We’ve all got our guilty hobbies, and my recent obsession has been crushing the Adult Swim/PikPok gaming app called “Monsters Ate My Condo” (MAMC). I don’t know why I’ve yet to find a fellow-MAMC enthusiast. My kids, wife, coworkers and friends seem sadly detached from the game.
As of last week, it’s available on the iTunes store (for free at the moment), and now Android (99 cents). There are just a few websites that provide strategy and tips, including Appsized Pocketgamer, Toucharcade (and loads of reviews, like this video).
Today we’ll focus on owning the “Time Attack” mode, which is something not well documented on the Internets. This topic, of course, has nothing to do with online-video marketing and creation, but I did provide a video trailer of the game. Regular WVFF readers are invited to skip this post.
I feel obliged to share some tips & strategies of MAMC. You see, dear readers, I am one of the world’s highest-reigning players on “Time Attack” mode — as proven on the “Leaderboards” of OpenFeint and Mac Game Center. Yes, friends, I scored more than 251 trillion points in this 2-minute speed round. You may now bow and kiss my ring. I’m now more than a Viral Video Genius.
For the uninitiated, MAMC is a vertical “match 3” game, where your index finger swipes away 4 different colors of condo layers. It’s Space Invaders meets Tetris meets Bejewled. It’s also a wonderfully cheesy homage to Chinese/Japanese culture/TV shows — featuring four vivacious monsters attacking you while you connect combos. Your goal is to match three colors, then connect three bronzes, golds, and coveted diamonds. And, friends, if you match three of them diamonds… then you’re launched into an endorphin-packed “MegaZone.” Wooot!
If you haven’t played the game, here’s why it’s my favorite: 1) The scoring is totally inflated, giving you a false sense of skill, b) it has the campy feel of “Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show,” c) the constant trade-offs keeps your adrenaline coursing, d) the soundtrack is awesome, e) sound effects and graphics are brilliant, f) there’s a constant fury of endorphine-inducing lights, colors and sounds that will please those with ADHD. It makes a winning slot machine boring.
GAME SETTINGS: There are two game settings: Endless Mode (no time limit) and Time Attack (a 2-minute game-play that becomes unlocked once you’ve played a bit on Endless Mode. Unless you want your day consumed entirely, avoid Endless Mode once you’ve got the hang of the game. I’ve played for almost an hour a game, and it’s a horrible feeling. Your scores may be higher but upon mastery you’ll probably tire of the game before your falling tower ends your game.
SCORE DOMINANCE IN “TIME ATTACK”: While you’re unlikely to surpass my MAMC Mastery, I’ll give you a hint: There’s only one way to get kick-ass on scores and that’s to slide a medal level to Lord Ferocious (yellow) precisely before going into the MegaZone. This is a delicate task, but the absolute key to Score Dominance. There are just 2 ways to do this, and they require practice: you can slide one of the 4 Golds to Ferocious (yellow) right before it turns into a diamond. Or you can manage to have another condo buffer the three diamonds until you’ve got the power of Ferocious (yellow) going — but this is difficult.
- Boat Head (red) will momentarily slow things down and immunize you from angry monsters (which allows you to dump missmatching condos without consequence). But this is mostly a worthless power during speed round, since red’s power does not slow down the 2-minute game clock and will cost you precious time. I think he’s a stoner.
- Reginald Starfire (blue) will straighten your tower when fed a medal combo. Worthless in speed round since the tower straightens automatically when you connect three colors or medals. Reginald is gay but doesn’t know it.
- Mr. Shigoto (green) is invaluable since he doubles every combo, allowing you to rapidly progress to that 3-diamond-inducing MegaZone. Keep him around at all times to quickly build medals and diamonds. He’s a drunk.
- Lord Ferocious (yellow) will multiply your scores by 100. I tend not to use him until that precise moment before entering MegaZone. He’s a paranoid heavy drug user.
These monsters are happy if you’re feeding them their corresponding colors. However to win points you’ll need constant 3-color matches, which requires you to slide monsters a few opposing colors. Eventually they get pissed and rattle your condo, making it dangerously unstable (like me). But you have two recourses: match three colors and your tower gets stable/solid again. Or when the monsters get pissy, you can match three of their color to ditch them. For example, match three blues and send that worthless and annoying Reginald to a hasty exit.
BASIC GAMEPLAY: If you’re going to ignore my caution and play “Endless Mode,” then you always want to have either Boat Head (red) or Reginald (blue) around to keep your tower from falling. That’s survival. But thriving requires tossing medals to Shigoto (green) and Ferocious (yellow). Generally you want Shigoto (green) on board constantly. For more tips on the “Endless Mode,” see appsize. In this mode you can fuss around building “Cats” from three bombs or bricks, but that’s not wise during “Time Attack.”
TIME ATTACK TIPS & STRATEGIES: I’ll focus on teaching you the magic of dominating a score on “Time Attack.”
- Initially you’ll find 2-minutes too short to do anything interesting. After all, it usually takes at least a minute to enter MegaZone.
- Entering Megazone requires keeping Shigato (green) on deck at all times… and constantly fed with bronze medals so his 3x power helps you rapidly accelerate toward diamonds. That means you must carefully avoid any three green combo layers connecting by always feeding him his own greens (I reckin he’s a canibal).
- Meanwhile you’re going to rapidly cycle away the other monsters, because your focus is on building matches and tossing the other monsters your garbage. As a result, they will frequently get pissy and risk toppling your building. So you’re regularly matching their colors to bid them away.
- Your initial focus is to have Shigato (green) help you build toward three bronze, silver, gold then diamonds… but not yet going into Megazone. This requires watching for three-color matches vigilantly and quickly ditching mismatched colors.
- Don’t waste a moment watching your medals connect. Just keep tossing those bronzes into Shigato (green) to keep his power almost constantly live, then fix your eyes on the top of the tower to find matches. See two reds? Quick get rid of the other colors until a red comes along. If possible, connect 4-6 colors for extra bronzes.
- When bombs and bricks appear, get them adjoined to three medals quickly (or toss them). Don’t try making cats, as they’ll throw off your precision in hitting Megazone.
- Eventually you’ll slip into an auto-pilot trance as you and Shigato (green) build toward diamond. You’ll also know when to ditch a game that’s off to a bad start. For instance, if I can’t get green to appear after 4-5 monsters I start over.
- Again, the only way to get that 3-figure trillion score is to slide Ferocious (yellow) a medal in that instance before entering Megazone. If you can do that twice in one game then you can probably beat my score.
There you have it. I can’t wait to read your comments– especially from the vast majority of you that don’t give a shit about this game. Hopefully some fellow-MAMC junkies will find this via Google.