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Monster Island now on the Windows Phone Marketplace along with a PDLC Xbox Live Achievement

Monster Island

It’s time to take a break from Sid Meier strategy games for a while and settle into some nice throwing things at other things. I am, of course, speaking of Monster Island, the latest Xbox Live release from Miniclip.

Monster Island is basically a monster-themed version of Fragger. Instead of a grenadier, you’re now a monster who must defeat invading monsters. Aim and throw five different kinds of monster grenades to destroy your stationary enemies. With a whopping 262 levels (and more promised in a future update), it offers plenty of bomb-throwing fun.  

Monster Island features a robust in-game shop in which players can purchase new characters, level unlocks, level skips, and level solutions using in-game currency. Being a Miniclip title, it also allows users to purchase coins with Microsoft Points. That’s not so bad in and of itself, but the Big Spender Achievement actually requires players to purchase not one, but three coin packs!

Monster Island

The cheapest coin pack costs 80 MSP ($1), so users would need to spend a minimum of $5.99 ($2.99 for the base game plus $3 for three coin packs) in order to earn Monster Island’s full 200 GamerScore. Of course, larger packs actually offer more coins per dollar than smaller packs, so why couldn’t the Achievement just be for buying a single pack? More importantly, this is the first Windows Phone title to actually require players to spend additional money in order to get all of the base game’s Xbox Live Achievements. Even among Xbox 360 games that practice is extremely rare (if not prohibited outright), so it’s startling that Microsoft allowed it here.

Perhaps it’s natural for publishers to test the limits of what they can sell to users as PDLC, but many would agree Miniclip has gone too far on this one. It’s a shame too, as without the annoying PDLC component (and multiple in-game pop-ups encouraging players to spend their coins), Monster Island is probably the most robust Angry Birds-type game on Windows Phone. The massive quantity of levels and variety of playable characters and bombs, not to mention some clever level design, certainly makes it worth a look. Could 'Big Spender' have simply slipped through the certification process by mistake? We've contacted Microsoft and will report back if they reply.

Monster Island costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace. Alternately, you can check out the Flash version at Miniclip.com.

Update: Currently the game is only available in the US. We'll let you know when this changes.

QR: Monster Island

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Comments

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It's not bad but not great (no iStunt 2) The graphics are real snazzy and is that 60FPS I'm noticing? 

Miniclip is good though in general, glad they're churning out things. I rarely get the full 200 achievements so no biggy for me but I can see how that can bother folks.

MrSean490 says:

Luckily I don't give a toss about achievements :P
 
 
EDIT: My problem is why are all games @ $2.99 on the marketplace? We generally get left behind in updates etc so I don't really get why we pay a premium. (I'm aware that some games just got discounted to 99 cents permantely, just can't understand why it doesn't happen on a wider scale). If the premium is just for the xbox live services, then it'd be nice to have the choice of paying for a cheaper version with no XBL integration for those that are like me, and don't own an xbox for gaming and don't really care to be a part of that ecosystem.
 
EDIT2: The game isn't available on my device apparently (LG Optimus 7). Oh well.
 
EDIT3: I think it's a regional thing, as it doesn't even pop up on the marketplace when I search for it (on the mobile and desktop).

dvorak123 says:

Not available. Region = AU

iwinson says:

Not available @HK Marketplace

zeke1676 says:

Yeah, what the hell is it with the regional rubbish now???

xmarklive says:

Its cost to be and early adopter

MacAarburger says:

that's complete BS!
WP lags way behind any other device category. the price of apps is one of the main factors, as well as user unfriendly TOS BS like not being able to save mp3 files from the web directly to my phone. MS needs to realize that what made the xbox great and the 360 a success was mainly the online social features...
MS has a lot to learn when it comes to mobile platforms. first they need to speed up their multiplayer launch. second, they need to change some of those bad 'features' back to the way it was on windows mobile. (mainly saving mp3! that's one of my main neg points!!!) and third MS needs to learn THAT NO MEANS NO!
why do i have to (reactivate then) deactivate the data connection every morning (to turn it back off!)? i already selected 'data connection' off in the settings. NO MEANS NO!

mohib.sheth says:

Not even available in India region as well. No clue as to why they would restrict to a particular region or maybe its a submission mistake.

reb31 says:

Not available in UK marketplace on Lumia 710 w/Vodafone either...

It says it's not available for my device. HTC Titan (UK).

dazzztom says:

Not available for lumia 800 UK what's going on ???

Wow...

Fragger - Soldiers+ Fraggle Rock = Monster Island

This is pathetic. It is the exact same game with just a cosmetic change. You want Xbox Live standards to be high and this just screams of a lazy ass money grab.

Paul Acevedo says:

Monster Island actually does have some new features and a lot more levels than Fragger. But you're right that they're very similar. Presumably Miniclip is trying to appeal to different audiences with the same basic game design.

jagu says:

Definetly not the exact same game... It's has very different levels. There are a lot more than just exploding granades, such as blob things, stones, etc which has different effects and they help solve the level. The gameplay is also very different because it has more things to destroy and stuff. In my personal opinion, i like this more than fragger and also the UI for this game has been improved a lot when compared to fragger...

Badranath17 says:

Not available is Australia. Apps are starting to become region only such as the new star wars app. Just dance 3 and dance central dance cam.

dogmeat1978 says:

Not available in uk???????

NaterBater says:

This has been out since yesterday afternoon at least. Kinda stupid that it requires actual money being spent. Of course this game doesn't have detonators or unlimited grenades you can buy like fragger, so buying coin packs is pretty lame.

jagu says:

Coin packs are used for level skips, level solutions and purchasing new mosnters from the shop :)

razzelbazzel says:

Not available for my device! Omnia 7. (three) UK! Anybody know why this is? Seems strange??

I thought one of the rules Microsoft had was that a player must be able to get the base level of achievements without having to pay for additional content - that's why Lionhead who developed Fable Pub Games for Xbox 360 got into a spot of bother.

Miniclip games are, generally above average, some even quite good, but I think they're very annoying with that pressure for users to review their games ad now this shady PDLC scheme... Nah, no buying, but no biggie, I don't need to buy every game, I have plenty already in my backlog.

MacAarburger says:

if you get pressured into giving a review, give a bad one referencing the pressure methods.

FFugue says:

I hate games that feature achievements that ask you to be a bad player. Stuff like "die 10 times" or now "waste 3$ of your hard earned cash to buy coins 'cause we decided you're not good enough to complete the levels by yourself".

A couple of games on xbox ask you to buy new features for the game in order to get all achievements, but at least they normally won't ask you to buy coin you won't even spend if you don't like cheating...

peterjr1boom says:

Not available in UK :( I can't wait :3

stevethenerd says:

Not available in Canada... Lumia 900 and all :(

tommohammed says:

Not in New Zealand. Was looking forward to playing this tonight :(

chucky78 says:

What's with the region BS

jsnod25 says:

The app submission process asks what region to submit, so looks like miniclip dropped the ball, maybe they will re-submit an update to include all regions.

guidorobben says:

Not available @NL

Developers requiring a user to pay to unlock achievements is a bunch of crap.  It really shouldn't be allowed.

However, some developers are going to do whatever they can to squeeze some extra money out of users, it's just the nature of the beast.   If they insist on doing this then I think they should have multiple achievement paths available.   So for instance if this game has a "Big Spender" achievement for buying coin packs in order to make the game easier in some way then they should also have an alternate achievement such as "Frugral Gamer" or "Skillfully Done" for completing the game without buying any coin packs.  They would be worth the same amount but you could only ever get one or the other.   Done.   That way nobody can complain that they're forced to purchase anything in order to unlock the full gamer score, but if you want to...  you can.  Just depends on which route you want to take.   Will you rely on money or rely on skill?

peterjr1boom says:

I have no problem with the PDLC acheivement but I love your idea :)

That's a bad idea, MSA shouldn't allow pay for Achievements, end of! Hope this was a one time thing, that QA didn't notice, since as far as I know it's the only game so far resorting to this scam. MS ecosystem is known as the best one for having fair rules to our entire system, hope they don't get lazy, now that mobile gaming is making its entrance.

What would be next, you don't need to buy or play the game, just pay for the Achievements! Save time and memory space!
Lol..., nah, it doesn't seem like a good idea at all... Actually quite funny un a depressing way.

maxschels says:

It's thursday and still not available in Germany ;)

MastrMeatWad says:

Dear MiniClip,
You suck. :/
-----------------
In all honesty I have never ever in the last couple decades refused to own, purchase, play a game due to a shady practice.  There have been other shady practices and I have been reluctant to buy EA titles for the fact they have been turning off servers on titles that may only be a year old and then making it impossible to gain achievements (when they could have made sure there are zero achievements that can only be obtained via online). This is the first time, that I am aware of, that you must 'pay' additional dollars to earn an achievement that comes with the title and is not DLC achievements.  It is too bad because I would have purchased this game, but will not even if it becomes DOTW.  I will support other developers that at least do not outright nickle and dime you so blatantly.