In 2008 PixelJunk Monsters was released for the playstation 3 and in 25 May, 2018 PixelJunk Monsters 2 was released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch. The simple tower defense game was easy to play but deceptively challenging and mastering the stages in co-op with a friend, provided memorable multiplayer. Since then developer queue games has released a handful of titles under the pixel junk brand. And even re-released updated versions of many of their titles. Now a decade after the original game. The studio’s decided to release a full-fledged sequel, to the charming and dangerous world of monsters.
The objective remains of PixelJunk unchanged, from the previous title as Tiki man it’s your job to protect the chibi children from increasingly difficult waves of monsters. By building an assortment of defensive towers. Each tower has varied strengths and weaknesses to combat the onslaught. Knowing what to build where is critical to completing each stage. The cannon tower is your bread and butter and it can deal a devastating area of damage to ground units.
While the arrow tower can target land and air units but deal slow single target damage. It’s when you learn how to use a combination of towers, for maximum efficiency. That pixel junk monsters – feels the most rewarding. Of course nothing is free and building these structures of war requires capital. Gold coins are dropped by defeated monsters found hidden in trees, and awarded at the end of each wave. You also receive bonuses depending on how many coins you pick up from defeated monsters adding an extra layer of nuance.
To building strategies in the early rounds for PixelJunk Gameplay. To add further complexity each tower can be upgraded by dancing on it. Towers can reach a maximum level of 5 and each level increases range damage or rate of fire. Naturally each level takes longer to upgrade than the last, and committing to a level 5 tower is always intense. It also takes a brief moment for Tiki man to start dancing. And on harder waves every second counts so knowing when to stand dance. Or when to go and search for items is yet another thing to consider.
You can also find gems in the same way as coins but these are much rarer. Gems are used to purchase special towers like The Beehive which sends out swarms of patrolling bees. Or the Tesla tower that has an arrow attack range, but deals devastating damage. More importantly they can be spent to immediately upgrade a towers level. Managing gold coins gems and tower levels. Adds up to a set of simple mechanics that provides a deep level of game strategy.
New to the sequel are fruit which can be found hidden throughout each stage or purchased from the Tiki mask. Each fruit has a different use such as the babi fruit which when placed in a lane, explodes for extra damage. Fruit helps on harder difficulties but the entire concept feels undercooked, and someone unnecessary. Each time a stage is completed without casualties you’re awarded with the rainbow fragment. And with enough fragments new areas are unlocked.
in the PixelJunk Gameplay, unfortunately there are only 15 stages divided into five zones and clearing them on fun. The lowest difficulty only takes a few hours. Completing a stage on fun unlocks tricky and collecting a rainbow fragment on every stage, unlocks mayhem difficulty. The harder difficulties expose additional routes for the monsters and they’re much more engaging. It can also be incredibly frustrating at times. Especially when the monsters take a completely random path to your base. That you would have no way to prepare for without trial and error.
Pixeljunk Monsters 2 Online
If the stages are too infuriating you can partake, in jolly cooperation with two players locally or four players online. While co-op was an integral part of the original game it’s hard not to feel disappointed by the effort here. The difficulty doesn’t adjust based on the number of players and towers can be upgraded much faster with multiple people dancing. You share money and resources so playing Monster Pixeljunk 2 online with strangers can be a trying experience. But, getting together locally with a close friend, is the best and easiest way to play. It’s just unfortunate that there isn’t a dedicated co-op difficulty, or a separate mode to fully embrace playing with others. The worst part is that playing online doesn’t yield rainbow fragments or perfect clears. Lowering the stakes considerably.
Visually Pixeljunk Monster 2, looks lively and colorful. The jump to 3D benefits gameplay with a new third-person camera that can be used to get a better lay of the land, as building towers on high ground increases effectiveness. It’s also fun to stare at monsters and bosses up close and by completing various milestones and earning ancient tokens. You can unlock cosmetic masks and shells, that help differentiate your character from others.
PixelJunk Monsters Game, is exceedingly similar to its predecessor. The core mechanics remain simple with deep nuance strategy. But the short length and lack of multiplayer innovations or a letdown. It’s an easy game to recommend for fans, and newcomers to the tower defense genre. But it lacks the impact of the original.