Free Xbox game Monster Burner appears, lighting up Windows Phone

Since last week we’ve been undergoing a small communications hitch with Microsoft’s gaming division that will hopefully be cleared up soon. Earlier this week though, French site MonWindowsPhone passed along the news that N.O.V.A. 3 would be today’s Xbox release, so we reported it as such. Of course we asked Gameloft to verify the release date, but they could only say for certain that it will come out in May – not specifically today.

A short while ago, a different Xbox Windows Phone game popped up in the Store: Monster Burner from Ubisoft! That’s not a bad thing, because it’s FREE, seems like a fantastic game, and runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8. But given that Gameloft couldn’t say for sure whether N.O.V.A. 3 will come out today, we are left slightly unsure about its release status. Will we get one Xbox game this week or two?

That question aside, most of you guys will dig Monster Burner in a big way. Read on for our first impressions.

Fahrenheit 451 style

Monster Burner is an action puzzle game that involves a lot of… you guessed it: burning monsters! In each level, hordes of cute and well-drawn monsters advance from the top of the screen towards the bottom. To stop their deadly, you’ll need to flick fireball after fireball. The more monsters each fireball hits, the higher your combo and score.

Naturally tougher and more interesting enemies will come along, including some that take more hits to kill, stop fireballs in their tracks, or can only be hit at certain times. They’ll occasionally drop valuable coins, power ups, and scoring items that you must tap to collect. Oh, and princesses will run out amongst the monster hordes as well. Collect them quickly and don’t burn them to death by mistake!

Modes and money

This may be a free game, but it packs a fair variety of modes to keep players busy. The main game type consists of six unique areas plus a Challenge map of some type. Gold Rush mode is a great way to earn gold, though it can only be played every six hours. The Daily Level will keep players coming back; you can play it more than once a day if you like. Four Seasons mode challenges players to beat their friends’ scores. The store description mentions a Children's Mode but I haven't found how to access it yet.

Monster Burner is free, but of course it’s monetized with In-App Purchases. Almost everything in the shop costs coins, which players can earn on their own or buy with real money. But one upgrade, a permanent 2X coin multiplier (which I would’ve loved in Gravity Guy 2) costs two bucks and can’t be bought with coins. Remember, this is a Windows Phone 7 game (surprisingly), so the IAPs require Microsoft Points instead of credit card or PayPal like Windows Phone 8 IAPs. That’s fine for me though, because I had Points to spare.

Get your matches ready!

Interestingly, Monster Burner originated as an iOS game but appears to have been pulled from iTunes recently. That means Windows Phone is the only way to play it right now – score one for Microsoft’s OS, temporary or not! Plus, this brings us one step closer to Rayman Jungle Run which Ubisoft announced at the same time back in February…

Monster Burner is a 33 MB download and runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8. Get it for free here at the Windows Phone Store.

Thanks to Guilherme da Silva Manso for the tip!

QR: Monster Burner Windows Phone

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!