The Crappiest Place on Earth.
Moshi Monsters: Moshlings Theme Park is the sequel to the DS game Moshi Monsters: Moshling Zoo, both of which are based on Moshi Monsters, an online game for children ages 6-12. After successfully managing Moshling Zoo, the Moshi Monsters decide to vacation at Moshling Theme Park. Unfortunately, a storm crashes their plane next to the theme park, which is in disarray. Your goals in this game are to fix the park, drive up attendance, rescue stranded Moshlings, and find Buster Bumblechops, the monster who suggested visiting the park in the first place.
The problems with this game would make any Moshi Monster cringe. The way it has you go about accomplishing goals is especially suspect. To do anything, you have to play a mini-game. Want to find keys to unlock a new attraction? Play some mini-games. Want to get more monsters to visit Moshling Theme Park? Play a mini-game. Through playing mini-games you unlock not only keys but Rox, the currency of the game. The need to acquire Rox makes Theme Park the first mini-game collection in which you need to grind—though early portions of the game do not require it, the further you get, the more Rox that are required to progress.
Theme Park’s activities are hurt by their shared repetitiveness and simplicity. One, Hockey Hustle, is just air hockey; another just involves dropping prizes into score multipliers while avoiding obstacles. While simple can be a good thing, the games are often hampered by poor touch screen controls, and vary little among themselves.
The game’s progression of unlocking mini-games is also limited. In each world, which represents an area of the theme park, you nlock 6 mini-games. Instead of accessing all new mini-games in each subsequent world, though, you unlock the same ones with only minor gameplay tweaks that add very little. One version of Hockey Hustle, for example, simply adds a moving goal. You can also unlock “attractions,” but even these are just a single mini-game involving collecting items; the only difference between versions is the backround.
For a game targeted at kids, Theme Park is pretty easy. The game’s overly simple concepts shouldn’t present a challenge for players of any age. A six-year-old will breeze through this game; a 12-year-old shouldn’t even bother. The game provides a lot to do, but should only occupy those who can stand its repetitiveness. The 3DS has plenty of great kid-appropriate games, but this is not one.