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Monster In My Pocket

1991 Konami

Nintendo Entertainment System



Monster in my pocket was a unique franchise, kind of like a precursor to Pokemon, whereupon the goal is to collect hundreds of types of different monsters. However instead of cards they came in little plastic and rubber figures, about an inch tall. One could argue the concept was actually inspired by M.U.S.C.L.E. (or Kinnikuman to you Asians.) Unfortunately I was a little too old for Monster In my Pocket back in the day, so this is one of those late 80s, early 90s toys I missed out on. That's what Ebay is for I suppose.

The game involves you as either Dracula or Frankenstein's monster as you travel through various levels on your way to stop the ultra super bad guy Monster in my pocket guy, whereupon you fight other monsters and jump over a lot of stuff along the way. The levels are designed around the idea that you're only an inch tall, thus obstacles include huge staircases, gigantic chairs, immense kitchen appliances, etc.

Drac and Frank have the same abilities. The game is pretty simple actually, you get one overhead slashing type attack, and can jump. Hold the attack button and you'll flash, which enables you to execute a higher jump. Occasionally you encounter objects that you can pick up and throw, such as oversized keys and the like. While it's obvious the game was kept simple for it's intended preteen audience it's just a little too bare bones to keep one's interest in this day and age. A few powerups or other attack moves could have helped here.

Graphics are large, clear, and well animated. They look close to Castlevania III in style. Some of the same sound effects from Castlevania III are also used, such as the digitized monster cries when a boss dies. There are even a few areas that feature parallax scrolling - pretty amazing stuff for the NES, which was close to being retired when this game came out.

Gameplay is exceedingly simple - walk left to right, kill bad guy monsters and jump over things. This was a game made for small children after all. It's pretty easy until you get to the fourth level or so whereupon the difficulty ramps up considerably, so much that one may get turned off by this point. A more gradual increase in difficulty is definitely needed.

Definitely a solid game that shows off some impressive graphical tricks. Simple gameplay and unbalanced difficulty keep it from hitting top tier status but someone looking for a quick platformer will have a good time.

Graphics: Detailed graphics with good animation. Sprites tend to have a low color count, also there is an abnormal amount of flicker going on which can get distracting at times. Large sprites and parallax scrolling makes up for it.

Sound: Good sound effects, digitized monster screams when the bosses are killed.

Gameplay: Lack of powerups or attack techniques makes it a little too simple, uneven difficulty progression makes the few final levels frustrating.


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