Monster World

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Monster World Game Poster Image
Cute monster-themed farming game on Google+ is a bit slow.
  • Google+
  • Free but with microtransactions
  • 2011

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to manage their time effectively, while also learning to balance money and resources in this farming simulation. They will make business decisions including whether it's better to plant more lucrative items in exchange for a lengthy wait but a big return, or to go for plants that blossom quickly but are not worth as much. As kids play, they try to create the most efficient plot of land with the funds they have available in the game.  Kids can invite their Google+ friends to help. Tedious tasks take some of the fun out of Monster World as kids build wacky farms by balancing time, money, and resources.

Positive Messages

The overall tone in this game is very inviting and friendly. Players are encouraged to do their best and are constantly assisted with tutorials throughout the game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cute, cartoon monsters in this game are presented not as scary creatures, but as friendly and approachable. They could be seen as role models.

Ease of Play

This game is very easy to grasp. Players have to figure out how to make sure their plants are cared for from planting them to harvesting them, all while deciding how to expand their farm when they get enough money to do so. In the end, the game focuses a lot on repetition, and it is more about performing the same tasks over and over again than it is developing a specific strategy.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players can purchase "Monster Cash" with real money to get further ahead in the game more quickly. These transactions range from $2.50 all the way up to $164.50.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster World is a time and resource management game played on the Google+ social network. Players work to build the healthiest and most vibrant farm in the land. The "Monster" namesake is represented in the game's characters, which are all cartoon monsters. Instead of planting apple trees and boring shrubbery, players grow farms full of Unicorn Trees and Chocolate Flowers. They receive scores based on how well they tend to the farm and how many successful plants they have blooming at the same time.

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What's it about?

In MONSTER WORLD, players enter a land populated by monsters. Not to fear, though. These monsters are cute and friendly, and their main interest is farming. In this far-out universe, plants like Lemonade Bushes and Chocolate Flowers are plentiful, and players are given the task of creating the most thriving farm in Monster World. Because the farm can expand and become unwieldy for just one person, players are encouraged to invite their friends to their virtual farm so they can help tend to the various trees and bushes.

Is it any good?

Monster World fits the mold of most farming simulation games -- players need to keep an eye on the plants to make sure they're cared for; and when they earn enough money, they can start expanding. The challenge for all farming games is to figure out a way to make seemingly mundane and repetitive tasks interesting. Monster World is just OK in that regard; sometimes the farming can seem more like a chore than fun. This farming requires patience, but the social element definitely helps to break up that monotony. The aesthetic of cartoon monsters and really fantastical plants helps to create a funky experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the safety and security of social networks. Do you ever chat with anyone on Google+ who you don't know personally?

  • What is the hardest part about managing your time effectively?

  • Can you think of a real-life job, other than farming, where the day-to-day tasks might be similar to this?

Game details

  • Platforms: Google+
  • Subjects: Hobbies: building, collecting, gardening
  • Skills: Collaboration: group projects, teamwork
    Self-Direction: goal-setting, time management, working efficiently
  • Price: Free but with microtransactions
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Wooga
  • Release date: August 11, 2011
  • Genre: Time Management
  • ESRB rating: NR

For kids who love simulations and social games

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