Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar review
Me Monstar is a top-down gobble-'em-up that's far greater than the sum of its parts, but it doesn't start well. It eases the player so gently into its arenas you'd be forgiven for thinking there's nothing more here than a slightly clunky game about running around as a slightly clunky Monstar.
But there is. After those initial stages Me Monstar begins to throw ideas hard and fast at you, with a new toy to play with on nearly every level: Chunder Cheese, Vindaloonatic Curry, and Napalam Chillies are just the start. The basic idea stays the same – eat smaller Monstars and avoid being eaten to grow bigger and eat even more – but these power ups are inventive tools as well provide as funny gross-out moments, and they're parcelled out generously. There's strategy to their use, too. It's not uncommon to fail a later level, go back in and win it hands down it thanks to a new tactic.
But what is best about Me Monstar is its colour and verve as it expands. This is a funny game, one that loves setting up domino-like scenarios and chucking you in the middle with just the tool for the job – it exults in showing you what to do and then cutting you loose to do it and reap the rewards. When picking up the Hoots Mon Haggis for the first time, you just know it's going to cue some bagpipes – and sure enough it does. Has there ever been a better invincibility pickup?
It's a tribute to Me Monstar that, despite lasting a good few hours, you want more. It's not the most fine-tuned of arena games, nor does it have any especially replayable modes to lengthen out its offering – but in the midst of its carnage, as you force lines of Monstars to projectile vomit in geometric patterns across the screen before incinerating them with a nasty fart, those concerns seem like very small beer.