Monster Sanctuary Image
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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Summary: Embark on an epic adventure using the powers of the monsters you collect, and the team you build, to unlock an ever-expanding world. On your quest to become the ultimate Monster Keeper you’ll unravel the cause of a mystery that threatens the peace between humans and monsters.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. 88
    Monster Sanctuary merges a complex turn-based combat RPG we are used to see in big JRPG productions with metroidvania-style exploration and succeeds in both genres. Pixel perfect jumps alternate with tactical battles down to the last hitpoint, and we’ll need the help of our monsters to overcome difficult areas and solve puzzles. Meanwhile, an interesting storyline compels us as we catch enemy eggs, Pokémon style. So many genres mixed in one game, and such a pretty one to boot! Highly recommended.
  2. Dec 7, 2020
    80
    Monster Sanctuary is a Pokémon game smashed together with pixel-art, JRPGs, and Metroidvanias. If that's not a recipe for an indie game hit, then I don't know what is.
  3. Dec 7, 2020
    80
    Monster Sanctuary might not look like any monster-collecting RPG you’ve seen before, but its blend of genres creates a fun and exciting adventure for hours. The more you put into the game, the more you’ll find to love about it. I do wish there were easier ways to track navigation and some additional options to speed up the battles, but this is a genuinely fun game that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
  4. Jan 4, 2021
    80
    When you then add in the cute pixel art style, and the astoundingly good chiptune soundtrack, Monster Sanctuary not only blurs the lines between genres, but also between modern and old-school games. The story is a little light, but the gameplay is almost perfect, and this is an excellent monster-taming adventure and Metroidvania game all rolled into one.
  5. Jan 8, 2021
    70
    Fun and innovative fusion of Metroidvania and monster taming genre with the fast and surprisingly complex turn-based combat system. Coupled with a huge roster of acquirable monsters and over 20h of gameplay, it is well worth its asking price of only 20$.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Jan 14, 2021
    10
    I am compelled to write this review after seeing how this game doesn't have a single critic review over 88. It's very apparent that the criticI am compelled to write this review after seeing how this game doesn't have a single critic review over 88. It's very apparent that the critic reviews have underrated an excellent indie game while they continue to shill for big-budget releases like Pokemon (the latest installments of which, I must say, are terribly shallow and low-effort).

    Monster Sanctuary is a hybrid of a Metroidvania platformer/adventure game and a Japanese style turn-based strategy-rpg. The platformer aspect of the game is done excellently with it being semi-open at places allowing you to experience the game's 'dungeons' in a non-linear manner. And there are various platformer-puzzles located everywhere that reward exploration and out-of-box thinking.

    But the best aspect of the gameplay is the turn-based battle system, which is somewhat similar to Pokemon, but is has a much faster pace. Also, while it doesn't have the sheer variety of monsters, moves and items that Pokemon possesses now in the eighth generation, Monster Sanctuary makes up for it by having much more depth and customizability of each monster. Instead of being limited to four moves, 1 item and 1 ability, here monsters have an entire skill tree each and are able to get around 40 skills, each of which may be an active or passive skill. And during battles 3 monsters of a side are present simultaneously, similar to the now removed triple battles from Pokemon gen 5, which adds more to the strategy as there are much more possibilities of interactions between different skills of different monsters.

    The biggest difference here is that the game does not reward grinding and overlevelling and instead tries to make it easy to switch monsters every battle without the need to grind them as much as in Pokemon. Furthermore, there's a low level cap that is reached by both the player's monsters as well as the one the player encounters, so overlevelling to brute force through everything with little strategy is not possible. There are many quality of life features that such as being able to reset skills for cheap and being able to level monsters upto the level of your highest levelled monster -1. There is also a crafting system to upgrade items. All this means that there's almost never any bad strategic decisions that can't be rectified easily, unlike in other games where you need to put in considerable time to change your character build or in some cases have to restart.

    The graphics are in a Gameboy Advance era pixel-art style, but are still detailed enough and certainly add to the charm of the game. The sound design in nothing to write home about, but it's serviceable. However, the gamplay alone makes this a must-play.
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  2. Dec 14, 2020
    10
    This game reminds me that the future of video games belongs to Indy devs. Pure entertainment, smart and fun gameplay, nice DA. Everything youThis game reminds me that the future of video games belongs to Indy devs. Pure entertainment, smart and fun gameplay, nice DA. Everything you want and need. Just buy this game and enjoy. Expand
  3. Feb 1, 2021
    10
    This is one of the best games I've played in recent years. Enormous amount of consideration, thoughtfulness and time went into crafting thisThis is one of the best games I've played in recent years. Enormous amount of consideration, thoughtfulness and time went into crafting this gem. Incredible value, top game of 2020 for my money. Expand
  4. Dec 22, 2020
    10
    The obvious comparison here is Pokemon. There are a lot of similarities, and a lot of things done way differently. The one thing this game hasThe obvious comparison here is Pokemon. There are a lot of similarities, and a lot of things done way differently. The one thing this game has head and shoulders above pokemon is difficulty and depth of combat. The game isn't exactly "Hard" but it has nice spikes in difficulty and I found myself having to rework strategies and grind up in sections which is something that can never be said for todays generations of pokemon where your hand is held every step of the way.

    One other thing this game has over pokemon is the sheer amount of fun and viable team compositions. The game is balanced very well so that you can generally pick whatever your most appealing playstyle and it should get the job done in most scenarios. Im about 20 hours in and im having to run around like crazy trying to level and gear up something like 30 monsters which I want to use in various compositions that ive thought up.

    I should qualify this statement a little further, obviously Pokemon has "More" viable Pokemon, but thats merely a consequence of them having 900+ individual pokemon. Monster Sanctuary has a little over 100 (Each monster having 2 additional forms so more like 300 unique play styles) but out of that number FAR more are usable and enjoyable in terms of percentages. Think back to RBY and the original 151. How many of those wound up being strong in the late game? Maybe 25%?

    The talent trees are all unique and have a ton of depth to them, or at least plenty enough depth to keep me thinking and invested in trying new things. What this game lacks in a story or exploration it makes up for with its core gameplay loop.

    The gameplay is what I WISH Pokemon could have evolved into.
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  5. Dec 21, 2020
    10
    Have been playing this game since its early access release, and it's honestly one of the best games i have played this year. The platformingHave been playing this game since its early access release, and it's honestly one of the best games i have played this year. The platforming is easy but fun. The skill tree and battles have so many ways to approach it. The game let's you experiment around, because skill resetters are very cheap. Game is also very balanced even tho there are 101 monsters that are all usable (generation 1 Pokémon only had like 50 usable pokémon). I really hope that with the recent downfall of Pokémon, people pick this game up and give it a try and it gets the attention that it deserves. If you are thinking about buying this game, just do it. You will not regret it. Expand
  6. May 16, 2021
    9
    Monster Sanctuary is amongst a handful of games in a genre you could basically refer to as 'Pokemon', however Monster Sanctuary is possiblyMonster Sanctuary is amongst a handful of games in a genre you could basically refer to as 'Pokemon', however Monster Sanctuary is possibly one of the best games this genre has ever seen. The fact that an indie game is able to blow Pokemon out of the water is a damning indictment on the state of Pokemon and the games industry as a whole.

    The graphics are extremely charming and alluring, as the designer opted for retro graphics harking back to 8-bit and days of 2D. Having said that, this does not mean the graphics look aged - far from it. The amount of detail and variation to be found is stunning. The only issue I had was that during longer sessions the screen would stutter, however a quick internet search discovered closing and reopening the game fixed this. The animations of the monsters are varied and interesting, and by the end of the game I was very grateful for the option to speed the game up!

    The gameplay is the heart and soul of Monster Sanctuary, and I have almost entirely good things to say about it. The depth and variety on offer is amazing. There are so many monsters, with many skills and strategies to experiment with. This can actually be a bit overwhelming, but a game like MS demands your investment. There are a plethora of monsters and the key is creating a supportive synergistic approach to battle, something it took me a while to implement. Speaking of which, the difficulty curves were something spectacular in this game. Even on easy difficulty there are champions and boss fights that had be stumped for a while. This can be deterring for some players and creates a more protracted experience as it demands you craft your team in a specific way.

    The world of MS is diverse, almost stereotypically so, with sections devoted to each of the elements such as fire, ice, and grass levels, for example. There are plenty of secrets to be found but many require you to backtrack and this is hindered by a simplistic map that doesn't indicate secrets you have discovered but could not reach yet. Having said that, most secrets aren't a big loss even if you miss them, other than champion fights.

    The evolution system didn't make much sense to me, as there was little guidance on what material evolves which monster, as well as there being a question of evolutions being a sideways move rather than actually strengthening your monster.

    MS falls into a trap of relying on switch and lever puzzles, a handful of which I ended up looking up online as they were quite bewildering, and unlit areas were more annoying than engaging. Following on from this, some of the later traversal can be a bit monotonous as you can get more obscure quests and don't really have a way of fast movement, so I appreciated the crystals that teleported me 'home'.

    The story of MS isn't over complex and easy to get to grips with. There is even a good bit of historical lore to develop the characters and the spectral familiars in particular benefit from the ability to talk without diluting the dialogue. Your purpose is clear and there aren't too many plot twists, with the game being well-paced also. Despite this, I found it did drag on a bit long by the end.

    Overall, Monster Sanctuary is a near-perfect Pokemon experience that shines an embarrassing light on the awful state of Pokemon. This little indie game is a fraction of the price of the latest Pokemon drivel and is a hundred times more enjoyable. I am very keen on Pokemon games and games iike Monster Sanctuary or Nexomon scratch that itch far better than Nintendo has for the past two decades. If you have the time and interest, Monster Sanctuary will scratch your neglected Pokemon itch also.
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  7. Aug 22, 2021
    0
    Basically if you are even slightly interested in this type of Pokemon style game, just try this. It is really well done. Awesome idea's allBasically if you are even slightly interested in this type of Pokemon style game, just try this. It is really well done. Awesome idea's all the way through the game. Almost limitless strategies. All the usual stats you can think of are in the game. Equipment for each monster. Skills galore. EXP and leveling. Gathering, and reasons to gather past the initial gather. On top of all that, if you like this art style you will love this game. The monsters all look amazing and the world is fun to explore. For an indy game it easily a 10 out of 10. It rivals AAA Pokemon style games. Really glad I gave this a try. Expand

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