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Images courtesy kaiju-a-gogo.com

Giant monsters are really cool. This is something that always needs to be considered in day to day life. Seldom do we really get to appreciate just how cool giant monsters are. Which is unfortunate, because some of the coolest things around can be described as giant monsters: Godzilla, Gamera, Power Ranger villains after Rita throws her staff. All very cool things and very monstrous things. With the coolness of giant monsters firmly in mind, ask yourself, how cool would it be to control a giant monster as it rampages across the world? Kaiju-A-Gogo from Kerberos Productions will help you find out.

Kaiju-A-Gogo is a strategy game where your goal is simple. As a mad scientist, you are trying to take over the world. Now, no self-respecting mad scientist would dare dirty their hands and get involved on the front lines of world domination, so you stay in your secret lair out in the middle of the ocean. What then, do you do to conquer the world from the comfort of your own lair? Naturally, you use a giant monster.

You command your kaiju to attack various cities or military patrols across the world, and you spread panic by causing chaos and destruction, until the city surrenders to you, giving you resources each month to help you improve your base and train your kaiju with new abilities. You also gather resources as you destroy buildings in the cities, so there's a bit of extra tactics involved as you carve your path of destruction. Gas stations and oil refineries give you extra power resources, office buildings and shopping centres give money, schools give research, and homes give biomatter. Sometimes you find Purpletonium, the rare fifth resource, from particularly large buildings. These resources all go into your reserve back home if your kaiju isn't defeated by the military resistance in the city. To prevent that, the game lets you escape before your HP runs out by reaching the edges of the map.

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Currently there's only one kaiju available to play, the robotic Ginormasaurus, but further episodes will be released with new kaiju such as the plant monster Shrubby. The kaiju will have their own abilities and upgrade paths to go through as you gain more resources, and the way that you spread fear throughout the world changes based on the kaiju. Ginormasaurus is particularly gifted at stomping and smashing things, and of course, being a giant robot, eventually gets eye lasers, which are handy for setting fires and mowing down fleeing civilians. Being big and stompy, destroying the city's structures is rather sastifying as you watch the machine trundle towards the soon to be rubble buildings, and you might find yourself laughing in a sinister fashion as you watch the destruction.

The whole game has a sort of 1950s comic book aesthetic to it, with lots of vibrant colours with dramatic lines of definition, and the loading screens all have this pulp feel to them which enhances the coolness of dealing with these giant monsters. You can almost see the film adaptations being made with rubber suits and chunky cardboard special effects. The music is overly dramatic which is perfect for the subject matter, and the screams and explosions sound they could be the exact sort of stock sounds you would expect from the material. It's lovingly crafted and you can tell the artists involved definitely cared about crafting an authentic experience.

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While the game isn't in Early Access, it's still a work in progress. There are some interface bugs that need to be worked out, such as the base building options not going away unless you back away from the secret base section of your main screen, and there isn't a way to play the game in a window or change resolutions yet without a manual launch command. These are minor things that you can work around, but they can be irritating. As well, since there's only one kaiju available so far, the game becomes repetitive quickly. It feels a little slow right now in collecting resources and getting upgrades, so you can get burnt out easily.

Those faults with it aside, the game is honestly fun. It leans a little heavily on the fact giant monsters are cool, but it's a fact that can support a lot if it's handled well. Since Kaiju-A-Gogo genuinely cares about its aesthetic and its feel, and being authentic to the kaiju experience, it really does scratch an itch for destruction and chaos that should satisfy kaiju fans. People looking for something they can sit down for a little bit once in a while, this could also fit the bill nicely, since the gameplay is simple and the story is mostly nonexistent.