Monomals on Apple Arcade is the sort of game that is so filled with uncommon levels of eclectic fun that I am surprised it hasn’t earned more recognition for the excellence that its developer, Picomy, has created. Monomals plays it cool as we first delve into its world, introducing players to chill platforming with a mostly forgiving extra life system with some happy-go-lucky music playing in the background. This part of the game can be very fun; as we dodge enemies and hazards, we collect coins in our hunt towards each level’s boss. We play as a sentient fishing hook on the hunt for elusive Monomals – music-making fish.
This is where the optional second half of the game comes in to make things interesting. Those Monomals you’ve been collecting? Well each can be used to create a different sounding musical beat, all to be edited in the game’s complicated looking music mixer. Players can even release their songs to the cloud to be listened to and rated by each other. It’s really an incredibly cool system that Picomy has created, and it seems to be functioning well from what I could tell in my quick looks and listens.
The main course of Monomals is still the 2d platformer, and I would personally rate it rather highly apart from some framerate issues. I found the controls to be acceptable with touchscreen on my iPad, but much preferred to play with an Xbox One controller. Moving around and scouring each level for coins and secrets was a pleasure.I really liked seeing all the silly looking sea creatures and their animations in my hunts for Monomals. My favorite enemy was an early one, a cute little slime with teeth the player has to dodge when swimming through it.
Levels are filled with secrets, and secrets are filled with coins. Coins are used for buying special sound effects for use the music mixer. Of course, I rarely got to keep most of the coins due to the game’s respawn tax where dying will cost the player. I never felt cheated though, as the game was always generous with offering more to replace the ones I had lost, and deaths were usually my own fault.
Levels in Monomals quickly became trickier as I went on into the later worlds, as new fishermen were introduced with their own style of music and game mechanics. Each of the three worlds had their own vibes based on the music they were about making – Retro, Funk, and Techno. It would be cool to see new levels and features be added some day, as the game really does deserve continuing support. Monomals is a one of a kind on Apple Arcade, and I hope it has been recognized for the excellence its achieved.
Readers can follow Sam on Twitter for updates on reviews, thoughts, and support for his friends!