When Miniclip’s latest Xbox Live game Monster Island debuted four weeks ago, we were at once pleased and dismayed. On the one hand, Monster Island is easily the best Angry Birds-style game on Windows Phone. It packs an absolute ton of creative and well-designed levels – 252, with more promised in future updates. It even boasts multiple types of bombs, enhancing the puzzle complexity. But on the other hand, it also launched with an Achievement specifically for buying three dollars’ worth of in-game coins as PDLC. This raised the cost of earning Monster Island’s full 200 GamerScore from $2.99 to $5.99. Not cool on the developers’ part, and the game should never have made it through certification that way.
WPCentral broached the issue with Microsoft, who removed Monster Island from the Marketplace just two days after release.
Today Monster Island returned to the US Marketplace, and existing users received the new version 1.1 update. As expected, the update changes the ‘Big Spender’ Achievement, removing that annoying PDLC requirement. Two other Achievements were adjusted as well. Players who unlocked these Achievements prior to the update will not need to unlock them again.
- Curiosity Killed Monsters: Buy a solution pack in the Store
- Keep ‘em coming: Buy a skip pack in the store
- Big Spender: Buy 3 coin packs
- Curiosity Killed Monsters: Earned 750 coins and spent them on a new character in the Monster Island store!
- Keep ‘em coming: Earned 1500 Coins and spent them on solutions in the Monster Island store!
- Big Spender: Earned a total of 2500 coins and spent them in the Monster Island store!
As you can see, all three Achievements have new requirements. ‘Keep ‘em coming’ took over the old requirements from ‘Curiosity Killed Monsters,’ which is good because level skip packs are basically useless. You can’t unlock new worlds or Achievements for existing worlds by skipping around! Buying new monsters offers no gameplay benefit (they purely add aesthetic variety), but at least now players have some kind of incentive to try a new beastie out. On the whole, these changes make Monster Island’s Achievement list much more fair and well-considered.
We’re glad that Monster Island has returned, but one oddity remains. The game is still available only in the US Marketplace, just as it was on release day. Miniclip is located in the frozen climes of Switzerland and their other Xbox Live games for Windows Phone (Gravity Guy, Fragger, and iStunt 2) are all available outside of the US. Perhaps they’re still laboring away at translating Monster Island into other languages? That wouldn’t explain its absence from the British Marketplace though. WPCentral’s own Richard Edmonds still can’t play Monster Island, and that’s just not right. We’ve reached out to Miniclip and Microsoft and will update should they respond.
Monster Island costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. American users can get it here on the Marketplace. If you’re located outside of the US, you can always try the Flash version free at Miniclip.com.