Escape from Age of Monsters ($0.99) by Ayopa Games LLC is an endless runner with a color matching twist.
Last October, Massive Joe Studios released an awesome rock-paper-scissors game called Age of Monsters. Now, they've teamed up with publisher Ayopa Games to release a sequel to the stylish game.
In Age of Monsters, you challenged your friends to rock-paper-scissors battles that pitted your monster champion against your friend's champion. Now, in Escape from Age of Monsters, the monsters have overrun the world. You play as Gizzard, a wimpy looking kid who has a pair of magical, talking boxing gloves. You're the world’s only hope for survival.
The story is pretty awesome, but it wouldn't be anything without the amazing, hand drawn, comic book artwork. The art was done by Jeff Matsuda, the producer of The Batman cartoon, which explains why it looks so good.
In terms of gameplay, Escape is an endless runner at the surface, but at its core, it is more of an action, color matching, boxing game. While Gizzard is running, walls and flaming monsters will block your path. These obstacles will either be red or blue. To keep running, you just need to punch the obstacles with the glove of matching color.
Gameplay goes a little deeper than that, but let's cover the controls. Escape is all about punching, and all you have to do is tap on the right side of the screen to punch with the blue glove, and tap the left side for a red punch. There will also be some collectibles and power-ups that fly across the screen occasionally. You can collect these by swiping through them. As you get further, things speed up, and it gets extremely difficult to punch with the correct glove.
To begin with, Gizzard is trailed by two orphans - these are your "lives." Each time you run into an obstacle, the monsters (they're chasing you, and they're fast) will eat one orphan. It's pretty sad and horrific, but hey, stuff happens. When you run out of orphans, the monsters gobble you up the next time you stumble. If you're having trouble with just two lives, you can purchase a third orphan, named Kenji, with some in-game coin.
There are also a few twists in the punching here and there. Get three perfect punches in a row and enter "turbo mode." While in turbo mode, you run a lot faster, but hitting an obstacle won't cost you a life - it just ends the turbo. Also, if you run by three or four buildings (distance is measured by buildings) you get a chance to punch the living daylights out of a fat, slug boss. Just tap like a maniac and rack up a massive score.
There is also an objective system that helps add some replay value. This system is very similar to the missions in the insanely popular Jetpack Joyride. You have a set of objectives - ranging from reaching a certain building, to collecting yeti bones - that when completed will unlock an item in your "stash house." These items give you permanent score multipliers, which is pretty helpful if you are vying for the top spot on the Game Center leaderboards. On top of that, there are 60 Game Center achievements to hunt down as well.
Escape from Age of Monsters has a lot to offer, and the overall presentation of the game is fantastic. While there are a few nitpicky things - such as the nagging load time when going back to the start screen - that could be fixed, there aren't too many negative aspects of the game. Of course, it would be cool to see some new building styles added in, maybe a few new monsters, and even an insane mode where you have four colors instead of two (two for your feet). This game rocks as it is, but we'll have to wait for future updates to see how it ages. Until then, grab it while it's hot!