Map Monsters is a free-to-play location-based adventure game designed by the venerable Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering, Schizoid, King of Tokyo, and many other fantastic video and analog games.


It is 1962. NASA scientists have just discovered the wonders of Tang. In a small office at NASA’s Ames Research Center, a young Professor Stephen Six makes a far more startling discovery—a hidden dimension sitting on top of our own. What he finds is disturbing. In this other space, monster-like creatures are running amok. What’s worse, these monsters are occasionally popping into our world, taking objects, and hoarding them in their own strange space.

Back then, it seemed relatively harmless—a sock stolen from a dryer, some spare change missing from a closet. Professor Six decided to hide his findings for fear of causing mass hysteria. For years he quietly studied the other dimension, searching for a way to cross over.

Now the monsters have grown bolder, and the thefts of animals and landmarks are too big to hide. Only you, as a member of Professor Six’s monsternauts team, can cross to the other dimension and return what was stolen!

You have the map. You have your net. Do you have what it takes to find the monsters?


In Map Monsters, you play a member of an elite monster containment unit tasked with catching the unsavory beasts and recapturing our world’s lost heirlooms. Using your Field Guide to Monsters as a reference, track your progress and unlock the mysteries of Map Monsters.


The ability to incorporate your physical location in a game has only recently been possible with convergence of GPS and mobile computing on smartphones and tablets. This new location-based mechanic opens up a whole new area of game design, which we intend to explore in Map Monsters.

  • Location done right. Unlike other attempts at location-based games, our approach is to make location a secondary, not primary, mechanic. In Map Monsters, it’s not necessary to travel physically, although players that do will advance in the game more quickly.
  • Earth as a game board. We take raw map data from the four corners of the globe and roll a fictional world that mirrors our own.
  • Virtual travel. You’re not limited to what you can find in your physical location; walk your character through a virtual world teaming with new things to discover.
  • Explore. You never know what you’ll find in the game by checking in to new physical locations, or walking your character throughout the world.
  • Scarcity. You’ll find an abundance of some items in your area, but you’ll have to travel further afield or trade with others from far away places to succeed.
  • Build. Like to build stuff? Build mileposts, roads, goldmines, farms and more.
  • Social. Trade with your friends, use their roads, collaborate to fight monsters.
  • Available platforms. Initially available on iPhone and iPad.