A nameless hero. A seemingly never-ending dungeon. Hordes of monsters and a bevy of ever more tantalizing treasure... no, it’s not Torchlight, it’s Mega Monster Mania, an indie game that’s equal parts Gauntlet and a classic dungeon explorer, Sword of Fargoal. Like the former, Mega Monster Mania presents you with a top-down perspective of the action, and like the latter, you will be spending a lot of time slaying monsters hoping for better loot to help you survive the next level.
Mega Monster Mania tosses you (and a local friend) into an unknown lair where the main goal seems to be that of survival and collecting treasure. Each time you start an adventure, you’re given a stock of 10 health potions, a sword, and a kiss to build a dream on… Ok, maybe not so much that last one, but you do need a little bit of luck to help get to the lowest levels of the labyrinth. As you progress and defeat the denizens of the deep, you’ll gather more items to help you deal with the tougher foes. The items are limited use and grant powers like temporary immunity to their elemental bullets, faster movement, or the ability to send out a large ring of shrapnel to wipe out any nearby enemies. The latter works greatly to your benefit, as you’ll undoubtedly get a fair amount of treasure and coins.
Speaking of treasure – the real reason to play any game with such tantalizing baubles – as you and a friend plow through the waves of foes going ever deeper into the depths of the den of evil (which are randomized), you’ll come across weapons and armors to aid in this quest. Weapons come in one of two forms: swords and bows. The swords and bows do have a few different varieties with assorted abilities, like fire and health drain, and you’re free to switch back and forth between the two depending on the particular situation in which you find yourself.
As for the armor, you’ll discover chest armor, rings, boots, and shields that will provide you with better defense. When you get these new pieces of swag, though, you will have to wait until you find the current level’s exit before looking over everything you’ve pilfered and deciding what you wish to keep, sell, and equip. Whatever you decide to keep will be available to use should you perish during your adventure and start again, while selling the unneeded chaff provides you with more coins with which to buy some of those handy items.
From a co-op perspective, having a buddy along does provide for some chances to work together, though mainly as a decoy. The number of enemies steadily increases as you venture down into the dark depths of the dungeon and they can prove to be quite a challenge on your own. Having a partner with you allows one person to get in close for the kill and distract the dastardly swarms while the other rains down arrows from a distance. These roles can be swapped when the health of one player may be getting a little low and health potions are in short supply. Should a player die then all hope isn’t lost quite yet as they have three lives to spare per level and a player’s death results in a 10 second timer during which the player can escape from any nearby foes via ghost form.
Sadly, the co-op aspect of the game ends at this point. Loot can’t be swapped between the players and players cannot revive one another. Despite this, it doesn’t stop Mega Monster Mania from being a fun adventure for friends. For those gamers who seek a little escapade into the gaming days of yore when a game had no point other than to challenge yourself to progress as far as possible, then Mega Monster Mania is the game for you.
The Co-Op Experience: Pair up with a friend to make your way through as many levels of a never-ending, always randomized dungeon and gather as much loot as you can
Mega Monster Mania is Geared Towards: Rogue-like and dungeon hack n’ slash fans