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Review: Monomals (Nintendo Switch) – Pure Nintendo

Pole: check. Tackle: check. Headphone connection: check. Then it must be fishing time … kind of. Welcome to Monomals, a game where you as the DJ go fishing for exotic creatures to make your music with. I know it sounds a little strange, but it’s a video game so let’s get on with it.

While you and your pals hang out on your DJ beat boat, toss your headphone plug over the edge to fish for the elusive elements of your new jams. You have to land different types of fish to create beats, tones, effects, and the like so that you can get your next big hit.

Monomals offers you two arenas in which you can find luck. The first is the action-driven part of the obstacle course / puzzle, while the second creates the music in the tunes builder section.

Let’s get to the obstacle course / puzzle piece first. As a humble headphone jack / bait, it doesn’t seem like you have much to do with it. The left stick gets you moving, and the X and A buttons give you a small boost (very short duration). That’s it for getting around until you find a level with a water jet packet. Jump out of the water, dock with the jetpack, and now you can use a jet of water to get out of the water. Not only does the jetpack allow you to move around, but it also becomes a weapon of defense to fend off creatures that want to nibble at you. You can also use it as a demolition tool to tear down brick walls so you can move forward or claim rewards.

Speaking of rewards, the levels are going to look a little familiar to the Nintendo ninjas out there. There are coins to collect, “hidden” areas to find and access, and special tokens that you can grab on the go. The coins are used to buy music-making effects and the like, and accessories so you (the DJ) can look as cool as possible while doing your groove thing.

At the end of each level there is some kind of boss fight where if you win you will get one of the monomals to make your music with. Combat is less about combat than puzzle solving, and there is some hazard avoidance / clearance to keep you busy. There are multiple levels of action, but I can easily see that players want more just to keep going. You don’t have to create melodies; You can just play the levels if you want and they are fun on their own.

Each level has a lot of repetition potential as you have to navigate a maze of hallways, search for hidden sections, discover hidden gems, and (if you feel ready) take on a timed event challenge. Get ready, the timed event is not as simple as you might think, especially with some dangers to overcome.

As for the music-making part of the game, it’s a little quieter and will take even more time than going through the levels. As you collect the special fish at the end of each level, they will become elements that you can use to create your music. The music creation screen lets you use the switch’s hardware controls and touchscreen so it isn’t too difficult to put things where you want them to be. There are critters and lanes for beats, bass and melody. There are effects you can apply and loops you can create. It will take you a while to familiarize yourself with the process, but once you understand the basics, you can have some fun here, too.

Be ready to spend some time getting yourself into a new mood when creating your melodies as this is a completely different process and pace than the rest of the game. If you really get into it and take your time, you can create some really cool melodies. You can even use it as a soundtrack for the game and share it with friends.

The price of Monomals (as of the time I sit here and write this) is only $ 19.99, and it’s worth every bit of it for gamers of all ages. It’s fun and engaging, the graphics are colorful and interesting, and the stick soundtrack has a decent groove. If you’re looking for a game that is simply fun and has enough challenges to keep coming back, this is a really good option.

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