The original Monsters Ate My Condo was a game that was so bizarre and so enjoyable that I actually gifted it to at least two of my friends just so I could make sure they played something that I figured they would otherwise not even think about buying.
At its heart a match-3 played against the pressure of an ever-closer-to-toppling-Jenga-like pile of colored condos and bizarre monsters straight out of poorly dubbed movies, MAMC provided just the right amount of personality and a Tetris-like constraint to the available playfield that made the gameplay more interesting than the standard “running out of available matches” you get with most match-3s.
Monsters are threatening the city and color-matching condos drop from the sky. To get rid of the condos, you can swipe them to either side to feed them to one of the monsters. Match three of the condos, and you create a bonus condo that you can either feed to a monster to activate its bonus power, or hoard in the hopes that you will create even more matches and make better bonus condos. The tower gets more unsteady with each swipe, and straightens with each match – if the tower falls, that’s the end of your game.
But you have to be careful: there are concrete blocks that will block your matches, and bomb blocks that will count down and destroy your tower. And feeding the monster a condo that doesn’t match its color will make it mad, causing it to shake the tower you are trying to keep together.
Today, enter Super Monsters Ate My Condo, which is billed as a sequel to the original, but plays more as an extreme refinement of the original.
They made a few changes to the core gameplay, most of them for the better. Yes, there is now a monetization currency in the form of coins you earn while playing and then can spend on powerups and other goodies, either for every game you play or just for boosts that last for a single play (much like the recent Rock Band Blitz system).
But Pik Pok also added something that was really missing: a time limit. Giving the game a hard time limit increases the value of those boosts you can use at the beginning and alters the strategy as you begin each match, as the limited number of colors that appear at the beginning of any match provides you with easier chains and larger matches. The time limit also increases leaderboard competition—you have finite resources to score points.
The condos are more varied and get even crazier, with piggy banks that give you extra coins, cats that boost the level of your matches, and more detrimental condo types than just the bombs, but it never feels like it’s any more than just out of control. It’s delightful and adds flavor to the game in neat ways.
It’s only a buck and is pretty accessible. This new version has a better set of tutorials and explanations of what’s going on, plus goals to accomplish like those in Jetpack Joyride that teach you the basics of getting to super high scores. I’m hoping to break a billion at some point soon.
It’s a bit hard to explain what makes this game so special, but easier to see when it’s played. In that spirit, here’s a gameplay video of SMAMC in action for you: