PixelJunk Monster Encore Review
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If the original was too difficult, the expansion pack will throw you into fits. Avoid if you dislike critical thinking and purchase if you enjoy anything the tower defense genre has to offer. This expansion is a luxury, not a necessity.
- New level design is creative
- Melodies are still intact
- Difficulty jump
- Pricing point
PixelJunk Monsters Encore, developed by Q-Games, is the expansion pack for the tower defense-style game known as PixelJunk Monsters. This was a long time coming for a lot of us who enjoyed setting rainbows ablaze on each of the original game's villages. The expansion hasn't included anything innovative or new in terms of weaponry or upgrades (though the ice tower is now available from the start and the tesla tower is much cheaper); however, it has added an entirely new island to the game entitled Toki Island.
For those of you who have yet to dive into Tiki Island, the game expects you to defend your tiny villagers from an onslaught of invaders that include spiders, little weeble baddies, big rock-like creatures, flying baddies and a Golden Tiki at the very end of each stage. Each level is 20 tiers deep and can create quite some frustration if you're unable to plant your towers effectively. While some people found the original to be a headache and much harder than they anticipated, Encore isn't much easier.
This brings me to the only true downfall of the expansion pack. Q-Games must have thought that the original installment wasn't hard enough, because Encore offers up a lot more difficulty in terms of being able to rainbow each and every village you're preparing to protect. This doesn't mean that just completing the villages are insanely hard, no, that achievement is quite simple; however, if you're planning on perfecting each stage, put some time aside as some stages will literally take hours to obtain that magical rainbow.
Outside of the exponential leap in difficulty, PixelJunk Monsters Encore offers up some very exciting new levels to enjoy. My personal favorite level was Splash Damage.
Splash Damage has a vertical divide within the map that creates a swamp of water to the left and land to the right. This unfortunately results in the bad guys being able to reach your village in just a short distance. While it does allow you to stock-pile your towers close together for more effectiveness, the game also forces you to take note of the watery side of the island. Q-Games cleverly allowed the flying baddies to cross the water at will, creating a much higher level of strategical thinking in order to rainbow the stage perfectly.
Encore features roughly 10 new villages to protect on your way to becoming the savior of the Tiki Island's Resort (My own name for it.). While the game features the same style of melodies and a nice expansion of levels, the $5.99 pricing point may push some prospective downloaders away. For those of you who are hardcore PJM players, it's a very small price to pay for countless more hours of strategical tower defense gameplay.