Content of the article: "Backyard Monsters: A game at the wrong place in the wrong time."
With the Flash gaming era finally drawing to a close, I decided to take one last round playing older Flash games from back in the day, and stumbled across one which triggered a lot of nostalgia. Prior to the popular mobile game, Clash of Clans (2012), a very similar base building game, Backyard Monsters had a home in Facebook's library of browser games (remember when that was a thing?). It was published by Kixeye (formerly Casual Collective) in 2010 and halted production in 2013.
BYM was an isometric base builder designed a base, ready defenses and created monsters to attack other players (from an assortment of randoms or your friends list) for resources to further upgrade and improve your base.. The similarities to CoC are very
, though the later in its lifetime BYM switched from a cartoonish, family friendly art style to a more edgy, gory one. Many units serve similar roles as in both games and one unit even follows similar naming conventions.
Though it had the classic P2W-F2P online model, the game enjoyed some success and brought many interesting ideas to the table in its lifetime, from the simple base building and destroying to the empire building in the World Map. The game also had interesting pathing mechanics, leading to bases with carefully planned traps corridors and perfectly ranging your towers to hit aerial units. For its time, it stood out from most Facebook games which were idle simulators, sharing DNA with many other Kixeye titles.
However, with the untimely shift from browser based to mobile games BYM slowly declined in player numbers, and with a lot of mismanagement from its developers subsequently put the game to its end. By the time they released a mobile port on iOS in 2013, it was already in the dust as another CoC clone, and shut down soon after.
I always find the game's fate as a tragic one, since (at least to my knowledge) it pioneered the popular social base builder games, but is generally forgotten by the public. It began life on one of the most lucrative and popular platforms of its time and died the instant the market shifted. Of course this isn't to discredit the work Supercell have made with CoC, as they've expanded the game far beyond what BYM ever achieved, though the similarities in their original design does irk me a little. Also Kixeye as a company sucks if their glassdoor reviews are anything to go by, and are generally behind the curve in the industry.
Thanks for reading, I wonder if anyone else here used to play it as well.
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