Digital toys have been thriving on the App Store for a while now, with big names like Toca Boca leading the pack. But many indie developers have also been churning out some really good stuff. An example is Cowly Owl, who only today launched its newest app, Monster Mingle.
Build Your Own Monster
Monster Mingle is an open-ended app in which you mix and match body parts to create your own friendly monster, then guide it to explore an imaginative world. Along the way you can find many hidden surprises, from friendly creatures to colorful food and musical landscapes.
At the beginning of the game, you will be provided with a base for your monster. You will also see several body parts encased in bubbles. Drag any one that you want onto the base to stick it on and build your monster.
Once you have made your monster, you can start exploring your magical kingdom. Tap anywhere on the screen and your monster will do its best to get there, whether it’s by walking, hopping, or flying.
Like our world, Monster Mingle has land, sky, and sea. Thus, a specific body part may be necessary to get to a certain place. For example, you can only reach the floating islands if you have wings to fly. Similarly, to move smoothly underwater you will need a good pair of fins.
You can experiment with different body parts to see what kind of creature is best for each terrain. You can find 40 body parts scattered throughout the game, including various bodies, eyes, noses, mouths, beaks, horns, legs, arms, wings, and fins. Since it’s possible to instantly swap the body part you already have with a new one, it is likely that you will have a completely different monster by the end of your play session.
Parents Need to Know
Monster Mingle features an intuitive user interface with very simple controls. It includes neither written or audio instructions, so reading skills are not necessary to enjoy the game. It is child-friendly and contains no violence. I would recommend the app for ages 5 and under.
The app doesn’t require an Internet connection to play. It has no ads, no in-app purchases, and no social media links. It is available now for iPhone and iPad.
Things I Like
Monster Mingle is a good toy in that it provides kids with the components they might need to play, but it does not dictate how these components should be used. There is no requirement that says you have to use all the body parts you find. If you’d like, you can even make a monster without any limb at all, and it will just hop around on its body. Creativity takes the wheel in this app.
In terms of look and feel, I like the brightly-colored graphics and the quirky monster designs. I appreciate the little details, like how different body parts make your monster move differently. I also got a kick out of seeing my monster pass colorful gas after eating too much! My only wish is to have the world loop back on itself so you can continuously go left or right without hitting a wall.
Charming monster maker engages young children in a game of exploration and discovery. Make friends or invent your own stories — there are no rules to follow in this open-ended world. With plenty of magical surprises and a wide variety of body parts, kids will surely find something new each time they play.
App was provided for our honest review.