Monomals Review thumbnail

Monomals Review

Great gameplay, cool beats

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🎧

Monomals is rated Everyone by the ESRB

I love it when indie games take me by surprise and Monomals in one such title that I still can't get over how cool it is so let's go fishing.

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Monomals screenshot 1
I once put my headphone cable in Jell-O but it didn't look this cool

First off, Monomals has an unconventional premise but it makes sense to me because I'm weird like that. Basically, you play as a collection of animal chums who fish with headphone cables and it's your goal to plug into the much sought-after Monomals. Why do they do this? It's a competition to become the world's greatest DJ, of course! Wait, what? Anyhoo, the graphics are bright and colourful and feature absolutely outstanding animations and detailed stages that I'd argue even rival Nintendo's first-party offerings. In fact, if you told me that Nintendo made Monomals, I'd be like, "Obviously but please get out of my house." The music is excellent, too, and you can even make your own soundtrack if you want but I'll get into that later. It all comes together to make one wonderful feast for the eyes and ears. v1d30chumz 18-208-187-128

I know what you're thinking; so, how the heck do you play Monomals? Well, it's kind of like a 2D platformer except there's no running and jumping is only done when you leap out of water. You essentially control the plug at the end of the headphone cable as you swim around while activating and breaking things as well as fending off enemies with a swanky dash attack. This dash is also useful to provide a little boost whenever you're airborne. This might sound simple and easy but I promise you, Monomals is anything but.

Monomals screenshot 2
What kind of music am I listening to? Swing, of course!

Yes, it's true; Monomals can be a tough game. That's one of the things that I absolutely love about it even if some segments made me want to rip my top layer of fur out. That one part where you have to carefully swing between a bunch of nodes with spikes all around was infuriating. On a positive note, there are tons of gimmicks throughout the campaign that keep the gameplay exciting. Whether you're propelling yourself around via a stream of water from a jetpack, hopping on a bouncing ball, or manipulating gravity; you're bound to have a great time. Heck, even the bosses are essentially a series of puzzles which is a fantastic way to implement boss fights.

Merely playing through the campaign certainly offers more than enough of a good time but Monomals goes the extra mile by incorporating some excellent replay incentives such as the brutally challenging time attacks, collectible coins and other unlockables, and currency that you can spend on fashionable items and goodies that can help you create your next hit song. There's definitely a lot to see and do within the campaign and mastering everything will take a good chunk of time but there are still only 28 levels and this might sound greedy but I want many, many more. Is that a compliment? Can I compliment a game with a negative point? Well, I guess I just did. 🤔

As if that's not enough, Monomals also has a nifty music-making component. Simply put, it's a basic drum machine with keyboard notes kind of thing where you place instruments on the grid. Although it's elementary, you have the freedom to compose whatever short song you wish and if you're proud of what you made, you can even share it online. I listened to a bunch of the top community songs and they're all very impressive. Overall, I'd say it's the sort of music-making tool that could easily get kids interested in music creation.

Monomals screenshot 3
I don't appreciate the gravity of this situation

I can't believe that more people aren't talking about Monomals as it's clearly one of the best indie games on the Switch eShop. From its challenging and unconventional gameplay to its nifty music creation tool, it really is the bee's knees.

  • + Exceptional gameplay that's full of clever scenarios and impressive challenges
  • + Outstanding visuals and music
  • + Awesome extras and replay incentives
  • - Some parts can frankly suck an egg
  • - Could use more levels
8.5 out of 10
Gameplay video for Monomals thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Monomals
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