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The village is under attack by a horde of slowly marching monsters and, as the chief, your job is to protect the children from this impending threat in Pixel Junk: Monsters Ultimate HD, the latest addition to PlayStation Plus' Instant Game Collection on Vita.
I've never really been into tower defense games. I see the appeal but, until Pixel Junk: Monsters first strolled onto the scene several years ago, nothing from the genre every piqued my interest. But PJM was affordable, coming from a developer I wanted to support and, by all accounts, a lot of fun to play.
Once I dove into the game, its hooks sunk in rather quickly. It wasn't long before I was plowing through level after level, earning bigger and better defenses, and even going back to replay zones several times over in an effort to tackle the waves of baddies in more efficient ways.
The premise is simple enough: Your little village is in the middle of the woods and a bunch of the game's titular monsters are going to try to attack your tiny home. In order to do that, they first need to follow set paths leading to your front door. In order to stop them, your job is to set up lots and lots of towers that pelt them with rocks, arrows, electricity, fire, ice and whatever else you can manage to unlock via upgrades.
If you've got a few spare seconds, you can go collect some coins in the forest, making future upgrades a little more affordable. If a specific kind of monster is inbound, you can change up your defenses in order to better take advantage of their weaknesses.
So long as one of your villagers survives, you'll pass on to the next level. But what kind of chief only wants one of their villagers to survive? That's where the game really started to eat up my free time, convincing me to come back again and again until every one of my kin made it through the onslaught safely.
And now that experience is being offered at no additional charge through PlayStation Plus, this week's addition to the Instant Game Collection with spruced up graphics and the additional levels originally provided through DLC packed straight in to the main game.
If you haven't played Pixel Junk: Monsters Ultimate HD or simply want to have it available on the go, today is the day to get it downloaded once the PlayStation Network weekly update goes live this afternoon.
This week's update also includes a bunch of discounts, especially on games featuring the Caped Crusader. Three Batman Arkham games are receiving a few dollars off of the sale price, as is Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition on the PS3/PS4/Vita, Lego Batman 2 and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. For those looking to save on some newer titles, Cel Damage HD is marked down from $9.99 to $8.99 on all platforms, while Octodad: Dadliest Catch will be $11.99 instead of $14.99 for Plus Subscribers. For the full list, check out the official weekly announcement.