Genre: tower defense

Release Date: 2007 

Developer: Q-Games, Double Eleven

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

PixelJunk Monsters website


In PixelJunk Monsters, you play TikiMan the progenitor (presumably through parthenogenesis) of a flock of adorable little TikiBabes(?) dressed in leaves and peacefully sucking away at their pacifiers. Your islands are being invaded by creeping pine cones, flying sycamore, giant spiders, giants, bats, and bumblebees the size of giants… Move Tikiman through forests, rivers, beaches or icy mountains to build towers bristling with arrows, guns, flamethrowers, mortars etc… to protect your offspring at all costs!

Playability: Grandparents can play

The rules of PixelJunk Monsters are deceptively simple: just put towers all over the screen at strategic locations so they can automatically blow up, stir-fry, char-grill or impale innocuous looking monsters. There is no learning curve, more like a flat plain. Even your grandparents can learn to play PixelJunk Monsters within minutes. Gratification is instantaneous as hordes of your enemies explode in pretty looking violence-free pixels, yielding gems (for upgrade of towers) and gold coins (for purchasing more towers).

Annoyance: High blood pressure

Now comes the catch: to reach the later stages on each island, you need to complete a significant number of perfect scores (called “rainbows” in the game). For an old video gamer, this is an extremely time-consuming and repetitive endeavor even on the easiest gameplay setting. PixelJunk Monsters is not for people with high blood pressure. As soon as one of your chicks has been eaten by a monster, you’ll have to start all over again to complete a perfect score… and again… and again… ’til your blood starts boiling…

Beauty: Tamagotchi cute

PixelJunk Monsters has cute cartoonish graphics, a signature of PixelJunk games. On handheld devices, monsters might look good, but on larger high-definition screens they somehow lack details and variety. The music is so sweet… until you hear it over and over again for over a hundred times as you try (mostly in vain) to save all of your flocks to reach yet another harder stage.

The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Aggravating fun 6/10

PixelJunk Monsters is an entertaining and aggravating game. It’s fun to play and yet frustratingly difficult for young and old video gamers alike. It keeps gamers hooked and entices them to come back for more punishment: just another try to get the famed “rainbow” perfect score.