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    Ear Monsters for iOS uses 3D audio to drive gameplay, kill monsters


    Ear Monsters (US$1.99) is an arcade-style iOS game with a twist. Unlike most games on the iOS App Store, Ear Monsters uses 3D audio to drive gameplay instead of video.

    Ear Monsters is about a monster invasion through wormholes. At first, the monsters are visible and you're easily able to take them out with a satisfying tap on the wormhole they arrived through. However, soon they arrive invisibly, which makes killing them a lot more difficult. Fortunately for us, you can still hear them arriving. And that's where focusing on what you're hearing instead of what you're seeing becomes really important in Ear Monsters. Naturally, you need to play Ear Monsters with your headphones!

    Ear Monsters takes a little bit of time to adjust to. But once you get used to it, it becomes an incredibly challenging and rewarding game to play. Gameplay starts off easily with just three wormholes. The monsters appear in the wormholes one at a time with a visual and audio cue. Once you're skillful at killing the monsters, the visual cue disappears and you're left with just the audio. As you progress, more wormholes appear. At its hardest, Ear Monsters has 14 wormholes. On top of that, there are bombs to contend with too. Thankfully air support arrives every so often to give you the opportunity to acquire some bonus help.

    Ear Monsters has drawn attention in the visually impaired community for its audio driven gameplay. Developer Brian Schmidt has written a very interesting blog post on the development of the game and how he tailored it to the visually impaired community. If you're interested in game development and accessibility, particularly on iOS, it's well worth checking out.

    I enjoyed playing Ear Monsters. At its heart, it's a simple arcade-style scoring game. However, with gameplay driven by audio, it provides something totally different resulting in challenging, addictive, bite-size fun. It's definitely worth checking out, and I look forward to seeing how it develops in the future.

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