Review: 'Monster Mind', the sexy Pokémon puzzle game
Monster Mind is a puzzle-solving, Pokémon-themed, flash game created by Argon Vile. It's available to play for free through Inkbunny or Fur Affinity. One might be tempted to immediately dismiss it as just another pornographic game, however not only is it very well-executed but it also contains deeper questions about sex and sexuality than you might expect.
A puzzling start
The main puzzles—as well as the title—are based on the board game Master Mind. In the classic version, you have to guess the colour and position of each peg in a row of four, usually with six colours to choose from for each slot. After each guess, you are told how many pegs have the correct colour and how many are in the correct position. Over multiple guesses, you can determine the correct pattern.
Monster Mind is slightly different. While you are still required to find the pattern, several guesses are already provided as clues. You must use those clues to determine the correct sequence; although in the most difficult puzzles it might be necessary to make assumptions about more than one peg at a time. You can choose between various difficulties starting from a pattern of just three pegs (although in this game they are adorable bugs instead of pegs) and going up to five pegs. There is also a secret 7-peg puzzle with some extra rules!
As you complete the puzzles, you'll be rewarded with treasure chests. Usually these contain gems which can be exchanged for various items. Items range from aesthetic additions through various game enhancements to sex toys for the sexual scenes. A chest might also contain a bonus coin, giving you the option of playing one of Monster Mind's minigames.
I want to play a minigame
There are three minigames available; balancing scales, tug-of-war and a stair-climbing game. These are played against the Pokémon characters, with each of them having different skill levels in the various games.
The balancing scales minigame requires some quick mental maths. You have a scale with platforms at different distances from the centre along each of the arms, each corresponding to a certain value. You will need to divide the bugs you are given onto these platforms in such a way that each side adds up to the same total. There are usually two other Pokémon competing against you, so speed is of the essence.
The tug-of-war game seems simple at first. You divide up your bugs among three to five concurrent games of tug-of-war with each game earning you a different number of gems. All you need to do is win the most gems. What makes this trickier is that both you and your NPC opponent are able to change how your bugs are allocated in real time. Furthermore, as time passes, your bugs will move forward to be concealed in a tent. At that point they can neither be seen nor moved, meaning you need to keep track of the total value of each competition as well as how many bugs you and your opponent have set down for each one.
The final, and my favourite, of the minigames involves you and an NPC rolling dice to move up a flight of stairs, collect a chest and bring it back down. Movement is determined by rolling two 'dice' with the possible totals of zero, one or two. The reason 'dice' is in quotes is that it's more like rock-paper-scissors, where you pick a value based on what you think your opponent will pick for their 'roll'. Because of this, both players roll at the same time, no matter whose turn it is, and the player whose turn it is moves the sum of all the dice. You might think that then you will just roll zero for your opponent but if both players roll a zero then the person whose turn it is can move four places and take their turn again! In addition, if your bug lands on the same step as your opponent's bug you will knock them off for bonus gems! Experience and learning how the different Pokémon characters play the game is very important.
Now back to the good part
The main reward for the completing the puzzles is the sex scenes. Now, that can be disabled and you can freely play the puzzles all squeaky clean but you'd be missing out on a large part of the game. There are many Pokémon you can have sex with, including Abra, Grovyle, Sandslash and Lucario, to name a few. This is all done through fairly standard point and click interactions. There's even some fourth-wall breaking, as you only exist in their world as a glove which covers up the cursor!
I mentioned in the minigame section that the different Pokémon play the games in a slightly different way. The same happens in the sex scenes. You can't go to every Pokémon , treat them the same way and expect to get the same results. Like people, the Pokémon are all individuals with their own interests. Some want you to go slow, some faster, some have a hair trigger and so on. It can be nice just seeing how the different Pokémon respond.
If you do partake in the sex scenes, you can choose between male and female Pokémon, of which the game asks your preferences when you begin. Furthermore, its possible to purchase items that let you switch the sex of the Pokémon to suit your interests. Other items that can be purchased are for use during the sex scenes, but we will not go into any details here!
Overall and assuming you are okay with the sexual content, it's an excellent game. The art is simple but very clear and doesn't detract from any of the content. Many of the characters, particularly the puzzle bugs, are adorable. There is a lot of depth to the Pokémon, each with well-written dialogue that makes you think. Thanks to this, the experience of going through these puzzles does not get repetitive. The puzzles and minigames require skill far more than luck and, although some puzzles are easier than others, luck does not play a role in the main puzzles. All of them function incredibly well with almost no unintentional bugs whatsoever that I came across.
If you're looking to satisfy a desire for logical puzzles, Pokémon or sex games, I can highly recommend Monster Mind.