“Monumental Failure is en route to becoming a truly classic couch co-op game, but it isn’t there just yet.”
Monumental Failure is a self-proclaimed “historically inaccurate” physics game from a pair of creative minds at indie developer Scary Wizard Games. Challenging you with the not-so-simple task of constructing some of history’s greatest monuments, the game offers something quirky and a little different for gamers and their friends. What might sound like a relatively simple task for in a video game however turns out to be a much more frantic and frustratingly difficult feat indeed…
It is worth noting that while you can play Monumental Failure alone, it is a much more fruitful experience when played with a friend or friends. A big part of the nature of the game is co-ordination, and trying to manage this with another human being adds to the experience massively. The game itself is set into a series of different locations, each of which are divided into a series of stages or levels. Every stage of the construction process requires you to race through a minigame-like challenge to move the next piece of the monument into place. The closer you get to the perfect position, the more points you score. Points equal stars, and stars equal new locations; essentially like your traditional mobile game setup.
The creativity which has gone into each stage’s challenge in the game is admirable, but the result can be wildly frustrating. If the game’s lack of information on how to play doesn’t make you rage, its bugs or the inability of your friends to communicate almost certainly will. The game is funny, but it isn’t one you should play if you are expecting to keep your cool. The control system is simple, usually involving little more than the movement of an analogue stick (assuming you use a controller). What it doesn’t do however is explain the objective of each challenge. For some, like pushing a section of wall up a slope, this is fine. For others, like the challenges which involve flying a section into position, it makes them damn near impossible to succeed at. It is very hit and miss whether each individual challenge will be fun or frustrating. That is something which ultimately brings the game down.
One thing that does compliment the gameplay in Monumental Failure however is the variety of monuments that you can attempt to construct. From the Colosseum and Stonehenge to the Easter Island heads and the Great Pyramid, no structure can be built the same as the last. Some involve using a crane to position a section, whilst others simply require you to push parts down a ski slope. No matter which task you face, one thing stays consistent – the developers’ ideas are out there, so to speak. The game is fun in this respect, if you can appreciate the ridiculous things in life. Not a single idea in stands out as bad. It is the execution, or like of guidance thereof, which makes the experience turn from hilarious to aggravating. With some future updates, however, this could easily be changed.
An aspect of the game that can hardly be faulted on the other hand is its visual design. This is as fun as the gameplay itself, with a colourful and quirky nature which doesn’t take the subject matter too seriously. It is still obvious which monuments the ones in the game represent, but picture-perfect realism is sacrificed for fun, poppy representations, and that is something that really works here. Customisation is an added extra that is bundled in with this side of the game, with each monument you complete offering you different attire for your workers on the next one. Stereotypical headgear and garments are aplenty in Monumental Failure, and this just adds to the humour. When you are wearing a laurel on your head and the friend next to you is wearing a skull on theirs, it is easy to remember that this game is meant to be a laugh, and the stress which develops as you play is allowed to dissipate just a little.
In its current form, Monumental Failure still needs some work. The game will make you angrier than it ought to, and this is largely down to some minor bugs and a lack of clarity when it comes to performing some of the tasks at hand. On the flipside of that, it is still great fun to play, particularly with friends, with a fun feel and some very unusual but creative ideas around it’s gameplay. Monumental Failure is en route to becoming a truly classic couch co-op game, but it isn’t there just yet. Give it some time, and like the monuments it challenges you to build, it could be something truly great.
Monumental Failure Was Review on PC