Man VS Monsters (2016)
Created by Jocelyn Marquis
Synopsis: Man VS Monsters is the unprecedented new reality competition in which contestants face their deepest fears in terrifying challenges against iconic monsters from the archives of horror, science fiction and fantasy. This groundbreaking, original series will be one of the first in history to be offered exclusively on an app for all mobile device platforms.
Explore the frighting and mysterious realms contestants will compete in during Season One in an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure style game space in our 1.0 preview release. Tap objects in the screens to discover secret passageways to comp codes and join us on social media to claim free prizes and merchandise.
I had a wonderful time exploring the dark twists and turns of Man VS Monsters. Part of getting excited when you read a synopsis or watch a particularly intriguing trailer is that you’re eager to see if the story matches the one you’re creating in your head. I was definitely intrigued by Man VS Monsters. From the synopsis above, I imagined a game that uses Myst-like exploration gameplay to tell a “Most Dangerous Game” kind of story. I’m a sucker for stories about death contests, so I was 100% on board. I’ve had a chance to get my hands on an early build and I’m deeply intrigued.
First off, all praise goes to the visuals and sound design. Horror games succeed or fail based on their spooky imagery, and the rooms you click through have a distorted funhouse quality reminiscent of a fusion between Tim Burton and Ben Templesmith. The game loads onto a landing page, where the user chooses between a sinister clown icon, a black and white image of an old haunted house, and a hieroglyphic of an Egyptian scarab. Selecting one of the images brings you into a different world.
The build I played was mostly gameplay, with story excised for a later edition. Navigating the game world is accomplished either by touching specific parts of the screen or using the arrows at the bottom of the display to select directions. I was fortunate enough to be playing this on a iPhone 6 Plus, which gave me plenty of surface area to test. I would be interested in seeing how it handles on a smaller phone.
I did a quick run through of each area. The first was in the bloody carnival, where even entering the circus maze made the game advance ahead, where you’d be pursued and eventually killed by a genuinely-unsettling bloody clown. The second, the haunted house, had me creeping down cobwebbed hallways and discovering secret passages winding down into the dark. The final one, the Egyptian pyramid, was the most colorful and imaginative, as I moved my hapless avatar deeper into a sand-shrouded world.
One of the other interesting features of the game is the prize system. As you play the game, you find things in the environment that you can click on for a prize code. Sharing your victories on social media enters you in a drawing for the various contests the developers will run. I’m intrigued as to what prizes they’re planning to run and if they will develop enough momentum for promotional tie-ins within the game.
My overall impression of the game is definitely interest. While I got a very early build, there’s a lot of good ideas and fantastic imagery that the developer can refine. I want to see how the game progresses and I’m looking forward to trying to outrun that scary clown again.
For more news on development please visit their official website which is currently being updated and built.