Paper Munchers is proof that the food chain works just fine, as long as it’s aided by a bomb every now and again. The big monsters are hungry, and it’s up to you to feed them as efficiently as you can. This is a different take on the physics puzzle concept that’s both fresh and fun. That is, of course, unless you run out of bombs. But, as a last resort, there are always in-app purchases for that.
The world of Paper Munchers is full of big monsters with their mouths wide open, just hoping that something small and scrumptious will pop in. There are plenty of little monsters for them to consume, but the small critters don’t seem too eager to just jump into the jaws of death. That’s where you come in. As wielder of the bombs, you simply tap the screen to place an explosive device, and watch as monsters go flying. Every monster will get consumed, but aside from helping you complete the level, only certain ones are beneficial to your immediate game play.
There are two types of bombs in this world: temporary and permanent. Permanent bombs come in a group of three, and this group gets replenished each time you start a level. The one saving grace to your collection of permanent bombs is that you can actually earn them back while playing a level. The first critter of a certain color that lands in the mouth of a big monster of the same color after using a bomb will earn you a replacement bomb. Don’t get too excited, though. If you land a small pink monster in a big pink monster’s mouth, and then a blue one in a big blue monster’s mouth on the same turn, you won’t get two bombs. Still, if you can manage it you should be able to keep your supply of permanent bombs coming.
Temporary bombs, on the other hand, are quite fickle. As their name implies, once you use them they are gone. Don’t despair, though. You can always buy bombs in the store. Bombs cost currency, which you earn every time you complete a level. Or, if you want to fast track things, you can spend your hard earned cash buying currency through in-app purchases. It all seems a bit ironic if you ask me. So far I haven’t run across a level I couldn’t beat with only my 3 permanent bombs (I ran out of temp bombs pretty quickly), but going this route you’ll certainly spend a lot of time on some levels.
The graphics in Paper Munchers are interesting to say the least. The background employs the “make it look like paper” style of art, which I suppose has something to do with the name. When implemented well it can be very stylish, and there’s no question that it looks fabulous here. They even managed to make the oft times drab color pallet work. The small creatures are basic shapes like rectangles and squares that have eyes and mouths, though they are certainly animated little shapes. The hungry monsters start out as gnarly beasts with wide, gaping jaws, but later transform into other things like big organic saw blades. One of the best (and admittedly rather morbid) parts of the visuals is the bones that are spit out when the monsters are done eating the small creatures.
The sound effects work well towards creating a darkly humorous mood. The victims gurgle and chirp until they cease to exist, and in the case of the wide-jawed monsters, a nice little chomping sound followed by a spit completes the gruesome picture. Other noises are appropriate to the types of monster you are feeding. I will admit that I was a bit disappointed with the music, which is actually rather plain. Given the atmosphere I would have almost expected a couple of Danny Elfman style tracks.
The main issue I have with Paper Munchers is that except for when you first complete a given level, currency doesn’t flow so freely in this game. If you don’t mind spending some real do for fake currency, or you can live with 3 bombs once your supply of temps has been depleted, this is one very entertaining game. Just remember that no actual monsters were harmed in the making of this software.