In the 1960’s and 1970’s, giant monster ‘Kaiju’ movies and TV shows were all the rage, not just in Japan, but all over the world. Guys in rubber Godzilla suits would tromp around city models while giant metallic Ultraman heroes would defend the people. But what if you lived in a town where the giant monsters and heroes seemed REAL? Well, in Attack of the Friday Mosnters! A Tokyo Tale, a downloadable title on 3DS, you play as Sohta, a Japanese 4th grader who just moved to a suburb outside of Tokyo in the early 70’s. In this little burb, you’ll meet new people, make friends, run errands, play monster card games and other childish shenanigans, and maybe even see a giant monster yourself!
For a game with such an aggressive sounding title, this is actually a very passive, nonviolent game. As young boy Sohta, you’ll travel around the small suburb, talking to people, playing games with the other children, and running errands to progress the story along. The map on the bottom screen helps let you know where to go next, so goals are always clear. Even when you don’t have a marker letting you know where to go next, the town is so small that you won’t have much ground to cover.
The only really game-y aspect of this title is the monster card battles. You and the other kids play a popular card battle game featuring giant monsters. The game doesn’t explain the rules very well, but it’s so easy to figure out you won’t have much trouble. It’s just slightly more complicated than rock-paper-scissors, but involved enough that you may have to think a bit while playing. Just like how kids play, if you win, you get to be the leader of the loser and they’ll have to do whatever you say. Which in this game, is to fall down on command. Victors of the card game can also get their ‘servants’ to divulge information they normally wouldn’t. You can collect cards by gathering a certain number of sparkly “Monster Glims” scattered about the ground. If you get more than one of the same card, you can combine them to make a more powerful one.
If there is only one problem with this game, it’s that it’s a bit short. But after you complete the main story, you can still play cards with your friends and talk with neighbors and collect new cards. If you have certain other Level 5 games downloaded on your 3DS, you can even unlock other goodies in this title, too! Needless to say, Friday Monsters is a very unique game. If you like quirky, low key titles like Chibi Robo or Animal Crossing, or if you just like giant monster movies (such as ones you’d see on Mystery Science Theater 3000), you’ll definitely want to download this one. It’s like being inside an anime, or one of those ‘Kaiju’ films.
Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence. The only thing you’ll see in this game is a giant monster and hero performing wrestling moves on each other. Your character doesn’t get involved with any violent acts himself. Reading skill is a must, as everything is text based. Even when there are voices, they’re all in Japanese. But it’s a great and charming game about just being a kid, and even has a good lesson in the end. If your kids love Godzilla movies, they’ll definitely want to download this.