Welcome to Monster Madness, a game optimized for gameplay inside an NVIDIA Tegra 2 environment, that being right here and now the Motorola XOOM Android Honeycomb tablet. This game is part of a suite of games available from various developers working hand-in-hand with NVIDIA to bring you the best experience possible with the power Tegra 2 has to offer. What this game consists of is a whole heck of a lot of fun in murdering the heck out of hoards of monsters. There's mutant spiders, obese gelatinous goons, red-eyed monkey jumpers, and of course, lots and lots of zombies.
We saw this game previewed back at the official Android Honeycomb event, you can check that out in the review video at around the 16:25 mark [here]. Now we've got the game ready and working on our Motorola XOOM tablet, and it looks pretty good. The most engaging bit of the game, believe it or not, isn't the graphics or the gameplay, but the sound effects and music. From the outset, the audio component of this game blasts forth, making you want to never quit playing because you're right there in the action! There are some odd bits, as you'll see, while playing though as more often than once while we're running the game one sound will interrupt the other, stopping the first in its tracks. You can see this happening in the demo video below.
NOTE: In the video we access this app via the NVIDIA Tegra Zone app which was just released this morning. It's fun!
Beyond that, this game is very similar to its console counterpart. For the sake of this review, we'll assume you had no idea this game was already released (in different iterations) on XBOX 360 in 2007 and PlayStation 3 in 2008. This newest version powered by the magnificent Unreal 3 engine, a name we've revered since they blew the first person shooter world out of the water with Unreal Tournament in the year 2000. This Monster Madness game is not a first-person shooter, instead acting more as a birds-eye-view hack and slash situation, but does not fail to impress as far as quickness in operating goes.
Monster Madness is a relatively simple game for how much work was put into making its gameplay look and feel fantastic. You move upwards, downwards, left, and right, cutting up monsters as you go, moving in and out of buildings, above and below objects like it's no big deal as you move toward your goal which we can only assume includes killing every single sprite in the entire game. We've run through the first several levels and have had no problem figuring out what we're meant to do, especially since most of what we're meant to do is killing the enemy, collecting gems as money, and trading that money in for equipment, weapons, and health.
Health in this game comes in the form of JOLT! This soda pop was an energy drink before energy drinks were called energy drinks, taking the form of a plain cola or flavored cola, always filling you up with about 3x the caffeine you'd get in a Mountain Dew. Not the sort of thing you mess around with if you have a heart condition. We hope this means that JOLT isn't going away anytime soon, as we've found it difficult to find this particular brand outside comic shops and odd spots around the city for the past few years.
But back to the game! You can control the game with unbelievably easy to use joysticks, one for moving and the other for controlling your attack, but you've also got the option of using what's sort of an imperfect accelerometer option. With it, you can move around by tipping your device either in the direction you want to move, or if you've clicked the option, the opposite of the direction you want to move - kind of like flying a jet. This game is made unique by the fact that you can control your weapon independently of your feet in this particular manner - a combination we've seen most recently in the utterly awesome "Gun Bros," another game by our pals at WAR DRUM STUDIOS. [NOTE: We'll be reviewing Gun Bros on the XOOM soon.]
The game is smooth, the screens never sit in one position for long, and the loading screens are never sitting for more than 30 seconds. It's quite amazing once you see what's going on in the game. Soon we'll come to expect this to be the norm, eventually demanding that there's no loading screens at all. That said, moving in and out of cinematic screens is even better, switching between them with a pause so short is basically impossible to notice.
This game is fun, it's addicting, and it'll provide you with hours of entertainment. We're not sure of the total hours of gameplay, but it already seems to be worth the $10 for the app after we've played it for only a couple of hours. Grab it immediately. So much fun. So much monster annihilation.