Idle Monster Factory—the Fun of Playing God Without the Guilt
We love our monsters. Hiding under beds, nibbling toes, flopping around in B-movie, rubbery glory…monsters are weird, scary, unbelievably campy. BoomBit Games, however, dares to ask the question “what if all this time we shouldn’t have been focusing so much on the monsters themselves, when the assembly lines are so fascinating?” And so we receive Idle Monster Factory, a game that prioritizes both the “idle” and the “factory” of its title far more dearly than the monsters.
The Plot Thickens—or at Least Swells a Little
Happy goblins pop up through a portal to steal smelly socks. Those smelly socks are rendered into, let’s call it, monster juice, which other happy, winged goblins gather in soda cans and inject into normal, household animals. The sock-sauce-monster-juice turns the cute fuzzy friends into roided out versions of themselves, which travel down a conveyor belt, never to be seen again.
The Real Monster was Bureaucracy all Along
With limitless access to infinite language, it would still be impossible to accurately stress how passive Idle Monster Factory is. There are three stations: the portal level, the carry level and the machine level. Portal level goblins steal and render the socks. Carry level workers transport the sock juice to the machine level, which then injects the monsters.
Each accomplished task and circuit earns the player vials of essence. Essence dictates the vast majority of gameplay. The little goblin workers (your employees, one supposes) function fully independently. That leaves the high stakes world of efficiency as the last navigable frontier. Use the essence to upgrade each level. You can increase speed, efficiency, and capacity at each level, to increase your output of monsters.
Mad Monster Party
Idle Monster Factory does contain certain satisfying elements. The graphics are cute. They’re well designed, and there is a decent variety of components to select from. Players start making wererabbits, but unlock the ability to make bughamsters, cerhuahuahas, manticats, gold fishillas, velocycanarys and tarantulastein. These hybrid creatures are adorable-they maintain the most precious elements of the base animal, but add twitching eyes and massive forms.
It is, however, an extravagantly passive game. There is little to take ownership of. The action, as it stands, is all planning. There is, I am certain, an audience for this. However, within that framework, there is no overarching objective. Why am I making the monsters? There is no clear answer. The absence of a narrative is a gaping yawn, pulling the rest of the game into its center. A storyline may not be necessary for an extremely active game, but for something so passive, motivation feels necessary, and here there is none.
Additionally, Idle Monster Factory is lousy with ads. Attaining essence is easy enough, so it’s a weak incentive for watching the ads. Players can opt-out, but the pop-ups are quite frustrating.
Idle Monster Factory runs mostly independently. In its defense, however, it tells you exactly what it’s going to be in its title. The game would benefit from purpose and consequences, but at least the graphics are adorable. Those who pick it based on their love of factory planning will be pleased. Those who chose it based on the promise of monsters will find it lacking teeth.
Oh, gosh no.
Idle Monster Factory is extraordinarily redundant and passive-a sort of gaming white noise. It’s not inherently bad, but it is forgettable, while providing no real stakes or motivation.