“Super Man or Monster” is an updated version to Xform’s browser game “Man or Monster” with content that wasn’t added due to time restraints. The game experience gives you an affordable vast army with Man and city-wide devastation with Monster, with some nods to familiar references.
Single player is broken down to the Man and Monster modes. As Man, you jetpack around and set up military units within a short preparation period, though that’s enough time to set up a defense near the Monster spawn point. At Man’s disposal, he has tanks, turrets, helicopters, exploding barrels, and the like. He can also hop into a vehicle for a more fun, direct approach.
As Monsters, you play with walking powerhouses whom can destroy everything in their way. However, the military could easily kill them if you screw around. So don’t get too overconfident just because you control a big monster. That’s why each monster has a variety of skills, from fireballs to deadly farts. The monsters can also eat civilians, and that restores your health and helps you to stay alive.
They will replenish the same amount regardless how many you grab, but your crosshair needs to be right over them. It is easier, however, to eat them while they’re in the riverbanks since they just float and never swim away.
As you navigate the menus for Man or Monster you’ll find an upgrade and shop section for each. The Man Shop lets you buy entire armies that he can keep in his sleeves until he hits the map. Any surviving units from a mission can be put back in the reserve, so you can save plenty of the cash you earn from the score (it doubles as your income) and bonuses from the map.
In the Monster Shop, you just stock up on skills, but these powers can be pricey. You’ll be revisiting cities in both modes so you can save enough money for units and skills.
The upgrade screens work differently between Man and Monster. Man’s upgrades just allow a coin to upgrade Health, Jetpack, or Gun. The Monsters have unlockable options to change skins, body parts, and size.
These affect the Monster’s stats positively and negatively depending on what you choose, so in-order to change the body parts you must have more than one Monster from a similar species. It’s worth noting that hitting Random can generate a monster that may have inaccessible customization and a funny name.
Both Man and Monster modes share three goals: collect upgrade coins, get a high score, and time completion. The Monster Coins are easy to find since you have to level everything to win. However, for the Man Coins, you have to look hard since the cities’ scale over towers him. It’s best to look for them after defeating the Monster since the timer stops by then.
The gameplay can feel monotonous after playing for some time. Later maps can get challenging, however, with new obstacles such as powerful military units, minion monsters, and a nuke. And if you have a friend and a second gamepad available, the two of you can face each other in split-screen mode and see who the Man is and who’s the real Monster.
All the graphics in “Super Man or Monster” is made to look retro by utilizing voxels to emulate pixels, similar to “3D Dot Game Heroes”. The Retro Filter is a neat filtering effect which blurs the screen to make it appear pixalated but it could strain your eyes, and makes it harder to look for the Man Coin.
Another presentation issue is that the camera can be obscured by the clouds if the Monster is ridiculously huge. We could blame this on steroids but who doesn’t want a huge Monster?
The Man model is a simple mix of 3D rectangles that the civilians also take after but unlike those helpless saps he comes with a jetpack and a gun, simple in design but effective. His army of military vehicles is just as blocky, though they are distinctive enough to tell what they’re supposed to be. The Monsters are based on giant creatures from pop culture creatures like “Godzilla” or “Rampage” with some special skins that also have hints of popular references.
The cities and their buildings are in scale with whom you play as. Even playing as the largest Monster in the game will give you the sense of the amount of destruction that is going down. There isn’t much to distinguish each city, but there are a few unique buildings if you forgot what country it is.
There aren’t many tracks in the game, but it is pretty cool to listen to some chiptune music that reminds you of old arcade games. Furthermore, the sound effects, like the monster roars and humans blood-curdling screaming, are bitcrunched. So it really fits with the rest of the retro style.
The controls in both modes are over the shoulder based, witch some slight adjustments to how Man and Monster moves. Man has a more modern third-person shooter scheme to him so some players will feel right at home. The Monsters’ controls feel sluggish, but that would be expected when it comes to giant monsters out destroying the city. So needless to say, the controls feel accurate to who you play as.
“Super Man or Monster” is a fun action game where you can simulate a classic battle of man (and military) versus kaiju. I mean, sure, the game can get a bit repetitive between earning cash/yen and going from map to map doing what a Man or Monster can do. Regardless, “Super Man or Monster” is a good retro inspired game where you can play as a one-man army or a monster.
So if you like the sound of that, then you might want to give ”Super Man or Monster” a try.
+ Retro style presentation with graphics made with Voxel models and audio composed of chip tune music and bitcrunched effects
+ Hilarious and fun missions between Monster and Man
+ Controls feel accurate to who you play as
– Gameplay can get a bit repetitive
– Camera can be obscured by clouds if Monster is large enough
– Retro filter could strain your eyes
Replay value: 3.5/5
”Super Man or Monster” is a good kaiju simulator. You may not be able to play as Godzilla, but you can at least destroy buildings as something similar, or as Bowser (one of the Monster skins). Now it’s just a matter of one question: Are you a Man or a Monster?
Title: Super Man or Monster
Developer: Xform Games Studio
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Release date: 2017-10-31
Spent time: +4 hours
Average grade internationally: 70.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI 12+/Everyone 10+
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
More by David Lucas:
Save 3$ with our Play-Asia coupon code "thegg"