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Friday, March 31, 2023

Review of Kaiju Wars: Monster Mirth

Review Of Kaiju Wars: Monster Mirth

Godzilla was a metaphor. You probably imagine him as a giant green lizard emerging from the depths of an irradiated ocean and wreaking havoc on the Japanese population. No, for the filmmakers who created the first kaiju monster, it actually represented the destructive power of nuclear weapons, which wreaked havoc on, um, the Japanese population.

Aizu became an incredibly popular genre of monster film, featuring everything from giant bats to giant moths. But it was equally famous for its ropey special effects and dodgy scripts. This is where Kaiju Warfare comes in, with its take on sci-fi creature conveniences wrapped around a turn-based tactical conflict.

In this series of challenging missions, you control a city and its defenses as it fends off the onslaught of one of five kaiju, including a gorilla and a Godzilla-esque hairy lizard. The game’s creators describe the gameplay as a cross between Nintendo’s classic Advance Wars and the recent indie hit Into the Breach.

More simply, it combines elements of tower defense and the familiar strategic planning of a turn-based tiled battlefield. The icing on the cake is cashew-style delectable faux-hysteria, filled with relentless marches of the self-important military, panicked civilians and, of course, giant beasts.

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The Kaiju Wars formula has many twists, the main one being the fact that monsters cannot be defeated by military might. Instead, your firepower is just buying time while scientists race to develop a serum to permanently repel a massive enemy. That’s why you build and deploy your units – tanks, aircraft, infantry, etc – to slow down the onslaught of kaiju, even them with civilian buildings. Who is the evil demon now, eh?

Neatly, each turn also has a card deck where you can choose from, for example, experimental weapons or a cash boost to your economy. Unfavorably, a rival military group will sometimes attack you from the shadows, such as reducing the strength of the kaiju or setting the battlefield tiles on fire. Clearly they want the demon’s power for their nefarious purposes.

The juggling of all these ingredients makes for an intensely challenging game – sometimes to the point where random events seem inappropriate. Yet the sly humor and prickly puzzles prove to be an addictive combination. The lo-fi presentation – like an adaptation of a Game Boy Color pixelated classic – feeds off the retro vibe that marks Kaiju Wars as a smart and gripping triumph of gameplay over superficiality.

World Nation News Desk
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