Lost Monsters ($0.99) by Lefty Games is a match game that sets itself apart from the rest by using an original gameplay style of slide-and-swipe instead of the traditional match-three item switching games. Having recently received a major update this game is now OpenFeint enabled. It also enables users to access Twitter, Facebook and Game Center.
The opening sequence of the game explains the plot: the town’s pet monsters have all gone missing. It is your job to recapture them and send them back to their respective owners. To do this, you must match four monsters together on the board. You are scored by how fast you can find all of the monsters on a given level.
Although similar to match-three puzzle games, Lost Monsters is different because instead of swapping items, like gems or candy, you must slide columns up and down or swipe rows side-to-side. It is a lot like sliding puzzles where you have a grid of eight tiles and one empty spot and you must move them around to create a picture.
The fun begins when you get into the higher levels. You will unlock more monsters and everything starts to move faster. The monsters try to avoid being captured and will start to board up the windows they are in. You must match them before they can close off the window entirely. If that happens, you can use a bomb to break open the window, but the pet monster is now lost again. Each level gets increasingly more difficult. It is so addictive that my eyes started watering before I finally put my iPhone down.
I have a few minor issues with the game. The developers boast that it is now social network integrated, but you can’t access Facebook or Twitter from the app without enabling OpenFeint, so it is really not. Also, once your game is over, you can’t pick up from where you left off, which isn’t a big deal, except that the first few levels are tutorials that you must replay every single time.
Overall, this is a fun and addictive game that offers hours and hours of joy. The price is just right and the gameplay is innovative. If you like puzzle games, Lost Monsters has all the elements of the traditional match-three type while offering an element of originality as well. At only $0.99 it is a great investment.