Moshi Monsters is a popular online virtual pet game, and now your kids can have adventures with the most popular monsters on the 3DS and DS (3DS version reviewed here). In the game, the evil Dr. Strangeglove and his robot Moshlings have kidnapped all the monsters, except Katsuma. I take it that Katsuma is the Pikachu of Moshi Monsters. Play as Katsuma and rescue monster friends in this 2-D platform jumping adventure.
Katsuma can jump, dash, spin attack to defeat nearby enemies, and do a ground pound. After every few levels you’ll fight a boss. Defeat it and you’ll rescue a monster who will let you use their power. Tap on the bottom screen to select a power, but using powers will deplete a meter, so use the powers wisely. Generally the powers let you break certain colored blocks with projectiles or roll attacks, depending on what monster power you’ve selected. Scattered about each stage are gem-like Rox. Collect enough to unlock codes you can use in the online game. There are also hidden coin shards and captured Moshlings to free, but you may have to revisit completed stages once you’ve rescued the right monsters and acquired their powers.
Play control is simple, and you can change buttons if you don’t like the layout (that’s what I did). The scrolling was a little choppy and the game is rather derivative and unoriginal. It may not hold most 2-D platforming fans’ interest, but die-hard Moshi Monsters fans will want to play it, simply for all the codes you can unlock for the online game.
Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence. You can spin attack enemies or toss projectiles at them, but defeated characters just jump off the screen while making a silly noise, or just explode into gears if they’re robots. Reading skill is a must, and younger players may get frustrated at the tougher jumps, obstacles, and boss battles.