PixelJunk Monsters Encore Review
PixelJunk Monsters Encore box art
System: PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Q-Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Q-Games / Encore 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 8, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
More Pixel Junk? Yes, Please!
by Amanda L. Kondolojy

The original PixelJunk Monsters hit the PlayStation Network last January to rave reviews and a whole bunch of downloads. The game featured very simplistic RTS "defend the tower" style gameplay.

PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot

It did not have the sweeping levels of modern RTS games, but instead featured very small stages that were only as big as your screen. But even though the levels were small, the action was big. Foes of all shapes and sizes would appear in droves to siege your tower with merciless fervor. And what could you do to stop them? Well, you weren't much of a fighter, but you could build amazing battle structures that you were able to level up by either dancing inside a structure for a certain period of time or spending gems collected in battle. You could also save these gems to invest in researching new battle structures. Success in the game was measured by how many monsters you let get through to your home base. The gameplay was very easy to learn, but proved to be challenging in harder levels.

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For the most part, the gameplay hasn't changed. The goal is still to build different battle structures to defend a home base with little monster creatures inside. However, there have been a few minor tweaks to the core gameplay. First of all, the Ice Tower, which slows your enemies down, is already unlocked from the first moment of the game. The cost of buying the Tesla Tower has also been reduced, so it is easier to buzz your enemies.

PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot

One thing you'll notice very early on in several stages is that enemies will now come in larger waves more often. Instead of 10 to 15 flying monsters attacking at a time, you can expect much larger and more concentrated enemy formations. This is a great new feature as it forces you to rethink your strategy from the original title and come up with something new.

The sound has also gotten an update in PixelJunk Monsters Encore. Asian pop group Otograph has recorded several new stage tracks for the new stages, and the new songs really fit the action quite well. As was the case in the original title, the music is very subtle and really helps you to focus on your strategizing.

PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot

Screenshots / Images
PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot - click to enlarge PixelJunk Monsters Encore screenshot - click to enlarge

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