Kaboom Monsters, battling monsters one card at a time

Kaboom Monsters is a strategy, card battling, adventure game where you travel the lands in search of a dark wizard who has cursed your village. In between you and the dark wizard is countless hordes of monsters that are intent on ruining your day. You'll have to work your way through twenty-five levels of play, strategically taking over the game board with each level.

Available for Windows Phone (including the low-memory models) and Windows 8 devices, Kaboom has three card clans to choose from with plenty of opportunities to upgrade and enhance your cards. Kaboom Monsters has a slightly casual game pace that has its fair share of challenges. Graphics are nicely drawn up and Kaboom Monsters comes across as an entertaining addition to the Windows Phone and Windows 8 gaming library.

When you first launch Kaboom Monsters, you will be guided through a series of tutorial screens, which includes choosing your card pack. You can choose between Blutus, Yabba or Gringran decks. I really cannot say that there is a clear-cut advantage to any of these choices I would simply base the choice on which deck looks the best.

Once you choose a deck, Kaboom will walk you through a few more tutorials that lead up to your first battle, after which you will have a map with 25 levels to pursue.

The battle screen has a 3x3 game board resting in the center of the screen and your available cards displayed to the right of the battle area. Game play is turn based between you and the computer opponent by placing a card on the board. The goal is to occupy the majority of the board when no more moves are available or you run out of cards.

The playing cards with Kaboom Monsters has a series of numbers on each side, which represents its attack/defense strength. You also have another number in the upper left corner, which represents the number of turns a card can remain in play.

When you place a card next to an opponent's card, the numbered sides determine the victor. If your card has the higher value, you will turn your opponent's card to your side. If the value is equal or less than your opponent's card then all stays unchanged.

Away from the Battlefield

Kaboom's game play is mapped out in various levels as you journey through the lands in search for the dark wizard. As you wage battles, you will earn bonus items, materials and gems that can be used to upgrade your playing cards. A pull out menu is available on the map screen that will have links to the Smith, Wizard and Market (as well as the Map itself). There is also a picture menu (the Home Button) that has these stops illustrated.

The Smith will arm or upgrade your cards, the Wizard can combine three of the same cards into a more powerful card and the Market is where you can pick up booster packs, weapons, gems, raw materials to use with your deck. The Market also has the option to view your full deck of cards and buying new cards to add to your deck.

Overall Impression

While Kaboom Monsters lacks a lot of animated action, the card battle game has a nice level of appeal. Game pace is a bit on the casual side but does require a little strategy on your part. You have a limited number of cards and some may not stay in play very long. Therefore, not only will you have to account for the card's point's value but also when they may disappear from the playing board.

Another nice aspect of Kaboom is that it doesn't take terribly long to tackle a level of play. If you only have a few minutes to pass, Kaboom will help you pass those few minutes but is also strong enough to occupy your time for longer.

My only nit with Kaboom is that there isn't a help section available to reference back to once you are through with the tutorial screens. It's not a difficult game to pick up but there are enough fine details that a reference section could be helpful.

Actually, I have another nit. While you have a Windows 8 version to play from the big screen your decks aren't connected. In essence, you are playing to games of Kaboom if you have the game on a Windows Phone and Windows 8 device. There needs to be a way to synchronize your gaming progress between the two versions.

All in all, Kaboom is a fun, challenging, eye-appealing strategy game for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Sure, there's room for improvement but what is in place will make for a welcome addition to your gaming library.

Currently Kaboom Monsters is taking home a 4 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store and a 5 Star rating in the Windows Store. Splitting the difference is about where this game should be.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.