Attack of the Friday Monsters

Attack of the Friday Monsters review

Kaz Ayabe's name doesn't quite carry the same weight as Keiji Inafune, Goichi Suda or Yasumi Matsuno outside of Japan. But like his compatriots in Level 5's Guild series, the sequence of short 3DS games to which Ayabe's Attack of the Friday Monsters belongs, he's a strong, singular voice, and one that's responsible for one of the most delightful offshoots in Japanese gaming over the last decade.

Boku no Natsuyasumi, or My Summer Vacation, has earned Ayabe and his studio Millenium Kitchen a reputation in Japan for peculiarly gentle adventures, though sadly none of the series has ever been translated for the west since its inception in 2000. More's the pity: charting the holiday adventures of Boku, a 10-year old with a free spirit and a month's worth of free time to indulge it, they're disarmingly delicate recreations of Ayabe's own lost summers.

Attack of the Friday Monsters isn't an explicit part of Millenium Kitchen's other series, but it carries on many of its traits. You're Sohta, a 10-year old transfer student who finds himself wandering the streets of Fuji no hana, a small suburb in Tokyo's Setagaya district, over the course of a summer afternoon in 1971.

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