Umbrella put up its newest in-house title, Monster Merge, up for pre-order on the App Store for a release in March. Their title about combining creatures brings in some elements of puzzle games, with a heavy dose of idle game mechanics. You drag monsters of the same type together in order to level them up and discover more of the new monsters. As you merge monsters, you can start to expand your base of operations, and use your current array of monsters to complete tasks for you, while they also generate idle revenue for you.

If you liked Down the Mountain's [Free] distinctive art style, you're in luck: Monster Merge uses a similar isometric blocky style for all the creatures. This gives the creatures a unique look, where basic monsters resemble creatures like spiders and snakes, but have a friendlier, more abstract look. As you get further in the game, you'll see creatures that start to use different design, resembling orcs, dragons, and...skeleton wizards? This game's gonna have it all. Or at least, it'll have 30 unique monsters at launch, and there is plenty of potential down the road for the game to use more. How about some cameos from indie games or Down the Mountain? Eli showed up in that one, how about we finally put him to work for a change?!

Umbrella hit the map thanks in large part to the brilliant Boom Dots [Free], and steadily expanded from there with games like Down the Mountain, Wobblers [Free] and Back to Square One [Free]. The studio expanded into publishing in 2017, rapidly putting out a bunch of casual titles from other developers, and giving them the Umbrella polish and promotional push. The studio still does its own games, and Monster Merge is their latest original, in-house-developed title.

You can preorder Monster Merge on the App Store right now. I suppose pre-ordering a free game is kind of silly, but the way to look at it is that this way you know the game will get downloaded to your device the second that it's available to download. I mean, think about all the other things you take for granted. Is pre-ordering a digital file, which is if not literally infinite (the sun will explode one day) then practically infinite, really the straw that breaks the camel's back when it comes to the absurdity of our modern existence?

You can spend the next few weeks pondering that question while you wait for Umbrella's Monster Merge to release on the App Store on March 7th.