Gen Con Indy 2012 is touted as the best four days in gaming. With everything from mobile games to LARPing, board games to card games, there's a ton to see at the event. One of the more impressive booths at this year's event was the truth® booth "45 Flavors." The booth was being used to show off their upcoming iOS and Android game Flavor Monsters. The booth was more than just a hands-on with the game, though. There was a video simulator, a shirt booth where you could get a free shirt, and check out some of the gross monsters you face in the game. But what is the idea behind Flavor Monsters? What is it really about?
One of the people running the truth® '45 Flavors' booth was Andrea (pronounced On-dray-uh). After GameZone staffer Matt Liebl got some hands-on time with the game, Andrea explained more about the game and the idea behind it. Andrea said, "So we're from truth®, which is the nation's largest youth tobacco prevention campaign. The whole idea of 45 Flavors stems from the fact that big tobacco isn't allowed to sell flavored cigarrettes, but they still offer 45 flavors in other tobacco products they sell, which is connected to the flavor monsters. So inside you'll see the strawberry guy and the honey, so that all goes back to the 45 flavors."
I have to admit, I honestly didn't know that about the tobaccos companies, but I don't smoke or have any knowledge of flavored tobacco. So besides offering a free game — and a pretty damn fun one at that — for iOS and Android, truth®'s Flavor Monsters is raising awareness through the video game medium. The front of the booth looks like a candy store, with pictures of kids with rotting faces and their skin melting away. Andrea confirmed Matt's statement of tobacco targeting kids. So the flavor monsters you defeat are the flavors of tobacco used to target kids. "The flavoring in other tobacco products they sell, it's directed with candy flavors. We thought is was fun to tie that into the game and have them all bust out and turn themselves from these innocent little creatures to something much more destructive."
There's also vinyl toys being made of some of the Flavor Monsters bosses that you'll be facing. "We have some vinyl toys that are pretty awesome. They're hand-painted, and they all have the message behind it to go along with the flavor monster," said Andrea. One we got to see was the Honey monster named Buzzer, made by designer Luke Rook. He's the boss that Matt faced in the hands-on time. "These are custom-painted. There's different colors. Some of them are actually blank so you can see the artistry behind the actual sculpture."
After asking if they're going to have a toy of the strawberry monster (which there was a huge model of inside), Andrea said that they have one. The booth also pumps out an enticing scent. Andrea asked us if we noticed the strawberry scent around the booth and said, "When you walk in we have a smell maker that kind of attracts you the booth a little more, and it's supposed to represent the strawberry flavoring." Matt didn't really notice it, despite his big nose, but he went back in and "whiffed around." The vinyl toys are at each of the conventions, which are going to be raffled off to people that stop by the booth.
The truth® '45 Flavors' booth is also going to be at Dragon Con and Comic-con, with more playable levels of Flavor Monsters available at those events. It is free-to-play with a choice to purchase upgrades before you progress to unlock it. Flavor Monsters is coming soon to both iOS and Android devices.