What's that you say, young trainer? You want a pet monster to battle with? Well, I'm only going to let you have the kind that crochets! Oh, alright, you can have the battling kind, but you better take good care of it! Only the best trained monsters can make it through Little Giant World's Monster Arena, a turn-based RPG, adventure, and sim game all bundled into one neat package.
Gameplay consists of three kinds of activities: taking care of your monster, training it to raise its attributes, and battling other monsters. While at home base, you can spoil or discipline your pet to alter its behavior, shop for items to increase its strength both on and off the battlefield, or spend ability points earned by leveling. Alternatively, you can train a monster by playing a series of mini-games that vary from platforming races to typing challenges. Of course, all of that is just the icing on the cake. The real fun takes place in the monster arena, where you go head-to-head against a trio of increasingly tough enemies in a series of weekly tournaments. Wait for your abilities to charge, click your face-stomping attack of choice, then watch the gold and trophies pile in.
Monster Arena strikes an interesting balance with cherry picked features inspired by similar titles like the Monster Rancher and Digimon World series and then reconfigured into something completely unique. The game is slightly held back from perfection by the unfortunate presence of minor bugs, but the developer has been making diligent adjustments in response. While not particularly challenging (especially the incredibly weak rival trainers) the varying aspects of gameplay are both engaging and totally addictive. The addition of two secret monsters and a long list of achievements also allows for some great replay value. Whether you'd love a fire-breathing companion or a game of rock-paper-scissors, Monster Arena has something for everyone to enjoy.