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App Gaming: Tiny Monsters - Cephus' Corner

App Gaming: Tiny Monsters

July 27th, 2013

monsters_iconThis review has changed dramatically since I started this series and it’s a real shame.  Tiny Monsters is just like Dragon Story and Dragonvale except instead of dragons, it uses a variety of monsters.  Most of the base mechanics are the same, you still clear land, construct habitats, breed things, feed to evolve them, etc.  You’d think it was right up my alley, wouldn’t you?Well, yes and no.  It started out fine, I quite enjoyed it at first because it was just like other games that I’d played with some very minor exceptions.  All was good in Android App Land.

Then they screwed it all up.  See, Tiny Monsters didn’t have any kind of social component, you couldn’t visit other islands, you couldn’t give gifts, but I didn’t care.  You can’t do that in Dragonvale either so it’s really not a big deal, but they thought they just had to have it because just about every other game out there had it.  Unfortunately, they did it really, really, really badly, not just once, but over and over again.  They introduced TinySocial one day, where you could do the typical adding friends, visiting their islands, clicking on something to gain points, but within a couple of days, the whole thing went kablooie catastrophically.  Nobody could access the game.  Social took a major dump.  They disabled Social on a Friday, promising that it would be back up after the weekend.  The reality was, it was gone for 10 days.  Service for the game was sporadic at best.  Social would come up for a couple of minutes, then crash their servers again.  It was apparently, at least from the comments on their Facebook page, causing people to lose diamonds, the premium currency that people were paying real money for.  It was a real zoo.  The problem is, it’s never really gotten any better.  Social will be up for a couple of days, then go down again.  Now you might think this isn’t a big deal, after all, we all survived without Social before, why make a fuss because it’s not working?  I have a couple of reasons.  First off, let’s be honest, this is a part of the game now, it ought to work. Secondly, it was causing a lot of problems for people in the regular game, even when it was disabled.  Third though, one of the Social questlines introduced a new monster that you were supposed to “feed” by inviting your friends to play the game.  This is all well and good, except lots of people invited friends to play and the system, with all of it’s crashes, never game them credit for having done it.  However, that’s not my biggest problem with it, essentially TinyCo, the game developers, want the players to advertise the game for free.  That’s fine and all, but how can they honestly expect me to convince people who I consider friends to play a game that is so obviously and blatantly faulty? Yet even when Social is down, they’re still pushing people to get everyone they know on the game.  No thanks.  Let me know when it works, then I might consider it, but to be honest, I have lost all confidence in TinyCo to keep the game up properly.  They also take no responsibility for their problems, it’s always someone else’s fault.  Sorry, when you’re a business, you don’t pass the buck, you fix the problem.

Tiny MonstersI might not say had they not had other technical problems that I had to deal with earlier, such as the game demanding I upgrade to a new version, yet neither Amazon nor the Google Play store had the new version online.  This went on for a couple of weeks, I posted on their Facebook page and nothing happened.  Finally, they got their games updated and I upgraded, but it was a pain in the ass the whole time.  That was maybe 2 weeks before the whole Social fiasco.

It’s really too bad too because this is a really, really good game when it’s running right.  The creature animations are fantastic, there’s always something new coming along and, like Dragon Story, you get lots of free diamonds to play with, it’s never necessary to shell out real cash if you don’t want to.  Enough patience will get you anything in the game and that’s a great thing.

Pros:  It’s fun, the models are great, the core mechanics are robust and entertaining, it should be better than it is at the moment.

Cons:  TinySocial just is not ready for prime time, sorry.  That is the biggest problem with the game right now, it’s instability.

Rating:

Fun:    Don’t get me wrong, this is a fun game, at least it was and it has the potential to be a fun game again if they can just make the game stable again.  I really feel pretty bad kicking the game when it’s down, but that’s just the way it goes.

Frustration:    100% of  this comes from TinySocial.  You never know if the game is going to be up, if the servers are going to be responding, if anything you do is going to stick because it could crash and lose anything you were doing.

Reliability:    This game crashes like a mother now.  Doing social visits is painful because every 10 or so, the game just quits and worse yet, it “loses” more than a couple of prizes you clicked on before.  You have to remember where you were because the game doesn’t keep track for you.

Wallet-Drainer:    With patience, a credit card isn’t necessary, but there are times you will be tempted, especially to buy food.  Food gets very, very time consuming in this game.

Rating:

Tiny Monsters

Written by TinyCo

Cost: Free/Premium content available.

Available through Google Play (Android) or iTunes (iOS)

Requires Internet connection to play.

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.