#267 Monster Max

Posted: 11th September 2020 by Jeroen in Games
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897th played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: Game Boy
Year of Release: 1994
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Titus France

I guess I always forget how long the original Game Boy stuck around for. These isometric games in the vein of Knight Lore and Fairlight belong, in my mind, in the eighties, but Monster Max shows the genre survived into the nineties. What I hope is that even if the genre feels outdated, this game makes them more playable.

Our Thoughts

One of the big wins Monster Max has over these other games is that combat isn’t as important. There are some enemies, but you don’t really fight them. Instead, you focus on solving puzzles. Your main mechanic are the items you switch behind – with jump and duck being represented alongside bomb use and the like. You have to have the right items with you as you go along and swapping between them – you can carry two at a time – is a large part of the puzzles.

The levels build quite well, giving you some time to learn each of these mechanics, and on the whole the game feels more modern – it’s not as clunky to control, it’s a bit smoother, and although the difficulty is there early on, it’s a lot of fun to play around and see these weird worlds. Similarly, the graphics are more detailed than before, which feels like it makes a big difference as well.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it feels like Monster Maxtakes an existing genre and updates it with ten years of hindsight to be more playable, less frustrating and more like what I felt I would get out of these games. I believe this is the last of its kind so now, as I get to the end of the list, it feels like a high note to end these on.