Backyard Monsters is a Facebook game that mixes strategy elements with tower defense and, of course, social gaming. And if you think that such a combination is not possible, think again, since Casual Collective’s game is up and running and promising to get bigger and bigger because all of us wish to have their own critter farms and attack neighbors, right?
Backyard Monsters is most likely unique on Facebook at the moment of writing – I haven’t seen a similar game yet and trust me, I’ve played quite a few! And that’s clearly a bonus, even though the game’s description might make you think that we’re talking about a regular strategy/war game: you have to design your base, gather resources, build a monster army and attack other players. Easy enough for you? Well, it’s a bit more complex than it might sound at first!
You start with 7 days of protection, enough time to build your base and at least try to be prepared when thrown into the wild: you will first have to construct your resource gathering structures, then some defensive towers to help you fight against the wild monsters that will attack you from time to time and finally some monster hatcheries to create your own critter army. And even if you’ll consider that you’ve done everything by the book, you’ll most likely realize that once your protection is over, you’ll have to redesign your base and reconsider your strategy. And that, as strange as it might sound, it’s a good thing!
Because attacking players has a logical downside: players can attack you too and in Backyard Monsters it seems that this happens quite often. When it comes to getting attacked, you’ll have a few towers defending your structures (but not your own monsters whose sole purpose is that of attacking the other players). However, their number is limited, so you’ll have to place them in strategic areas, where you think that the other player will attack. You can also build additional defensive structures like blocks of wood and stone to slow down the enemy army and protect your resources.
Because the resources are the main thing you need in Backyard Monsters: in order to become a better player and have a more powerful army, you’ll have to spend tons of resources on upgrading everything in your Yard. But what to upgrade first: the towers, to better defend your buildings; your monster locker to research for more monsters; or your resource gathering buildings, to harvest more? It’s your decision and no matter which path you choose, you’ll certainly have fun and realize that, in the end, without an army to pillage and plunder, there’s no fun and no possible way of winning.
Therefore, you’ll start attacking other players for revenge or just to get some extra resources – at least as many as there were stolen from you. In order to do that, you have a map at your disposal and you can view other players’ Yards and decide which would be the best to attack. Unfortunately, there’s no spying process involved, so you might find yourself attacking another broke player just like yourself and gain no extra resources. Or you can strike the jackpot and return home with tons of them – you’ll probably experience both scenarios while playing.
The visuals of the game are really well done and the monsters are really lovable and, overall, even though still in early beta, Backyard Monsters is an amazingly fun, challenging and well done strategy title. It’s not for the peaceful farmers but for the more competitive Facebook users, but it certainly offers just a bit more that your regular “strategy” games on the social platform.
However, in terms of social gameplay the title still lacks some sense: there’s not too much interaction between neighbors at the moment, but that will most likely change in the near future. That and, of course, an update to let us all know the area of attack of our towers!
Have fun playing Backyard Monsters here and don’t forget to share your opinion on the game with us!