Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess might not be one of the best PlayStation Minis available, but it’s a title that’s easy to recommend to almost everyone.
The PlayStation Minis program was really promising when it was first announced, but a different factors conspired against it. PlayStation did a terrible job of promoting the games and on top of that, high prices, the fact that most Minis are free on smartphones and general lack of interest cemented the premature death of what seemed to be a terrific idea. That’s a shame because there are some gems buried in the library of PlayStation Minis waiting for people to discover them. Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess might not be one of the best PlayStation Minis available, but it’s a title that’s easy to recommend to almost everyone.
In the game, you assume the role of a blood-sucking vampire who’s rudely awakened in the middle of the night by some noises in his castle. Apparently, monsters have kidnapped the princess he had previously captured and you must explore several levels to retrieve the beautiful woman and bring her back to your castle. The first thing that caught me by surprise is that even though you jump over platforms, this isn’t a traditional platformer. At least not in the sense you can explore environments however you please. Instead, you constantly move upwards as you try to reach a monster before he escapes.
Controls are remarkably simple, since you just jump or double jump. The idea is to jump on multiple platforms to build up your combo (if you touch the same platform twice, you lose the combo) and high combos let you move faster and earn more points. Eventually, you’ll run into a boss and the only way to defeat it is by jumping on top of the monster. You must hit bosses three times to defeat them and your finishing move depends entirely on your combo level, so the higher the number, the flashiest the final move will be.
So you jump upwards from platform to platform building up your combo and racking up points. The higher the combo, the faster you’ll be and the more points you’ll accrue. You need to reach and double jump on the monster that’s trying to escape three times to defeat it, but if you skip on the same platform twice, you ruin your combo and you have to start from scratch. As you can see, stringing combos is an important part of the game, but since Minis don’t have online capabilities, sharing scores to compete with other people isn’t a possibility which immediately ruins what could have been a terrific feature.
There are only two modes (story and score attack) and you can finish both of them in a matter of minutes, but this isn’t the kind of game you complete once and move on to something else. Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess is the game you play a handful of minutes at a time while waiting for the bus or before a dentist appointment and it never fails when it comes to entertaining you for a few minutes at a time. Everything in the game is in service of that concept: there are colorful visuals, catchy tunes, simple mechanics, short loading times and bite-sized levels.
And that’s Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess in a nutshell. The game has two modes (and some achievements) and these won’t hold your attention for long. Once you complete the main story mode, you can play the Score Attack mode where the main goal is to score a specific number of points to progress. If you buy this game, don’t expect it to be one of those titles you play often. This is something you should buy at a discounted price so that whenever you have to wait at the doctor’s office, you have a game you can play for a few minutes. If you expect something else from this game, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
I came for this game expecting more. After all, developer Mediatonic is famous for creating some of the best and most popular PlayStation Minis available on PSN (such as Who’s that Flying!?) Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess was an entertaining game for a few minutes, but as soon as I saw everything the game had to offer I had the urge to move to something else in my collection. That doesn’t mean I won’t play it every now and then while I have to wait for a while, but this isn’t the kind of game I’ll launch when I’m comfortably at home.
Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess is a title you’ll play a couple of times and a few minutes at a time. It might not be the most original and creative title you can find on the PlayStation Minis section of PSN, but it’ll keep you entertaining while you wait for something to happen. Just don’t ask the game more than it can offer.