Ever wanted to play Pokemon on Facebook but were disappointed when you found out that you couldn't? Gaia Online solves this problem by releasing the Zodiac-inspired, pet filled game Monster Galaxy on Facebook. To give you an idea of just how much the game resembles Pokemon, the game's Facebook page advertises the title as: "Catch Them All! Collect wild monsters and battle to tame the zodiac and save the world!"
To see if this game stands up to the likes of such an established franchise, meet us behind the break.
You'll start the game by picking your first Moga, or monster. This is done by choosing the Zodiac symbol that you'd like your Moga to have, and then choosing from the three options that appear for each. Each zodiac symbol corresponds to different Attack, Defense, and overall Zodiac stats. Moga, like Pokemon, tend to look like customized forms of everyday animals, along with some completely new creatures. You can adopt red and yellow tigers, a dark red pig, a bright pink sheep, and so on.
Your first Moga chosen, you are then shown an introduction to the game's story. The world has fallen into chaos since it has been rocked by earthquakes. The stars begin falling from the sky, and your first Moga appears as one such falling star. You feel an instant connection to this creature (you should, since you just picked him/her), but you aren't given time to really grasp the situation, as a wild Moga attacks from the nearby bushes.
Battles play out as you would expect, if you've spent any amount of time with turn-based gameplay, regardless of whether it was Pokemon or not. Each Moga can choose an attack from two different types - a physical attack or a magical zodiac attack. You, as the Moga tamer, will be able to tell your Moga which attack to use, from a list of four. As all Mogas have zodiac signs, these attacks come into play as the "elemental" portion of gameplay. Certain signs are weaker or stronger against other signs, and you'll need to quickly learn which signs your pet is stronger against to make the most of your time in battle (that is, to be able to win quicker, or at least easier). For those that don't wish to memorize the chart of weaknesses and strengths, once you've entered into battle, a simple hover over the Elemental Attack will show you how well that attack will do against the current sign.
Through the game's tutorial, you'll learn how to add to your Moga collection, which is done by weakening the enemy Moga and then tossing a Starseed out to capture it. In future battles, if you simply defeat the enemy Moga(s), your battling Moga will earn experience points that work to level them up. A higher level Moga has more health and stronger attacks, as you might expect. Once you gain some experience with the game, you'll be able to take up to three Moga into battle at a time, and you can store an apparently unlimited supply of Moga for future use.
In order to give the game some progression, you're given a personal assistant named Tobi, who will keep track of your quests. You'll travel throughout the expansive game world completing these quests, with each location being represented on the overall map by a black dot. You get a preview of the location you're about to enter, which tells you how difficult the area's wild Moga will be to defeat, which is nice for lower level players that wouldn't has as much strength as a Master Tamer.
All told, you'll continue to unlock new areas on the map as you travel there, where you'll continue to complete quests, add to your Moga library, defeat enemies and unravel the story of why the Moga have suddenly turned violent. Yes, the gameplay is repetitive, but so is Pokemon, which, again, Monster Galaxy mimics in more ways than not.
Coming from Gaia Online, the game has some fantastic production values. The graphics are lovely, with most Moga being downright adorable. The game's soundtrack changes from and epic score during battle to a hard rock track when you've successfully captured a new Moga, and the entire game displays a real attention to detail and polish.
While Pokemon may have come first, Monster Galaxy looks to be a worthy alternative for those that like sticking close to the Facebook gaming world. To try your hand at Moga Taming, heading into the world of Monster Galaxy for yourself.