In Monster Wars, you rally the forces of darkness to smite goodness in real-time engagements across three-lane battlefields. Using goblins to mine gold lets you summon your forces into the fray and make crucial upgrades to increase their killing potential. Frequently cycling objectives keep the ebb and flow of combat interesting, as do the more powerful units you unlock along the way. While populating your nefarious army with ghouls, undead knights, and demonic dragons instead of heroes is a neat twist, the gameplay itself doesn’t stray far from its predecessor.
The beautifully cartoonish hand-drawn artwork makes Monster Wars a real looker, but lingering control issues prove to be an unwanted distraction at times. Juggling larger groups of undead troops is problematic. Units don’t always respond precisely to your touch-based commands, leading to sporadic traffic jams, random direction changes, and costly missteps.
Though it retains much of the depth and style of its predecessor, Monster Wars also struggles with a few of the same weaknesses that limit the fun gained from being wicked.
Nathan Meunier is a freelance writer based in southern Vermont.