewhat frightening, if you really think about if it were to come true. The art direction is impressive, the controls and gameplay are relatively easy to learn, though learning about what each character is capable of through evolving them, may take a while.
"When the mountains first began to form, humanity overlooked the alteration in their every changing, chaotic world. Years passed, and the mountain grew, towering higher with each passing year, till finally all sunlight was torn from sight, plunging the earth into permanent darkness of the behemoth... And in the shadows, man became monster." - Funky Panda
The game starts off with an creatively rendered short video. You are drawn into the game world and you eagerly await for the quest to begin. The game does a good job of educating you on how to play. While it seems uncomplicated, there are layers that you will uncover over time, that will help you play the game better. Remember, the game is an RPG that is turn-based. I like getting into the action and having more control over my characters, but Funky Panda does a good job of keeping the game interesting with the collection of cards (new characters), evolving and unique enemies. You can target your enemies at some points during the game, but a fair amount of the battles are done automatically.
Monster Mountain Features:
Countless unique characters and monsters to recruit
Challenge other players in the Arena (PvP) and become the master
Enchant your characters to gain extra power
Build up your team and explore the endless world
Unique ATB battle system
Endless fun and great storyline
You start the game with the main character Rusty Rain. He carries an almost raspberry colored sword with him into battle. It isn't long before you unlock other characters that will journey with you, like Lantern and Rimbaud. You can have up to four people in your party. Each character has a special ability that they can use during battle. Once the meter fills for that character's special ability, you choose which enemy you want to target. Once this is done, a shape appears like an L, or an s-curve. One end is open and the other end is closed. You have to start at the open end of the shape and draw the pattern towards the closed end. The faster that you do this, and the more accurate your tracing resembles what is on the screen, the higher the hit points your enemy receives from you. Whereas the automatic turn-based action kinds of pulls you away from the game, this element helps bring you back into it.
At the end of each battle different items are dropped, such as coins, gems or other cards, that you can use later in other battles. In addition, stamina is added to your character. Stamina is important, because this is a free-to-play game. Each battle will cost you stamina, but the amount of stamina you are given, versus the amount of stamina it takes to battle, isn't wildly disproportionate, as it is in some other games.
Evolving your character will cost you gems and other items, which can be found in the in-game shop. The in-game shop has crystals, stamina and quick-combat items that can be purchased... with crystals. The cheapest crystal pouch goes for $7.99 and then moves upward, so you get the idea. The game also seems to have intermittent flash sales, where you can get stamina or crystals at a cheaper rate. Somehow, the old blue-light special at K-mart comes to mind. I am sure I am dating myself here even mentioning that, but nevertheless, if you want stamina cheaper, you might want to check out those sales. There are also daily rewards given that are pretty good, if you sign in to play the game daily.
In a nutshell, there is a lot to like with Monster Mountain. Even though it is free-to-play, there seem to be enough options to play the game for a while before you run into a pay wall. How long that is, I can't say for sure. When I see caches of crystals for upwards of one hundred dollars, it makes me wonder.
Should you download Monster Mountain? That is a good question. I definitely think it is a game worth checking out. Getting up the mountain is going to take you some time. The world map (mountain) is quite large. Evolving your character is interesting, and selectively putting together your team, makes this an RPG game with plenty of strategy and gameplay to experience. The learning curve on how to level up or evolve your character, along with the seven different races that become available the longer you play, make this a game you can grow into.
The art direction is top notch, the narrative is engaging and the game is relatively fun to play. If I had more control over the characters it would even be more fun, but that is not how the game is designed. It is still a game that is produced well and with a high standard of quality. You may want to be cautious about how long you think you will be playing the game, due to the free-to-play structure. I like what Funky Panda has created. It will be interesting to see how long I can enjoy it, before I am required to pony up some cash. If there were an option a little less than $7.99, for something that you will potentially run out of again, then it may be an easier sell than what it is now, based on what I have played. You absolutely lose nothing though, by downloading the game to try it out, to see if it is your cup of tea.