Capsule Review: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale

A cute and relaxed adventure game casting the player as a young boy in a Tokyo suburb in the 1970s. You mostly run around and interact with the local children and adults. The kids actually act like kids, and it’s easy to get swept up the games and stories that are so important to them. Adults humor the children and while they clearly have their own grown-up concerns, to you and your friends these are inscrutable and unimportant.

The charming story is grounded in the space between imagination and reality that children live in and adults often encourage. When it lets itself just be that story, the game shines. Unfortunately it overexplains a few things, tying down the maybe-real, maybe-imaginary story to something goofy by the end of the three hour play time.

The most traditionally game-like elements are tied to the card game the kids play, which cleverly evolves rock-paper-scissors. It’s mostly a fun inclusion that improves the worldbuilding, but also comes with a tedious collection mechanic to actually get the cards you need in order to play.

None of the hiccups are dealbreakers and the game does an impressive job putting you in the mind and mood of a kid growing up in a small town. It’s essentially a playable Studio Ghibli movie.

I Stopped Playing When: I finished the game.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.