PixelJunk: Monsters Ultimate Review

Tower defense classic is reborn

PixelJunk has established it’s fame on PSN, and hopes to conquer PC as well. The journey started with PixelJunk Eden, which was released on PC early last year, and now continues with the release of PixelJunk: Monsters Ultimate. PixelJunk Monsters was first released on PSN in 2008, then PSP, then Vita, and now on PC. Ultimate Edition is a collection of each version, which basically makes it a port of the Vita version. PixelJunk Monsters is a tower defense in every which way, and a surprisingly deep, and difficult one.

PixelJunk Monsters follows the ever stressful life of Tikiman, Protector of the forest, and defender of the Tikibabies. The goal is to fight back the horde of monsters that are making their way through your forest, to eat your tikibabies. This is done by turning your own forest into a maze of towers, towers with cannons, crossbows, tesla coils, and all sorts of weapons. Tikiman must protect three islands, each with it’s own unique environments and monsters. Each island is unlocked with a certain amount of rainbows, rainbows also unlock different levels and island paths. In order to collect rainbows, you must complete the level without losing tikibabies, and it’s a lot harder than it sounds.

The towers themselves are built by walking up to a tree and buying said tower, the same can be done when upgrading or selling. Towers gain experience with each kill, alternatively you can purchase a upgrade, or dance in front of the tower to upgrade it. Every now and then, after a kill, a little blue gem will drop. The gems are used to buy new towers, or upgrade existing ones. Each tower has their own focus and range, which is where the strategy kicks in. Towers like the crossbow shoot all, cannons shoot only creatures on ground, and anti-air guns only shoot creatures in the air.

PixelJunk: Monsters Ultimate is filled to the brim with content, with tons of levels, challenges, and an island that randomly generates levels. The co-op is welcomed, as it alleviates the stress of having to care for the tikibabies alone, letting each player focus on different things. On the down side, the progress for Single player and co-op are completely separate. The spikes in difficult are the most frustrating, yet rewarding part of the game. It can ranges from beginner, to the most difficult tower defense game around, without warning. The difficulty curve makes you cherish those moments in which you manage to get a rainbow on the level. The overall design is incredibly charming. The character designs are adorable, and the music is quaint and soothing.

PixelJunk: Monsters Ultimate is one of the most challenging, entertaining, and adorable tower defenses out there. It’s jam packed with content, and the co-op is fantastic. Unfortunately, the progress made in single player and co-op are completely separate, and the difficulty spikes throw you off completely. This is the one tower tower defense that can’t be missed, especially if you’re looking for something you can play for 15 minutes and hop off. It’s very charming and the music will sooth you until you’re asleep. Don’t miss out on PixelJunk: Monsters Ultimate, do it for the Tikibabies.


  • Enough content for your buck
  • Co-op works great
  • Challenging, not too easy


  • Difficulty spikes throw you off
  • Co-op and Single player progress are separate



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About Erik Rodriguez

Erik is an Associate Editor at Empty Lifebar and former co-host of the Restless Gamers podcast. A huge fan of Star Wars and Western RPGs, Erik is always ready to poison food in an Elder Scrolls game and believes he is one with the force.