Games for the weekend: Monsters Ate My Condo

Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.

I’d hate to live in the fictional condo depicted in Monsters Ate My Condo ($0.99). It’s a vertical matching game where the goal is to sacrifice floors of your condo to monsters to ensure the tower doesn’t collapse. On each side of the tower are two monsters whose colors match the colors of the floors. You can sacrifice a floor by swiping it toward one of the monsters. If the colors match, the monster is happy. Feed it enough off-color floors, though, and it will become decidedly unhappy.

When you line up three or more floors of the same color, you score points, and the tower stabilizes. Three similarly colored floors will create a bronze floor; three bronze floors form a silver, three silvers form a gold; and finally, three golds make up a diamond floor. Each of these are worth a ton of points. If the combo formed is the same color as a monster on the screen, you earn even more points. Occasionally, a bomb or concrete floor will appear. You can’t swipe these away, and instead need to form combos around it to make it go away. Have enough mis-matched floors, and the tower collapses into a gigantic pile of sad.

This is a high-scoring game. There’s an achievement to score a million points I earned in my first game. Scores of a billion are not uncommon. It’s a little over the top, but also surprisingly satisfying. There are two modes of play: Endless and Timed. Each use the same basic game mechanics, but timed mode has a two-minute countdown. Monsters Ate My Condo has intentionally cheesy graphics and sounds; it’s part of its charm. It’s a Universal game, so it works on both iPhone and iPad, but your status and score aren’t saved across devices.

These days, I find myself drawn to games that offer brief, rewarding sessions but hook me into playing them again and again. This certainly fits the bill, and for a buck, it’s a no-brainer purchase making it this week’s Games for the Weekend.