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Monday, 9 September 2013

Sugar Monster - Hop, Eat 'n' Play - Gaming console in one app

"Sugar Monster - Hop, Eat 'n' Play" is not just a game. It's actually 8 games in one. Few years back, this would be sold as a whole game system or a console. Now you can have it in your phone. For free.

Nino is a cute sugar monster, but don't let the looks fool you - it's a real challenge! The main game is a bouncy jumping game, with a puzzle element. There are four different and colourful worlds each related to different sweets. The cartoon visuals are very pretty and the music fits the setting well.

The game is very intuitive and it starts with a tutorial - you will quickly get the basics. But mastering the game is quite another story. The level design reminds me of the Super Mario games. Each time you fail somewhere, you learn from the mistake and try again until you automate the moves. And the game really makes you try again each time.

And if you get frustrated too much, you can always play the mini games to wind down and earn in-game currency to buy power-ups for the main game. The concept is very smart. The game keeps you engaged and after you make enough coins, you can upgrade Nino and try the main game again. Most of the games nowadays would probably offer you these upgrades for real money using in-app purchases, but Nino just wants you to play more!

I asked Elie a.k.a. epollomes, an Indie game developer, graphic designer and composer, how did he get the idea with the mini games:

I needed a monetization system that doesn't involve real money and I wanted the people to play the game without spending a single dime. The mini games were a perfect solution. It was a challenge to develop algorithms for each mini game while keeping it based around everything that is sweet and sugary!

I believe each of the mini games would do well on their own too. They are all sweet versions of already existing games like Mastermind or Space Invaders.

The best part is that you can earn game currency in each of the games, but you don't have to play them at all. I like the car jumping and sweet Mastermind but I have no patience to play the electric wire and always earn just one coin. But it was explained to me that there are people (including the author) who actually spent money and queued for hours just to be able to play this at a fair or "kermesse" :)

Here's a couple of tips & tricks for Sugar Monster that I got right from the author:

  • In the running game, follow the flamenco rhythm of the music...
  • Ask Fast & Furious movie fans, when to use the nitro before the bridge to own the car jumping game.
If you have more tips, please comment on the article. Especially if you can tell me what the hint from Fast & Furious means!


Sugar Monster is a really nice game for gamers of all ages with cute cartoon visuals and music that goes very well with the overall feel. The game is free and brings hours of fun. And if you get stuck, just play a mini game - there's enough of them for everyone. Since I played this game for the first time, epollomes already added another mini game (the helicopter). He might even surprise us with more!

Download the game from Google Play store.
Martin Varga is a Czech software developer who likes pygmy owls (hence Kulíš), running, ramen, travelling and living in foreign countries. He is also known as smartus or sm4 on the internet (read as smartass, but there are too many of them). He currently tries to make games in AndEngine like Mr. Dandelion's Adventures and hangs around a lot at the AndEngine forums.