Games that Strike an Emotional Chord of Joy: Part II – PixelJunk Monsters

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Last week we started covering specific games that help surface the raw emotions we feel when gaming. to start off, we began with the happiest of emotions – Joy – and with Part II this week, we’ll pick apart the addictive and charming tower defense title, PixelJunk Monsters.

Many strategic, defensive based games can seem dull, slow or even boring to many gamers. While that’s not even close to the reality of most RTS or tower defense games, few offer the casually challenging, light-hearted battle ground that PixelJunk Monsters created. While the main goal of stopping the opposing waves of monsters from wiping out your clan of tribal babies sits as one of the most adorable objectives in gaming history, the way you do it sits just as cutesy.

Building your towers from trees that flow along the path of the monsters is the defensive solution to putting a stop to the trail of monsters – whom even they ring a bell of charm throughout the game. Enhancing your towers – or leveling them up – is accomplished by dancing under them. That’s right. Once your defensive buildings are constructed you stand under – or next to – the tower and your little tribal critter begins to dance, further increasing the experience level for that specific tower.

The music that rings through the levels – and the entire game, for that matter – is delicate jingles with nary a negative vibe. Through all of the torment and frustration (though there’s few) that may come from trying to perfectly clear that one level, the music stands addictive and simple throughout your time with the game. Little guitar flicks and plucks, shakers and other soft percussion, as well as smooth bass lines to keep those little hips swaying as you increase your defensive efforts.

As if indulging solo wasn’t enough to bring out the sheer joy in this delightful gaming title, the co-op feature is something that can be entertained for hours. Did I say hours, I meant a lifetime. Something about the simplicity of this title, from the musical score to the gameplay and objectives themselves, PixelJunk Monsters was created for everyone.

Whether you’re casually enjoying your time with a friend or relative, or perhaps churning out perfect level after perfect level in a solo run, some games speak easy to the heart, and PixelJunk Monsters not only accomplishes this, but can take any agitated gamer and put a joyous smile on their face. Through the whimsical songs and visually alluring graphics and monster design, as well as easy to navigate controls and gameplay, this tower defense title envelopes the player with joy.

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