Monsterz Revenge is spelled with a “z” instead of an “s.” Games that ignore the standard spelling conventions of the English language to make them sound cooler (in theory) generally aren’t that good. Using the letter “z” in place of an “s” is a red flag that a game should be passed over. Monsterz Revenge may wave this cautionary sign, but it’s not a game that should be ignored. It has something to offer, even to hardcore gamers who would rather shoot to kill than manage a restaurant.
In case that last sentence didn’t make the goal of the game immediately apparent, in Monsterz Revenge, you play as assorted monsters taking care of a restaurant filled with hungry ghost customers. Actual revenge doesn’t play a huge role in the game’s narrative, but you are angry at humans and their big companies for sullying your mom-and-pop quality restaurant/graveyard. To fight back, you have to make your own restaurant awesome and destroy the human fast-food chains with your upgradable battle vehicle. That’s where the revenge part comes in.
The game plays a bit like the popular social app Farmville, but with a Gothic monster theme. You’re also not raising crops, but instead cooking food to feed ghosts with frightening appetites. Players collect money to upgrade the restaurant, cook higher quality meals, acquire new monsters and upgrade the battle vehicle. You also gain experience as you play, allowing you access to new items, meals options, and more.
Meals take varying amounts of time to prepare. Some require as little as three minutes, while others need as long as 22 hours. As you make meals and serve them, you attract more Ghosts, who leave tips so that you can spend money on more meals, restaurant accessories and all kinds of nifty things. You can actually speed up the process by purchasing potions with real world money if you want, but that sort of feels like purchasing cheat codes.
The game runs in the background of your iOS device when you’re not playing, and as long as alerts are activated, the game will make a scary monster noise to notify you when it’s time to serve a meal. It’s important to inform your significant others and friends that you are playing the game because otherwise they might be confused once your phone starts groaning like a Frankenstein monster. The alerts also effectively scare cats, a hazard I encountered while playing the game.
Monsterz Revenge is all about collecting money to expand everything. You can make your restaurant bigger and nicer looking, increasing its grade and thereby attracting more ghosts. You can upgrade your vehicle to destroy more human restaurant chains. You can bring in familiar monsters like the Wolfman, allowing for more customization options and mini-games. It’s all about expansion, and it can make the game fairly addictive. The alert system also helps the game be more manageable, since you don’t have to keep up with your business at all hours. Monsterz Revenge lets you know when it’s time to play. Between long stretches of waiting on meals, though, there isn’t much to do. Players can unlock new mini-games, but they’re incredibly shallow and offer little reward.
It’s worth mentioning that I did experience one occasion when the game wiped all of my progress inexplicably, forcing me to start over from the beginning. My phone started groaning like a monster to let me know that my Guts Gumbo was ready to be served, and when I opened the application, all my upgrades and monsters disappeared and the game completely rebooted. I had no way of recovering my old save or any of the upgrades I had purchased. It’s a particularly devastating glitch for a game like this one, which literally requires days of play to make progress.
The game has already received an update through iTunes that’s meant to fix various glitches and bugs, so it might not be an issue for most players. But I can’t write about the game without referencing my personal experience. If this is a common problem, then there is no way I can recommend the game. However, since the issue occurred, I haven’t had any more trouble.
Monsterz Revenge features a good 2D art style with interesting character designs and appropriately Gothic music. Most important, it can be very rewarding. Eliminating competing restaurants, serving meals and making money after days of preparation give you good reason to come back again and again. The only thing the game asks for in return is patience. And if you’re fresh out of that, you can always buy potions with real money and speed up the process.