[NYCC 2012] Preview: Hands-on with the new Flavor Monsters update
Earlier this month Truth®, the nation's largest youth smoking prevention campaign, released an update for its hit mobile game, Flavor Monsters. The update added a slew of new features including five new levels, along with new enemies and weapons.
When we first played Flavor Monsters, it was released with just one level. This new update introduces five new areas, bringing the total count to six. Players start out on the West Coast of the United States and gradually move east through each of the six zones: Sunny Land, Pacific Northwest, Heartland, Hot South, Capital, and Metropolis . Each level has different flavor monster enemies which you must eliminate, culminating a final encounter against a boss monster.
In our hands-on playthrough at New York Comic Con we got to experience the "Hot South" level. The level had specific geographic landmarks that you'd expect to see in the south. In our level we were tasked with protecting a farm from invading monsters.
Thankfully, we were equipped with all new tools to help defeat the enemies. Some of the weapons included a plasma cannon, some sort of weapon that has area of effect damage, and a Spreader Bomb which is basically a beacon that distracts/attracts the Flavor Monsters and gives you a chance to kill them.
Despite the addition of new weapons, the simplistic gameplay of Flavor Monsters remains; you simply tap the screen where you want to fire. Simplifying things even further, the update makes it so the coins from the Flavor Monsters collect automatically, removing the hassle of having to also tap those.
As far as new enemy additions, the update introduces Ice Cream Trucks. These annoying vehicles drive through the map and deposit new enemies. There are also new bosses for each level: Honey, Spearmint, Grape, Banana, and Apple. Unfortunately, we didn't make long enough to see the Hot South boss as our farm was overwhelmed by enemies resulting in our farm being "gunked".
Overall, the latest update for Flavor Monsters is a fine addition to the free-to-play mobile game. In addition to the fun play, Flavor Monsters also sends a nice message to players. For those who haven't been keeping up with our continuous coverage of the game, Flavor Monsters was created by Truth® to raise awareness and educate teens and young adults about the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and the health effects, addictiveness and social consequences of tobacco. If you didn't know, tobacco companies are not allowed to sell flavored cigarettes, but still offer 45 different flavored candy tobacco products; Flavor Monsters is aimed to increase awareness of their tactics.
At gaming conventions, an interactive booth called "45 Flavors" allows attendees to play the game onsite, get their picture taken with a Flavor Monster, both sample and buy truth-related gear and products, and take part in a special video virtual simulation that will give attendees the experience of being part of the actual Flavor Monsters game.
At New York Comic Con, fans not only got to experience all of the fun interactive features of the 45 Flavors booth, but were also treated to a fun event featuring special effects artist and director Rod Maxwell transforming truth tour rider/manager Edwin Contreras into the Strawberry Flavor Monster seen in the game. We had the opportunity to interview Rod Maxwell at the 45 Flavors booth, and we'll be sure to post that interview later.