It’s actually two things in one: a flashy-spinny-phone-charm-thing and a web-pet-tamagotchi-puzzle thing.
The ‘MoPod‘ mobile phone charms are conveniently available from Michael Smith’s other company, Firebox. Let’s start there, since it’s currently (at least, while it’s in beta) the only way to get into the more fun part of the project, owning a pet monster.
For a fiver you can have a MoPod for your mobile phone (MoPods are big in Japan, apparently). Here’s a short video of my phone ringing (well, vibrating, but you know what I mean) and my MoPod (a ‘Zommer’ monster) spinning and flashing like a mad thing.
In order to decorate Fred’s room, I first had to earn some ‘rox’, the in-game currency. To do that, solved some puzzles. And here, at the heart of Moshi Monsters, and the thing that will keep me coming back to this day after day, is the daily puzzle challenge. Even more engaging than the cute graphics and animations (though these are lovely) and much fun than decorating my room, is the daily one minute dose of quick-fire puzzles. These are great, and appeal to me in the same way that Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training does.
Moshi Monsters is still in beta, and there are a few as-yet unimplemented features, hinted at in the interface. A ‘Friends Tree’, a pinboard and some sort of news computer are all marked as “coming soon”. The friends tree in particular could be exciting. I already want my monster to be able to hang out (somehow) with Michael‘s, Jo‘s, Melissa‘s and Ian‘s, and so I’m looking forward to seeing how Moshi Monsters handles social interactions. I wonder if it will be anything like Animal Crossing, which – despite being aimed at kids – allows users to connect to each others spaces and visit each other.
I’d also quite like to see detailed stats of my history with the puzzles. I firmly expect that my monster will get annoyed (and ill?) if I neglect him, but I’d also like to be able to see how my score on the daily puzzle challenge changes over time. Maybe this isn’t part of the plan, but I’d like it to be.
Moshi Monsters is looking great. It’s still a beta, and it seems things are still being developed. Even in these early stages, I’m already hooked and I look forward to seeing what happens as things like the friends tree, news computer and additional shops get added.
Update: closing comments on this post because I regularly have to delete silly amount of spam and nonsense. If you have something interesting to say about Moshi Monsters, feel free to email me. Thanks.