Price: £15.99 (£3.99 for Monster Journal, £7.49 Soundtrack)
Where To Get It: Steam
It’s unfortunate, really, that my opinion of Monster Sanctuary hasn’t really changed since I last reviewed it. So let’s kick this off with a disclaimer: This is, in fact, a well designed game, and monster battling folks and metroidvania folks should give it a go, because it mixes both well.
It’s just that, for me, it’s still not hitting the right notes, and I can’t really understand why. Which irritates the hell out of me, because it’s a potential for constructive criticism… And also because I dislike understanding why I feel the way I do about what I do.
So yes, it is an unknown time, monsters fill the world, but monster tamers exist, and so, they effectively serve as rangers, keeping the wilds in check, while raising their monster pals. And obviously, you are one such tamer, joining the sanctuary as the latest novice in your prestigious bloodline.
It’s got the right elements, with sensible grind, monsters levelling up in your first six slots (your three battlers and your reserves), visible monsters, so that, if you know what the monster is, you can plan your formation around it, nice skill trees which balance well, a combo system that means the last monster in your battle does more damage than the one at the front…
It’s got a fair few systems, yet they fit well together. It’s got nice pixel art, it’s got nice tunes, it’s got a pretty UI that’s clear, good teleport points, reasonable progression and difficulty curves, and cool monsters with their own special abilities that not only help you fight, but help you get around the world, like the yeti who can push blocks, or the phoenix (my starter) who can levitate you for a brief time.
So I think you can understand why it’s frustrating me that I can’t pin down why it isn’t gelling for me. Because it’s clearly well put together, and yet, it isn’t doing it for me.
Anyway, yes, it’s well designed, go give it a go.
Hrm and haroom…