Have you ever wanted to fail spectacularly whilst trying to build ancient wonders of the world? Monumental Failure tasks you to build ancient buildings, such as Stonehenge, the Colosseum and ancient temples by controlling a group of little workers, guiding them through increasingly ridiculous courses.
Working as two groups of little construction workers, you must use your WASD and arrow keys to interdependently control these little people, pushing, pulling and flying in sections of the current ancient structure into the right place. As each set of keys controls a separate group, it can quickly get confusing, working out which group is which and which keys you are pressing. Added into that is the 90 degree turn the camera does when you nearly get to the objective, which just hurts my poor little brain even more.
To build the structures, you must move 10 pieces into the beginnings of each structure. Starting off, the path that the piece follows is simple, such as a dirt mound to lift it up, it very quickly go to the extreme. On the Stonehenge level I was tasked with aiming a stone dropped from a high altitude with only two little people with jet packs, whilst on the Bayon temple level I needed to angle a pillar head to fall down a massive ramp correctly. While a good difficulty curve is essential for a game, a difficulty curve of this magnitude is perhaps a little too far. Add to that even a slight deviation in one piece messes up every piece after it makes Monumental Failure an incredibly hard game.
Your little workers have customization options as while, with a few available at the start and more unlocked as you get better at the levels. While it doesn’t have much effect on the single player, them being all tiny and all, I see how it could be useful in the up to 4 player co-op and multiplayer modes. While I have not had a chance to evaluate either of the multiplayer modes, the co-op mode allows each player to control one group of players, whilst the competitive mode challenges each player to compete to build the best structure. Never the less, the competitive co op seems like it could be a fun mode, where nudging your opponents controls could catastrophically mess up the rest of their game.
The theme and aesthetic of Monumental Failure are one its shining points. The soundtrack is uplifting and engaging, and supposedly drawing from each levels culture. The cutesy characters and buildings give the game a lovely sense of atmosphere, with all the different types of workers having a bit of a personality. There’s the big oafs who lumber around, pushing the large chunks of stone up, or the slim young women tapping the blocks around to perfectly align it. The game is presented in the lovely low poly style that I love and seems to be spreading, some thing which I am really happy about. The simple graphics and objects mean that there’s no worry how the piece will slide over the surface and there’s no uncertainty when it comes to shape and distance, something very important when building the pyramids from a single camera angle.
Monumental Failure is a extremely hard single player and couch co-op game that requires a level of planning and fine motor control that is beyond me.