Monster Adventures is a melange of many elements attempts to fuse all these influences into a tasty pot of iOS gumbo. Gamers in need of a Pokemon or a Monster Hunter fix will traverse similar territory with this app, and RPG loyalists are also treated to an expansive world. Although it's saddled with a boring moniker, this app knows where the true monsters lie.

Training a monster and sending him into the great wide open isn't anything new, but what this app thankfully knows how to infuse its own vision into a well worn genre. Don't expect all the creatures and treasure chests to fall at your feet within the first 15 minutes of playing, as Monster Adventures is a quest where these achievements are earned over hard fought battles.

The first stage has your adventurer traveling to a village which basically functions as a living and breathing store. A town well will instantly heal your monster after his wilderness or coliseum battles, but it's a resource that can be only used once every couple of hours. A local wizard will infuse your creature with various elemental powers, and a nearby researcher will ask you to catch different monster breeds during your excursions. Merchants sell fruits which replenishes your health or diversifies your fighting skills. Gregarious gamers can also chat it up with the villagers.

Whether you're catching wildlings with your nets or bashing their heads in, venturing into the great outdoors, especially during the earlier stages, is a humbling experience. Your constitution immediately decreases within a few minutes if you can't dodge your adversaries' attacks, and if you're defeated in your fights some of your progress during your quest will be lost.

During your journey, you will be given the important choice of entering portals to different areas or venture back to town and lick your wounds. This important decision will tip the hand if you're a riverboat gambler or a total conservative. Since I love keeping my coins and upping my experience points, I prefer to head back to town, get healthy, and head back into the fray.

Once you accrue enough money or experience, a monster can be summoned to fight by your side. When this blessed event occurs, my water based fighter (I named him Aguatime), will watch his new friend fight most of his battles for him. Cowardice is an underrated quality, especially when you can conserve your hit points!

The excitement isn't just reserved for the wilderness, as a coliseum in the village enables your monster to test his mettle against his fellow gladiators.  Unfortunately, my dear Aguatime has set foot in the arena only to be immediately vanquished by a superior set of opponents. Even in defeat, it's great to have an alternative method of warfare in an app.  Another feature gives players a chance to battle against other players across the world, and unfortunately the several times I've tried this mode it just wouldn't take. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to this online mode, especially since I'm having a great time enjoying the single player campaign.

The greatest aspect of Monster Adventures lies in the epic breadth of its game play. This is not a simple build your creature and watch him fight journey, as its RPG element guarantees hours of fun on your respective device. There are many monsters out in the world, but if some take residence on my beloved iPad, I'm more than ready for battle.


App Store Link: Monster Adventures for iPhone & iPad | By Foursaken Media | Price: $1.99 | Version: 1.0.1 | 145 MB | Rating 9+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating