Whilst watching paper get cut up into little strips with your shiny new paper shredder is stupidly entertaining, Crescent Moon Games shows that there’s an even better use for all those scrap documents and spreadsheets in their new casual platformer Paper Monsters.
Paper Monsters represents Crescent Moon Games’ first foray onto the Mac App Store space. Originally an iPhone and iPad only developer, this 5 man team have been responsible for some of the best games on iOS, including Aralon: Sword and Shadow, Deadlock and Pocket RPG. Paper Monsters is the best introduction to the Mac platform a developer could wish for, succeeding and excelling at being an easygoing casual platformer with beautiful style and reshaping gameplay.
Paper Monsters Gameplay
Paper Monsters is set in a vibrant world where everything is paper-based. Each enemy is a beautifully folded origami creation, with you playing as a makeshift cardboard cutout with a face pencilled on. However, don’t be mistaken in thinking this detracts from the art style. This isn’t your average doodle game. Paper Monsters fills its worlds with bursting greens in the jungle levels, to deep blues in the underwater ones. You only need to glance at the screenshots to see what I mean. In action, Paper Monsters plays smoothly and looks stunning, and it really complements the loose platforming mechanics.
Paper Monsters keeps away from copycat level design, with each new stage offering something completely new and different. Paperland is split into 4 areas; Paper Hills, Yibiki Peaks, Cardboard Dunes and Papyrus Ruins. Each area includes different enemies, environments, sound effects, traps and powerups. One moment you’re speeding through the sizzling desert on an open train, the next you’re deep underwater in a submarine. Whilst some powerups seem more like unexplored gimmicks than others, they generally keep the gameplay fresh and exciting.
But as the game is constantly moving on to new material, the overall length of the game suffers. There are only four short levels in each world, making a total of 16 levels. Each one is designed to perfection, but this doesn’t help the fact that you can blast through Paper Monsters in a weekend. Replayability comes from collecting paperclips and gold buttons hidden in each level. Gold buttons allow you to unlock new outfits for your character, but as you can’t tell what levels contain buttons yet to have been collected, it’s hard to go back and find the one’s you missed first time round.
Crescent Moon Games have shown they are big players in the Mac App Store space. Whilst Paper Monsters may be a little on the easy side, it’s an entertaining excursion that puts the shredder out of business.
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games. Price: $4.99 (for Mac) $0.99 (for iOS)