When it comes to Mario-style games in the App Store, Crescent Moon Games‘ new adventure Paper Monsters can hang with the best of them. Full of beautiful 3D environments and addictive side-scrolling gameplay, Paper Monsters is an impressive little platformer with fun level designs and an exceptional soundtrack. Despite a few small technical issues and oddities in the release version, but Paper Monsters is definitely not a game to be missed.
Paper Monsters will feel familiar to anyone who’s played a classic 2D side-scroller: players control the cardboard protagonist through expansive levels full of jumps, traps, and bad guys. The attention to old-school console classics are numerous, from collecting buttons for currency, to traveling through pipes and the inclusion of underwater levels. However, with such a unique visual design, Paper Monsters feels less like a mindless clone and a lot more like a loving tribute to the popular gameplay of yesteryear.
Players will have a ball running on top of trains, ride sleighs, and fighting enormous bosses in all sorts of environments. There are 3 golden paper clips to collect in each level, and collected buttons can be used to buy different cardboard clothing for the main character. On top of the main game mode, there is an endless Dash Mode with its own world and dragon character to control that would be entertaining enough as a stand-alone title.
There are times where characters will fall through floors and walls, small graphical glitches which the developer plans to address quickly in the first update – which also will add a number of new Valentine’s Day-themed levels. The weird checkpoint system may also turn some players off: after dying, returning to a checkpoint will erase any buttons or clips collected previously in the level, rendering them useless to those trying to collect everything as they traverse a given level.
Paper Monsters is so much fun to play, even with those small, soon-to-be-addressed issues. Already one of the best platformers to ever hit the App Store, Paper Monsters is a joy to play for gamers of any age – and with the game’s awesome original soundtrack, make sure it’s with a pair of headphones. A wonderful addition to the App Store, an early benchmark for platform games in 2012.