Monster Strike

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Monster Strike
MonSt.jpg
Developer(s)Mixi
Publisher(s)Mixi
Designer(s)Yoshiki Okamoto[1]
Platform(s)iOS, Android
ReleaseiOS
  • JP: August 8, 2013 (2013-08-08)
  • NA: October 20, 2014
  • TW: May 23, 2014
  • KOR: November 6, 2014

Android
  • JP: December 14, 2013
  • NA: October 21, 2014
  • TW: May 13, 2014
  • KOR: November 16, 2014
Genre(s)Puzzle, role-playing, physics, strategy

Monster Strike (モンスターストライク, Monsutā Sutoraiku) is a mobile physics game with elements of role-playing, strategy and cooperative multiplayer. It is developed by Mixi for iOS and Android platforms. The game was co-created by Yoshiki Okamoto.[2] In Japan, its name is often shortened to MonSt (モンスト, Monsuto). The game can be summed up as a cross between Nintendo's Pokémon and Capcom's Metal Walker; the former in that it centers around monster collecting and the latter in that battles take place using catapult mechanics.[vague]

By June 30, 2015, the game had daily revenues of $4.2 million,[3] grossing more than $1 billion in 2015.[4] The game subsequently grossed $1.3 billion in 2016,[5] and another $1.3 billion in 2017.[6] As of October 2018, the game has grossed over $7.2 billion worldwide, surpassing Puzzle & Dragons to become the highest-grossing mobile app of all time.[7]

A more traditional role-playing game of Monster Strike was released for the Nintendo 3DS in December 2015. The game was adapted into an anime series in 2015. An anime film adaptation titled Monster Strike The Movie was released on December 10, 2016. A second anime film, titled Monster Strike the Movie: Sora no Kanata, was released on October 5, 2018 in Japan.

Gameplay[edit]

A game of Monster Strike where the player prepares to launch one of their monsters at enemies on the field.

Monster Strike has been compared to competitor Puzzle & Dragons and other freemium puzzle games in that the player battles waves of monsters to collect them, fuse them, and evolve them and earn gold and other items through gameplay to get stronger monsters, and build a list of friends with monsters to use as well. What sets it apart is that rather than being a tile-matching video game, the player aims and flicks their monsters around on a field, similar to billiards/pool,[8] bumping off of walls and enemies to perform damage. Colliding the currently in play monster with any of the allied monsters activates Bump Combos (友情コンボ, Yūjō Konbo, "Friend Combos") that set off explosions, energy beams, or projectiles to perform damage on opponent monsters. Every turn, numerous counters on enemy monsters count down to launch various attacks that deal damage or add hazards to the field. Player monsters often have other unique passive abilities to counter these hazards, or may have passive abilities that cause greater damage to particular kinds of enemy monsters. Some monsters also have gauges that when it is launched at the right time, it activates a secondary gauge ability as well as slightly increases their attack strength. Each of the player's monsters also has its own counter, which allows the player to activate the monster's Strike Shot (ストライクショット, Sutoraiku Shotto) attack to perform more damage. The final battle of each Quest Mission features a Boss monster that has a moving critical hit point. Monster Strike also offers co-operative play for up to 4 players.[2][9][10]

Quests in the game are divided into Solo and Co-Op and then Normal and Event. Event Quests are only available for limited periods of time and often feature rare monsters that are powerful or that can be used in the Ascension of other monsters. Completing the levels of a quest awards the player monsters, catalysts, and coins. In Normal Quests, for completing the penultimate level in the quest, players are awarded a rare catalyst and for completing the final level, they are awarded an Orb as well as unlocking a Bonus Level featuring the experience-increasing or high-selling turtle monsters. A Mission Log is also given to players to reach certain goals in Quests in order to win other Catalysts, Orbs, or experience-increasing monsters. A third set of Quests are available in the Temple of Heroes. Clearing any of these awards the player Ableberries (わくわくの実, Wakuwaku no Mi, "Exciting Fruit") that gives one of the player's monsters an additional stat bonus. Initially, only certain Hatcher monsters could have an Ableberry. Later, the ability for rare Event Quest monsters to have Ableberries was added, but only if the player has Max Luck on two copies of the same monster. A Tower of Champions event is also occasionally run in Japan, providing an increased challenge for players to win rare monsters and prizes. A similar event was held in the North American version of the game for Christmas 2015.

Each monster has its own HP, Attack, and Speed statistics. The player's three monsters' HP and their friend or helper's monsters' HP are combined for a total HP. Attack determines how much damage the player's monster does to enemy monsters and Speed determines how fast (how much distance) the monster travels in a single turn. These values are increased by fusing monsters together to gain experience, or using special stat-only increasing monsters. There is also a Luck (ラック, Rakku) value, symbolized by a four-leaf clover, that determines the possibility of obtaining bonus prizes at the end of a Mission. Luck can only be increased by fusing two of the same monsters together, or monsters in the same evolutionary line; fusing two Red Smydras or a Red Drake and a Red Smydra will both cause Luck to increase. An additional Luck Skill was added to the game, allowing certain monsters to either have a critical hit or a shield to prevent damage on one turn.

After raising a monster to its maximum level, the player can Evolve (進化, Shinka) them through the use of Evolution Catalysts (進化アイテム, Shinka Aitemu, "Evolution Items"). Players can also Ascend (神化, Kamika) their monsters into even more powerful forms through the use of other monsters with specific Luck levels. Divination (獣神化, Jūshinka) is a combination of the two evolutions, giving the monster a second tier to their Strike Shot and a second slot for an Ableberry.

The game also features Hatchers (ガチャ, Gacha) that the player spends either Friend Points (earned through choosing another player's monster to complete a level) for fairly common monsters or Orbs for rarer monsters. The main Hatcher cycles through a series of different sets of monsters that have an increased availability, with the rarest found during the Legend Series (獣神祭, Jūshinsai) events. The Friend Hatcher is sometimes used for giving out rare Event monsters for collaborations, such as with Line Corporation and Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan. The Japanese edition of the game has also featured a special Hatcher to commemorate the release of Godzilla requiring special Godzilla Sharls to use it. Collaborations have also been made with Lawson's convenience store chain, Monster Hunter Big Game Hunting Quest, Bakusō Kyōdai Let's & Go!!, Game Walker, Parasyte, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rebuild of Evangelion and Ultraman.[11]

The game has an in-game store to purchase Orbs that are used to continue lost Missions, expand the number of the player's available saved monsters, restore Stamina used to play Missions, or use them in the game's Hatcher to earn powerful and rare monsters.[12]

Development[edit]

Monster Strike was originally released in Japan in September 2013, and by November 2013 it was credited with saving Mixi, originally a social media network, after the app became popular in the iOS App Store.[13][14] In September 2014, it was announced that a North American version and a South Korean version would be released.[15]

Music[edit]

A theme song for Monster Strike titled "Hippare! Monster Strike" (ヒッパレ!モンスターストライク, Hippare! Monsutā Sutoraiku, "Pull! Monster Strike") was written by Nagae Kuwabara (lyrics) and Riichiro Kuwabara (composition) and performed by Hironobu Kageyama. Kageyama performed it live for the first time at the Monster Strike first anniversary event at the Nico Nico Douga live house nicofarre on October 25, 2014, and the song was later released for sale on October 29.[16]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
GameRankings75%[17]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Android Authority7.5/10
Pocket Gamer6/10[12]
TouchArcade4/5 stars[18]

With the English language version's release, a reviewer for Android Authority said that the game was fun, but similar to other games on the market, and had concerns about the length of the game's tutorial levels.[9] On Pocket Gamer, the reviewer found the game not challenging, as there did not seem to be any strategy, and as it is easy to earn Orbs (the premium currency), he could easily use the Hatcher to get better monsters, resulting in just a wait for the Stamina to refill and fuse monsters, until you run out of gold to fuse and space in the Monster Box.[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

During July–September 2014, the game grossed ¥19.4 billion ($161 million) in content revenue, about 90% of Mixi's total income for the quarter.[19] The game's revenue increased to ¥30 billion ($283 million) in the next quarter, October–December 2014.[20] It overtook Puzzle & Dragons as Japan's highest-grossing mobile app in late 2014, and its revenues exceeded ¥40 billion ($333.8 million) per quarter during January–March 2015.[21] By March 2015, Monster Strike had been downloaded more than 30 million times and had daily revenues of $3.8 million.[22] During April–June 2015, the game's revenue increased to ¥47 billion ($378 million) per quarter.[23] By June 30, 2015, daily revenues reached $4.2 million.[3] During April–December 2015, the game grossed approximately ¥135 billion ($1.224 billion), roughly 90% of Mixi's sales during the period.[4]

It was the highest-grossing mobile game of 2016, earning a revenue of $1.3 billion for the year, more than Pokémon Go and Clash Royale.[5][24] Monster Strike earned another $1.3 billion in 2017, when it was the year's third highest-grossing mobile game, behind Arena of Valor and Fantasy Westward Journey.[6] In Japan, the game grossed ¥104.1 billion ($928 million) between January 2017 and October 3, 2017.[25] By May 2018, the game had over 45 million players worldwide.[26] As of October 2018, the game has grossed over $7.2 billion worldwide, surpassing Puzzle & Dragons to become the highest-grossing mobile app of all time.[7]

The game's popularity has led to a partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to issue VISA credit cards in Japan in 2015.[27]

Nintendo 3DS game[edit]

Monster Strike
Monster Strike.png
Developer(s)Mixi
Platform(s)Nintendo 3DS
Release
  • JP: December 17, 2015 (2015-12-17)
Genre(s)Puzzle, RPG, physics, strategy

An RPG version of Monster Strike for the Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on December 17, 2015. It features characters and stories introduced in the anime. Characters based on Japanese YouTubers Tomotake "Max" Murai, former CEO of Japanese iPhone news and reviews site AppBank, and beatboxer Hikakin, who both do Let's Play videos of Monster Strike, are featured in the game as NPCs.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matt Leone. "Monster Strike: The redemption of Capcom legend Yoshiki Okamoto". Polygon.
  2. ^ a b "Monster Strike Comes to North American Mobile Devices". CNBC. October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Japanese mobile game Monster Strike making $4.2m a day". develop-online.net.
  4. ^ a b "What Is Mixi Planning to Do after Monster Strike?". Tokyo Business Today. Toyo Keizai. May 2, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Worldwide game industry hits $91 billion in revenues in 2016, with mobile the clear leader". VentureBeat. December 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: DIGITAL GAMES AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA" (PDF). SuperData Research. January 25, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Spannbauer, Adam (October 23, 2018). "Monster Strike Revenue Passes $7.2 Billion, Making It the Highest Earning App of All Time". Sensor Tower.
  8. ^ "Monster Strike Review". 148apps.com.
  9. ^ a b Hindy, Joe (October 28, 2014). "Monster Strike - Indie app of the day". Android Authority. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  10. ^ Sage, Simon (October 23, 2014). "Popular Japanese physics RPG Monster Strike now available in English". iMore. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  11. ^ "【ウルトラマンとモンストがコラボ!】7月15日(金)の開始に先駆け、参加型キャンペーン実施中" (in Japanese). hobby.dengeki.com. 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
  12. ^ a b c Rich, Rob (October 28, 2014). "Monster Strike review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  13. ^ Toto, Serkan (March 3, 2014). "How Monster Strike saved 'Japan's Facebook' Mixi". Tech in Asia. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  14. ^ Fox, Glen (May 30, 2014). "Mixi marvel: How Monster Strike is turning around the fortunes of Japan's s - Pocket Gamer.biz - PGbiz". pocketgamer.biz. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  15. ^ Corbin, David (September 22, 2014). "Monster Strike: Mixi's billion dollar game comes to America". Tech in Asia. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  16. ^ "2014.10.27 【追記:10/29】モンスト主題歌「ヒッパレ!モンスターストライク」(影山ヒロノブ)配信スタート! - モンスターストライク(モンスト)公式サイト". モンスターストライク(モンスト)公式サイト. October 27, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "Monster Strike for iOS (iPhone/iPad)". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Musgrave, Shaun (November 3, 2014). "'Monster Strike' Review – Billiards And Dragons". TouchArcade. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Soble, Jonathan (December 28, 2014). "'Monster Strike' Gives Former Social Media Giant Mixi a Second Act". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Smartphones Bring New Golden Age for Japan's Games Industry". Nippon.com. Nippon Communications Foundation. April 9, 2015.
  21. ^ "Monster Strike drives 900 per cent revenue growth for Mixi". GamesIndustry.biz. May 13, 2015.
  22. ^ "Monster Strike makes $3.8 million daily -- and could be Japan's second billion-dollar mobile game - GamesBeat - Games - by Dale North". VentureBeat.
  23. ^ "Monster Strike passes $4 million in daily revenue". GamesIndustry.biz. August 19, 2015.
  24. ^ "2016 Year In Review: Digital Games And Interactive Media" (PDF). SuperData Research. December 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  25. ^ "課金売上トップは『モンスト』、勢いを増す『FGO』―『ファミ通モバイルゲーム白書2018』12月12日発売". Famitsu (in Japanese). December 8, 2017.
  26. ^ "Monster Strike publisher Mixi plots $900m investment in biz dev and M&A over next five years". Pocket Gamer. May 17, 2018.
  27. ^ "How Big Is 'Monster Strike' In Japan? Check Out These 'Monster Strike' Credit Cards". toucharcade.
  28. ^ Sato. "Monster Strike 3DS Gets A magical Girl Monster And Celebrity Youtuber Guests". Siliconera. Sato. Retrieved 14 October 2015.

External links[edit]