Facebook Game Face-off: Monster Galaxy vs Outernauts
Some file them under "Pokemon clones." Others throw them in the "Monster collector games" bin. Label them however you like, but it doesn't change the fact that this type of game has all but blown up on Facebook. The reigning champion of such games, Monster Galaxy by Gaia Online, had gone unchallenged until this month.
Welcome to this week's Facebook Game Face-off, wherein we pit two similar social games up against one another to decide, once and for all, which is best. This time, it's the storied Monster Galaxy versus Outernauts, Insomniac Games and EA's formidable entry into the category. We'll judge both on three criteria, choose our personal favorite and leave it ultimately up to you to decide. Let the
Ready ... Fight!The battle system in Monster Galaxy isn't a far cry from its original inspiration. Each monster, or Moga, has four available attacks at any given time, and learns more as it levels up. Abilities fires off with plenty of visual flair and glitzy effects. As for the strategy, each Moga has a Zodiac sign, and its special attack's effectiveness depends on how its sign matches up with the enemy. Real-time multiplayer battles are undoubtedly a plus.
Alien beasts fighting in Outernauts isn't terribly different, but is far more fleshed out (and similar to the source) than its competition. Everything from three-on-three battles to numerous status effects and ability types make the combat in this space age critter battler way deeper, and ultimately more rewarding. Unfortunately, there's currently no real-time multiplayer to speak of in Outernauts.
A Whole New WorldA core tenant--or what should be one--of this type of game is exploring the world in search of countless creatures to collect. Monster Galaxy has a vast world to explore, but simply doesn't execute on it. Players never get to actually romp around the land, but rather click on dots that throw them into each battle. There can be more to this type of game than monsters putting up their dukes, but only if you put it there.
Insomniac, on the other hand, has created multiple miniature planets for players to traverse including everything from frozen rocks to terrain bubbling over with lava. Exploration is one of the major focuses in Outernauts, with platform-based puzzles a major part of the experience as well as having every monster and opponent represented on screen. Both of which give a much better impression that you're a part of this world than its competitor.
Catch All the FunMonster Galaxy is one of the most polished, visually and aurally impressive games not only in this category, but on Facebook overall. There are tons of Mogas to collect in the game at this point, and real-time battles and global leaderboards certainly help inch Gaia Online toward delivering the whole package. (Not to mention some catchy tunes.) However, the game misses a few key elements, like engaging exploration and a deeper, more nuanced battle system that power players look for.
Outernauts already is terribly close to offering the whole package, with its impressive combat system, iconic monsters and several worlds to explore. (Fun theme music also helps in this department.) That said, we'd love to see more alien beasts as well as some sort of real-time multiplayer mechanic before dubbing Outernauts "the complete monster collecting experience on Facebook."
Outernauts, I Choose You!It's an incredibly close bout between these two monster-battlers, but we have to give the title to the challenger, Outernauts. What it lacks in real-time play and a breadth of critters to collect, Insomniacs newest game more than makes up for it in iconic presentation, high levels of polish and a galaxy to explore and battle monsters across. Outernauts could very well be just a few moves away from becoming a true competitor to the Pokemon series. But let's find out what you think:
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