With the Nintendo 3DS eShop closing in only a few days, I wanted to use the opportunity to play a few of the digital-only games offered on it. After watching Tim Roger’s fantastic Boku no Natsuyasumi video review, I had the desire to play one of the other games developed by the same studio, Millennium Kitchen. With Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale being only available on the Nintendo 3DS, this was that perfect opportunity. Yes, this isn’t a very long game, but it was definitely a pleasure to play
The Monsters are Coming
AoTFM takes place in a small suburban town just outside of Tokyo. You play as Sohta, a young boy who recently moved to the area with his family, which also happens to run the local Dry Cleaners. Every Friday, the town becomes the site for monsters to appear and cause havoc in the surrounding areas.
As Sohta, you’ll start the game tasked with completing an errand for your parents. In the process of doing this, you’ll get involved with a group of kids in the hopes of finding where the monsters are coming from, and at the same time, figuring out what’s actually happening. Are there really monsters fighting or is this just an elaborate TV production created by the local TV station?
Obviously, I’m not going to spoil the story. This is a pretty straightforward adventure, with Sohta progressing from one scenario (called episodes) to the next. Outside of playing a monster-themed card game, there are no real tasks to complete. For the most part, you are interacting with other characters, learning more about them, and slowly piecing together the situation.
Outside of wandering around the town, you’ll have the opportunity to play a trading-card game featuring monsters on them. The concept is pretty straightforward and mirrors Rock-Paper Scissors. Each card has a card type, either Rock, Paper, or Scissors. Also, each card has an attack value that comes into play under specific match scenarios.
Each player places five cards on the table face down. The game then tells you the current win scenario and each player is then allowed to swap two cards in the hopes that it helps them win. Then, the cards are flipped and whoever wins the majority of the five battles wins the match.
Again, it’s very easy to play but requires a lot of luck. In the event of a draw, the card’s attack power breaks the tie. Early in the game, you’ll collect five cards to be able to play against other kids. Unlocking additional cards requires you to collect glims, which are dropped upon completing episodes and winning matches against other kids. Although the card game isn’t a huge part of the game, it is necessary to advance the story in a few situations. In all, there are 15 cards to collect, but you’ll need to finish the story first before you can unlock all of them.
Great little story
It only took me about three hours to finish AoTFM. If you’re interested in earning all the monster cards and completing all 26 episodes, then you’ll spend a bit more time. The story is fun, but I did find that the conclusion just sort of happens. I was expecting a bit more closure. Unfortunately, I began walking, and it just triggered the ending sequence. I was expecting the ability to do a bit more before sunset.
While some might find the collecting of glims to be a tad annoying, I quite enjoyed trying to find as many as I could. Sure, I didn’t get all the cards available. However, I still quite enjoyed venturing around every part of the town trying to find as many as I could.
Another minor annoyance was the game’s tank controls. Your directional buttons are used to move your character around, but you need to press and hold the B button to actually move forward. I don’t remember the last time I played a game with tank controls. You eventually get used to them, but I can see some people getting turned off because of them.
Not sure if we’ll ever see this anywhere else
The biggest downside to Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is the fact that I’m not sure if we’ll ever get the chance to play this ever again anywhere else. There have been a few 3DS games ported to other platforms, mainly iOS and Android. However, I’m not sure the publishers, Level-5 would consider porting this to mobile or offer it as part of some collection on the Nintendo Switch. If you’re reading this and there is still time to pick it up via the 3DS eShop, do so immediately!