Monster Stack 2 bears resemblance to other games I have reviewed for BestWP7Games over these past few months, namely Cargo Crush and Tut’s Towers. Before continuing here, it may be worth your time to read those reviews as I will make numerous comparisons across the three games. It puts this game into context to make such comparisons with similar games.
Cargo Crush makes use of oddly-shaped luggage (including such items as guitars and golf bags) which has to be stacked to a given height without the luggage arrangement toppling, whilst Tut’s Towers wants a structurally-sound stack of more regular-shaped objects, like squares, circles or triangles, in different sizes. At the time of playing, Cargo Crush seemed all about just getting something stable to meet a minimum height, making it more free-form than Tut’s Tower which, whilst playing, I felt there was a single solution I was striving towards, that there was a trick in each level which needed to be uncovered to successfully stack the shapes.
Monster Stack 2 combines elements of both these and ends up finding a sort of middle of ground between the two. That is not to say it was aiming for that, or that it copied elements of the other two, but nevertheless this is where it finds itself. The monsters to be stacked (hence name) are simple shapes, as in Tut’s Towers – squares, rectangles, triangles and circles – in different sizes, with faces to characterise them as ‘monsters.’ The aim is to stack them in a manner which results in a stable structure. Once all monsters are placed on the screen, a timer bar will appear and if no monsters fall during that time the level is complete. I once had a highly unstable tower, slowly leaning increasingly to the right but because of the time taken to fall, the level was actually validated as complete a split second before a couple of monsters tumbled from the summit! Simply creating a tower which can stand for long enough will complete a level, but for extra credit you need to reach a minimum height – this is marked by a floating steak which the monsters are, of course, longing to sink their teeth into. In this regard it is similar to Cargo Crush, but actually gives a reason for reaching the prescribed height. However, it also means that progression is possible without reaching that height – although I have yet to have a problem reaching the steak so long as I could keep the tower standing.
The levels are set in areas, but unlike in other games (read: all other games these days) a three-star rating system is nowhere in sight. The defining factor between mere pass and distinction is obtaining the steak. I am not entirely certain about this, but it seems passes will always unlock just the next level whereas reaching the steak in several levels seems to unlock a few more levels at a time – but this is uncertain and perhaps not always the case.
With regards to levels, there are 25 under “Original” with a further 25 to be found under “Plus” – I am not sure of the difference here, or the distinction between the two categories. 50 levels is also not a great deal. The game also features in-game achievements – and a good selection of them. They add to the gameplay and some you will always claim you were of course doing on purpose – for example, fail a level with the first monster. There are then also user-generated levels – opening this will display one selected seemingly at random and after completion can be rated positively or negatively. It is not as comprehensive as the wealth of community content in Tut’s Towers, and lacks the latter’s selection capabilities, but it adds longevity nonetheless.
The graphics look quite good and menus are animated. However, when playing it I cannot help but feel I have stepped out of the Windows Phone ecosystem and into an Android game. In the menus particularly the icons remind me of Android; they look like what I saw when using a Galaxy S briefly last year, before getting my hands on my current Samsung. Indeed, the game was on Android before, but I would have liked to see greater use of Windows Phone and Metro, not keeping the look and feel of Google’s mobile OS. It is a minor point, but detracts from an otherwise decent game.
You can also check out Monster Stack’s Initial version here.
Monster Stack 2 Screenshots
Version Under Review: 126.96.36.199
Monster stack 2 is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7
Our Rating for Monser Stack 2