Let’s face it: work sucks. For most of us, there’s almost always about a million things we’d rather be doing than our current job. When the clock’s laughing in your face, you’ll find just about any reason you can think of to slack off. Suddenly, twirling your pencil becomes a sport, the Internet becomes your new work television, and Windows Solitaire has you ignoring every responsible thing you know you should be doing instead.
Enter Monomino, an E-rated casual puzzler developed by final year students from Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. A delightfully casual game that’s both challenging and addictive, Monomino will have you clocking out early for lunch, then clocking in a whole half an hour late. It’s a highly addictive game that’s anything but dumb and easy.
Aside from being slightly weird, the game is strangely challenging. You’ll get used to restarting the levels trying frantically to figure out what you have to do to get those Monominos home; it’s all trial and error. The little guys walk aimlessly in one direction and then turn around. They won’t climb higher than one block, they can’t jump over gaps, and they can’t fly, so you have to use your head and figure out how to lay those polyforms down. Once you place a piece down, it can’t be removed, so choose wisely. As the levels progress, you’ll be given other tools like bombs and springboards to help you lead the babies home – and when you finally do get them home, it’s pretty satisfying to say the least.
The game is not without its flaws. For starters, it is completely devoid of any sort of options menu. That means the background music that’s been playing for the past hour cannot be turned off. You’ll simply have to turn your speakers off… or take a power drill to your eardrum, whichever seems logical at the time. You also don’t get a lot of time to figure out how to lay out your pieces, which means you’ll be restarting the levels a lot. Sure, you can trap the little buggers while you figure out a strategy, but other than that, it’s all on the fly.
As simple as the game is, you’d think it would get boring after a while, but instead you’ll find yourself getting sucked into it, and with 100 levels, you’ll be busy for sure. Obviously not a title for the hardcore gamer, Monomino works on a simple system that honestly keeps you heavily entertained. The game is simple enough to play it casually, but challenging enough to have you banging your fist on the desk like “Oh, come on! I can do this!”
Monomino is a great time waster, and an excellent first attempt for Nanyang Polytechnic. It’s good to know there’s still a place for simple games like this in the gaming world. You can grab it on Steam now for the very affordable sale price of $4.49 – which is good because once your boss finds out that for the last two days all you’ve been doing is drinking up the company’s coffee and playing Monomino, you’re probably going to want to save as much money as you can.