Whether you compare it to Flappy Bird or Balloon Trip, Mon Amour is zany arcade fun.
Let’s get right to the point: Mon Amour is a weird game. That’s no surprise as it comes from developer Onion Games, who you might know from their other Switch games, the hauntingly beautiful Fantasy Zone-inspired Blackbird, the brilliant anti-RPG Moon Remix RPG Adventure, and the bizarre roguelite puzzle RPG Dandy Dungeon. They have crafted a distinct style that Mon Amour exemplifies well with its simplistic gameplay, madcap style, and hidden depth.
The gameplay is simply single-screen Balloon Trip (or more modernly, Flappy Bird) as you have to continually tap a button to keep your hero from hitting the top or bottom of the screen. Every level features a woman waiting at the end to be kissed and rescued. If that sounds offbeat, well, it is. The goal is to take your mustachioed lover boy hero through dozens of levels to try to kiss and rescue every captured character from evil witches. It’s hard—the developers boast that 99% of playtesters died immediately. I can vouch that I did die immediately, as the game just starts without telling you much of anything. There’s a discovery process here where you get into the rhythm of the button presses and try to carry your increasingly long trail of amours intact as you reach a castle level to save all of your collected characters.
The saved characters also double as extra hit points, as getting hit by an enemy or obstacle knocks one away until your hero is all alone and one final hit ends your run. The scoring gets deeper once you start paying attention to how multipliers and more are implemented. Ideally, you want to avoid getting hit as the longer a chain you have, the more points you accrue when reaching a castle. There’s also the matter of the angle you approach the captured character at the end of the level, which shoots hearts across the stage. When hearts hit other hearts, they increase in size and point value. The goal then becomes to make giant hearts that you avoid touching until they’re big enough for you to cash in the maximum amount of points. This is all largely unexplained in the game, making part of the fun puzzling out the mechanics. Certain characters also seem to either randomly appear or only show up in certain conditions, usually accompanied by their own unique level design. There is quite literally a Flappy Bird level.
Once you encounter a character, you can start over from their level, which is helpful because death is frequent. The game logs all the different characters and that allows something other than a high score to strive for. High score chasing is where the true length of Mon Amour comes from, but having the goal of saving everyone makes for something attainable for the less high score savvy players. It’s a straightforward game without a lot of meat on its bones, but what’s there is enjoyable, amped up by the “death note” system that shows you when other players died online and on what level. It’s a clever way to make the online rankings a little more engaging.
Mon Amour is straight to the point. It’s a bunch of Flappy Bird-like single-screen levels where you try to survive and kiss people while aiming for a high score. I enjoyed my time with it, even if the chase for the leaderboards didn’t grab me. This is a wild and wacky arcade game worth checking out if you’re seeking an afternoon of fun.