It’s time to build up your defenses and save your little spawn from the onslaught of monsters coming your way. PixelJunk Monsters is a newly released arcade title for the PlayStation Network that was developed for you by Q-Games. Though this is not an exact follow up to their first title PixelJunk Racers, this creation will be sure to drag you in for hours on end. PJM is a 2D representation of the wildly popular tower defense style of gaming.
The game doesn’t offer a huge selection of game modes but that’s not what this title is designed to offer. With simple and strategic elements spread out through a single-player and co-op mode, you’ll soon figure out that that’s all that was truly needed for this game.
PJM starts you off on a basic tutorial on how to play the game. This is a great way to just learn the basics and understand how several towers work and how each does a specific job. The towers are built in place of trees and always cost money to build, but don’t worry, you’ll find yourself getting money pretty easily throughout the majority of the playing experience. Outside of picking up gold coins, you’ll be given the chance to grab as many gems as you can. These gems are used to upgrade towers that you’ve already built or to buy new defensive towers that are not yet available to you.
There are more than a handful of towers available throughout the game and they all have their own unique ability. Some are designed to break down and destroy those pesky flying monsters, while others are better equipped to destroy hard rock monsters. Your towers will also vary from flamethrowers, to bombs, and to even photon lasers. With all of the available options on taking down your enemy, you’ll always be confronted with the opportunity to try and perfect different strategies each time around.
Strategy is a huge aspect of this title. Without it, you might as well kiss your little spawn good bye. Placing towers in wrong areas and against monsters they have little effect against can cost you the game. With wave after wave of monsters expected to be coming in a timed fashion, you’ll have enough time to construct the right towers, but not enough time to construct a wrong one and then scurry back to replace it. You’ll have to think on your feet, especially in co-op mode when you’re working with a partner where communication is key and planning is everything.
This all sounds great but you’re probably wondering, “Does the game control well enough in order to make it fun?” Well, don’t worry. The games mechanics are flawless, literally. You’ll be given the choice to use the D-pad or analog in order to scurry across the forest to each tree. This is combined with a simple action button to interact with the trees, which is then followed with a small popup menu that will display the defense options you have. You will then simply scroll through the defense options and just pick at will which you’d like to have built, the game takes care of the rest. You’ll never find yourself fumbling with the controllers wondering where you went wrong. That fumbling will be reserved with your mind wondering why you built that stupid tower there instead of somewhere else.
Outside of all the user friendly aspects, you’ll take notice of a fantastic soundtrack in order to defend your home with. The sweet sounding melodies will sooth the mind and calm you, allowing for easier and more decisive actions. Obviously with any game, we’d like a custom soundtrack, but since one isn’t available, you won’t find your ears hurting from the default one.
PixelJunk Monsters is a great title that offers a friendly experience to almost any age group who tries to pick up and play it. With a monster replayability factor, you’ll find no reason not to just pick up the game and play the majority of the time. The only real question you need to ask yourself before purchase is, “Am I ready for the addiction this could bring?”