Apogee Software is a studio that will resonate with the older PC players of the world. While quieter than they used to be, they have recently been re-releasing some beloved titles. And just in time for Halloween, they have brought us Monster Bash HD!
Working in the Lab Late One Night
Monster Bash HD puts you in the pajamas of totally rad 90s child Johnny Dash. He explores a cliché horror-themed world in search of his dog who was kidnapped by a vampire.
In terms of general narrative, you don’t get a lot here. When this game was originally released, games weren’t novels. You got a reason for what you were doing but very little depth and this hasn’t changed for this release in the slightest which isn’t an issue.
Eyes Behold an Eerie Sight
So let’s get down to what Monster Bash HD is. It’s a computer-based platforming adventure that was released in 1993. The HD release is just a quick tidy-up with a few Quality of Life features and extras; this is important to know before you go further into this review.
The gameplay loop of Monster Bash HD sees young Johnny navigate stages that wouldn’t go amiss in Castlevania. He’s firing rocks from his catapult and saving animals in cages.
To progress each stage you have to navigate the stages, fighting zombies, skeletons, and other horrors. Johnny needs to find every animal and free them. Once that’s done, you’re allowed to leave the stage.
In terms of controls, you have the standard left and right movement, a fire button, and the ability to fire up at an angle and jump. It was designed with the keyboard in mind, but Apogee have implemented gamepad controls for a more natural experience.
The controls themselves are a little floaty, especially in the jumping. It does take a little while to get comfy. One thing that stood out here was that you can’t fire directly upward, which means angling shots is the order of the day.
It was a Graveyard Smash
Monster Bash HD has over 25 levels of platforming and animal saving adventure. They all follow the above loop of finding the animals and then the exit.
Several difficulty options extend hit points. Another addition is the removal of lives so you aren’t thrown back to the beginning of the level after several attempts. It’s a difficult game and you’ll see death a lot.
There are online leaderboards, in-game achievements for each level, and even a level editor so you can create, share and download extra levels created by the fan base. This extends the playtime much further than the original release.
Visually Monster Bash HD isn’t going to convince anyone that it’s younger than it is. Computer platform games had a distinct look, and Monster Bash nails every facet of them to a T.
This isn’t to say Monster Bash HD is a bad-looking game – quite the opposite. The animation of the character and use of color gives it such an unexplainable charm, but it is a charm that doesn’t translate to everyone.
Overall Monster Bash HD as mentioned is a product of its time. If you don’t have the nostalgia goggles on, then it’s a basic floaty platformer with little to make it stand out. On the other hand, if you played it or similar games in the 90s then you’ve got a faithful recreation with some quality of life improvements and a level editor to have a bash at.
WAIT FOR SALE ON MONSTER BASH HD
Many thanks go to Apogee Entertainment for a PC review code for this title.
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Pride of utopia & greatest thing ever, I found the One Piece, Collected the Dragon Balls & won the Mortal Kombat Tournament in one night, it was quiet for me that night! Follow me on Twitter @powahdunk