Android Amusements: Pudding Monsters

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Good morning everyone and welcome to the latest installment of Android Amusements, in which I’ll be talking about my experiences with Pudding Monsters, the latest game from Zepto Labs. I loved Cut the Rope, so when I saw Pudding Monsters was available I immediately “splurged” on the $0.99 Pudding Monsters HD version so I could enjoy a pudding sliding experience without seeing ads asking me if I needed car insurance or real pudding.

Pudding Monsters stars the aforementioned, blobbular characters. They’re monsters with one giant eye who happen to be made of pudding. Apparently they’re quite tasty, as some heartless person has ignored the fact that they’re alive and put them into the fridge for future eating. Fortunately, they are still kicking and it’s up to players to help them slide their way into one another to get bigger and escape the fridge. Then, I guess they decide to go even further and spend the next 75 levels sliding around homes, towns and more. Maybe eating them to stop that from happening wasn’t such a bad idea. Oh well, let’s forget about whether they’re good or not and move along!

The point of Pudding Monsters is to make one giant pudding monster out of all the tiny, little monsters in each level. That means taking a finger and swiping up, down, left or right on a monster to send it into objects or other monsters. Caution is necessary though, as flinging monsters off of the area means you lose the level. You have to use objects, some of which have special properties, and the various types of pudding to keep them together and make them ginormous. Fortunately, there are things like puddings that leave a sticky trail that keep other puddings from falling off of the screen and teleporters that send a pudding that slides into them from another location safe. Pudding Monsters hasn’t been too demanding in the 35-odd levels I’ve played, but then I haven’t really been trying to go for three star ratings in each area.

I most liked Pudding Monsters for its appearance though. As with Cut the Rope, Zepto Labs has a knack for making monsters cute. The monsters are all pretty adorable and they look great set against their colorful world. I’d say it’s a good example of a pop-art game at its finest and seems like a natural fit for say, a comic or cartoon series. Kids would probably love it, and that’s where some trouble can come up for parents. It’s not that Pudding Monsters is violent or inappropriate, but it could get expensive.

Pudding Monsters is available in free and paid varieties. The difference between the two is, naturally, whether or not you see ads. If you don’t want to see them, pay $0.99 for Pudding Monsters HD and they’re gone.

However, there is a dark side to Pudding Monsters. It has in-app purchases and they’re implemented in the most devious way possible. See, some Pudding Monster levels are hard. You’d probably like to skip them. Doing that requires a mushroom and the game, whether you play the free or paid version, only gives you one at the start. If you want more, you have to buy them. Six mushrooms are $1.99, though there are packs of 12, 25 and 50 for $3.99, $5.99 and $9.99. It’s frustrating and parents should beware as those may prove an attractive option for kids trapped on difficult levels.

There is also a $4.99 fee to unlock all episodes. See, the 75 levels in Pudding Monsters are currently groupped into blocks of 25. You can play all of them for free, but you have to have 40 stars earned in the first episode’s levels to unlock episode 2 and 100 stars must be earned in episode 1 and 2 to unlock the episode 3 levels. Since collecting stars means making sure the pudding monster created in each level is large enough to stretch across the 1, 2 or 3 stars in a level, this can prove to be quite a feat and may result in some people caving and paying the $5 to have everything immediately available.

Overall, I’d say Pudding Monsters is interesting. I enjoyed playing the app, but I didn’t like the cash grab after I’d already paid $0.99. If you’re an older gamer with a lot of patience, I’d say it’s worth picking up. If you’re a parent, keep Pudding Monsters away from your kids unless you want to spend an additional $1.99, $4.99 or even $9.99 to ensure they can make it through the game.

Product Page [Google Play] Product Page Amazon

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  • http://yeah Anônimo

    Hm, let´s clarify something, before complaining the price and monetization strategies on a game, for a business and developer/career perspective instead of a consumer perspective:

    Well, it seems that if the game has 5 million downloads, and from those 5 million (overestimating here, a game could be just 1million downloads), 1% pay at least 1 dollar, and the android market claims it´s percentage of, (optimistic guess here, since facebook tax is 30%, can go up to 45%) at least 20% from the remaining money, that makes up to about 40000 dollars, surprising, isn´t enough for paying the salary + required profit to the company to keep existing, for a crew of at least 3 developers and at least 3 months of polishing a game like that one.

    Can you accept such salary in other career area, and agree to be paid.. let me see.. (40k*0,2 80% company profit/3 developers)/3 months, tops? U$900 per month?

    If not, well, there´s why there are other strategies to make the consumer buy stuff. Because no one works for free.

    • Jenni Lada

      You have to remember too – the unpaid version of Pudding Monsters does contain ads. So there is revenue coming in from another source as well. Not to mention it is on the Amazon App Store and iTunes. Those sales would have to be accounted for. Plus, 5 million downloads since its December 2012 release is pretty darn good.

      In addition, Zepto Labs could very well end up releasing stuffed toys/etc of Pudding Monsters if it grew successful enough, as it has with Cut the Rope.