Do you remember, as a kid, how difficult it was to get to sleep some nights? I don’t know about you, but what often used to keep me from dozing off peacefully was the nagging fear that there might be all manner of monstrosities lurking under my bed or lying in wait in the shadows of my closet. Of course, if I ever did venture out from under the covers to check, there never was anything there. Raymond Stopa’s Monsters In My Closet! (out now, free) is built around the chilling (but fun) premise of “What if those imagined monsters were actually real …and really out to get you!”

In it, you play as a boy named Max who’s tasked with defending his bed from an encroaching horde of night terrors. These monsters come in a variety of different colors, and can only be vanquished by being hit with a ball the same color as they are. To select a ball, you simply tap the bottom of the screen, then swipe in the right direction to hurl it at a correspondingly colored enemy. Sounds easy, right? Well, no, it isn’t, since the gameplay is incredibly fast-paced and Monsters In My Closet! has quite a few surprises up its sleeve, like monsters that can rapidly change color and giant boss fights.

As you progress through Monsters In My Closet!‘s increasingly challenging levels (there are 9 in total, plus an endless survival mode), power-ups like bombs and special balls are introduced that can aid you in beating back enemy waves. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t explain what these power-ups do while you’re playing, so it’s totally on you to figure it out. Not a big deal, but it kind of makes the game feel a little under-polished. And this vaguely unfinished, amateurish feel is exacerbated by bland menu and level selection screens and the fact that every stage plays out in the same murky brown bedroom.

Don’t get me wrong though, those few small niggles aside, I really like Monsters In My Closet!. It’s exactly the kind of fun little time-waster I keep on my iDevices for whenever I’ve got five or ten minutes to kill (and then always end up playing for way longer than I mean to). If the game sounds like something you too might enjoy, you’ve got no reason not to check it out, since it’s ad-supported and totally free.

Verdict

Monsters In My Closet! isn’t perfect; however, its imaginative premise and cool color-matching mechanic work together well enough to make it fun for gamers who are into fast-paced, arcade-y titles. Overall, it gets a thumbs up from me.

Positives
Brilliant premise
Addictively fast-paced gameplay with a clever concept
Totally free
Negatives
Power-ups aren't explained
3.5
Very Good
Download on the App Store