Monsters University: Catch Archie review
Monsters University: Catch Archie is an iOS and Android release from Disney. It is available now on the App Store and Google Play as an ad-supported free download and carries no additional in-app purchases.
Monsters University: Catch Archie is an infinite-runner style of game, following the footsteps of titles like Temple Run and Running With Friends. The game takes place in the world of Monsters University, the upcoming movie from Disney. There, players take control of Mike, the petite Cyclops protagonist, as he charges after Archie, the monster pig who steals Mike’s hat. Chasing is something that’s not frequently seen in running games and provides players with a concrete goal, opposed to the “just keep running” mentality of similar games.
For the most part, Monsters University: Catch Archie plays just like similar games. As Mike is running, players can have him slide under objects, jump over hazards, and run from side to side. The control scheme is instantly familiar to players who have played other titles in the genre, but it comes with its own set of issues. The weirdest quirk is that the game plays in landscape mode, opposed to portrait. Most games use portrait mode to give players the best view of what’s ahead. Because Monsters University: Catch Archie is played in landscape, it also creates an odd top-down camera angle that will throw off many players. Players will be constantly swiping up, down, left, and right to move Mike. However, the camera angle makes it easy for players to inadvertently swipe at a bit of a slant, occasionally leading to the wrong action.
Because it’s possible to catch the pig, Monsters University: Catch Archie isn’t an infinite runner and instead is separated into ten levels. Each level is given a time limit. If Mike fails to reach Archie before time expires, players will be forced to re-play the stage. If players do catch the pig, it initiates a mini game that requires players to tap the left and right sides of the screen to stay on Archie until a new timer reaches zero. If the player is successful, they complete the stage and advance to the next. If they fail, the level continues from where they first caught the pig.
The biggest problem most players will encounter with Monsters University: Catch Archie is how it doesn’t do much that makes it stand out among the sea of similar titles. The game lacks any sort of customization and special features. As players complete levels, collect pennants in stages, and catch Archie, they’re awarded experience points, which unlock new abilities. The problem with the abilities is that they’re unlocked in a set order and there are too few levels to make them worthwhile. There’s no sort of multiplayer mode, no infinite mode, and no online leaderboards. It’s simply ten stages of running.
Because it’s a tie-in for the upcoming Monsters University film, there are a lot of ads, most of which are plugging the movie. Promotions that aren’t directing to info about Monsters University will usually redirect players to the App Store page of another Disney game or app, using Disney’s extensive app portfolio to its advantage.
Monsters University: Catch Archie isn’t a bad game, it just doesn’t do much to make itself worthwhile to most players. It’s a short movie tie-in game with some questionable design choices. It’s likeliest audience is children and parents who see the film. The lack of a price tag and in-app purchases means Disney is banking on that crowd to purchase their other games from the App Store.
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An uninspired running game that offers no reason for fans of the genre to play more than a few levels.