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Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 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 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 8, 2020
    While clearly inspired by other similar titles, Monster Sanctuary takes that inspiration and runs with it, carving out its own spot in the gaming world. I can't wait to see how things flourish in the future!
  2. Dec 17, 2020
    A great mix of a platformer, RPG and monster catching game Monster Sanctuary has so much depth and content to keep you busy for a long time. Feels like a great RPG from the 16-bit era, a ton of cool monsters to hatch, to aid you on your quest.
  3. Dec 8, 2020
    An interesting mix of well-known details that manages to offer a familiar taste and yet be extremely fun. As you can imagine Monster Sanctuary doesn't have anything particularly new to offer, but it's a fun metroidvania with all kinds of pocket monsters that's also pretty deep.
  4. Dec 10, 2020
    An expansive and content-packed game, Monster Sanctuary would be easy to criticise as a grind if we didn't find that said grinding was never really necessary to enjoy it. It's a difficult one to review because a lot of what this reviewer personally found a little boring is exactly what's going to appeal to its core audience of number-crunching statisticians. While Monster Sanctuary's is a little plain at the outset, the right people will find it one of their favourite games of the year. It's a total timesink, but that's a term that implies said time is being wasted, when it really isn't. Every fight is pushing your team forward, and the potential for maximising the efficiency and power of your squad is seemingly infinite. It can feel more like organising a spreadsheet than playing a game at times, but it's impossible to deny that it's an accomplished game with a lot to offer - and that's without even taking it online to battle other players. If you like min-maxing, feel free to add a point or two to the score below.
  5. Mar 8, 2021
    Monster Sanctuary blends a Metroidvania game with monster capture elements, and it does a great job at bringing those worlds together. With its enormous amount of content and a fun, well-designed sense of progression, Monster Sanctuary does not stand out as brilliantly when it comes to its exploration, which feels rather simplistic, but there are plenty of elements here to make it worthy for everyone who enjoys any of both genres represented.
  6. Dec 16, 2020
    Monster Sanctuary is a game that feels satisfying and rewarding. When you earn more skill points, get a new monster, or find a new Explore Ability, it opens up more of a sufficiently large world to explore. But this is also a challenging game that requires you to experiment with teams, learn how to build combos, and invest a lot of time battling wild monsters to make sure you have the special abilities, evolutionary items, and experience you need to survive.
  7. 60
    I like Monster Sanctuary for what it tries to accomplish, I just wish I liked the execution as much as the concept. I could see the threads of its attempt weaving into a better cohesive whole, but instead each different ingredient feels incomplete or misses the mark of what makes each genre it pulls from so compelling. There’s still fun to be had if setting expectations right and wanting a unique twist that is no muss, no fuss, but I was hoping for more that Monster Sanctuary wasn’t quite there to give.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Dec 11, 2020
    Amazing game. Amazingly deep and so fun. What I wish Pokémon was more like. Controls great, the battle system is amazing and the explorationAmazing game. Amazingly deep and so fun. What I wish Pokémon was more like. Controls great, the battle system is amazing and the exploration is fun as well. Pixel art looks fantastic as well. Expand
  2. Jan 2, 2021
    This is a fun game. It’s like Pokémon with skill trees. You don’t have to worry about making the wrong decisions when picking skills becauseThis is a fun game. It’s like Pokémon with skill trees. You don’t have to worry about making the wrong decisions when picking skills because you can reset them for cheap. Expand
  3. Jan 4, 2021
    Phenomenal game. It has lots of great RPG elements like unique skill trees for each monster, a very diverse cast of monsters, lots ofPhenomenal game. It has lots of great RPG elements like unique skill trees for each monster, a very diverse cast of monsters, lots of different items to equip etc. The story is well written. The areas are fun to explore. The battles are awesome. This game does not disappoint. Amazing value for the price. Expand
  4. Oct 16, 2021
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Obviously, Monster Sanctuary is a Metroidvania heavily influenced by monster-catching games. This pixelated gem is developed by Moi Rai Games and published by Team17.

    First, let’s talk about the general aspects of it. The game invites you to explore the interconnected world of the Monster Sanctuary, find hidden areas, and unfold dark secrets. You play as an inexperienced Monster Keeper and later encounter with the Alchemists, discover their dark secret and save the day. The game has some significant differences if compared to traditional Metroidvanias. First, there are no checkpoints where you can manually save your progress, while the auto-save function is used instead. Alternatively, you can also save it by going through the menu option. In this game, you use your monsters to fight in turn-based battles. If your monsters lose or for example you fall on spikes, you will respawn next to the death place, which can be convenient and less irritating. Second, in your run you can pick up one monster (of course, you can you switch among them). You basically put the monster’s ability to your advantage order to access a certain area. For example, some will help you levitate, light up a dark area and destroy obstacles that prevent you from exploring further. Similar to other monster-collecting games, Monster Sanctuary also lets your monsters evolve by speeding up their evolution with a Catalyst unique to their own kind. However, in addition to stats improvements, the evolution will change your monsters both in physical forms and some of their abilities. So bear in mind it’s possible that your newly evolved monsters could no longer fit into your current combat style/tactic.

    Now, let’s see the game mechanics. You can always avoid a battle altogether by not touching any monsters in your way. In a normal encounter, it will be a tactical 3v3 combat. However, in a boss fight or duel, it will be a 6v6, meaning that if one of your monsters is defeated, your backup will become a replacement. Defeating your opponent’s all six monsters means you win the battle.

    Your monsters will also level up if you win a battle or duel and you can earn a skill point that can be used on the skill tree to upgrade the monster abilities. And yes you have to grind in this game too. Apart from that, you can improve their stats by feeding them with fruit as well as giving them an upgradable weapon. You can buy any of these with the in-app currency that can be earned from each battle or duel win or by donating monster eggs or monsters to the Keeper’s Stronghold (where Monster Keepers live). You can also buy potions or antidotes that you as a player can use to support your monsters during every battle.

    Frankly, there’s a lot going on in the game that you need to master. But don’t worry. The developer won’t throw everything at you all at once. They are able to cope with the complicated gaming experience very well. For example, you can access ‘Talk’ in the menu if you get stuck and don’t know where to go next. On one hand, it feels like a hint, but on the other hand it seems like a quest(s). You can always read short and simple texts about the monster abilities and their upgrades, which will help you become more informed about combat styles. The NPCs also give you insightful guides/information. What’s more, the map is so well-design. Distinctive colours are used to separate each area, and the whole map is very accessible (good enough for my vision) and easy to navigate.

    Every time from when I started playing it on my fully charged Nintendo Switch until the battery was running low, it felt like a 20 minute-ish playthrough. Yes, Monster Sanctuary is that kind of game. It lets time pass so quickly that you literally do not even notice it. Also, sometimes I explored random areas again without a purpose but just enjoyed doing that. Although I couldn’t see any WOW moments and pinpoint what was so special about the game, Monster Sanctuary felt consistently good every time I played it; and I enjoyed it thoroughly. For me, it’s a 9/10 game.
  5. Dec 9, 2021
    This is exactly the kind of game I wish pokemon was. It's fun, strategic, and beautiful. Hatch those monsters baybeeeee
  6. Nov 19, 2021
    I hate pixel art but I love this game so much
    Solid Monster Team battle, so much monster, items and skills...
    Far better than Pokemon
    Good job
  7. Jan 6, 2021
    Monster Sanctuary was on its way to being a favorite of mine, as it combined the two genres I tend to enjoy the most and it felt pretty fresh.Monster Sanctuary was on its way to being a favorite of mine, as it combined the two genres I tend to enjoy the most and it felt pretty fresh. I love the idea that monsters grant you the metroidvania abilities, I love the art in your "dex" with long entries on each monster, I love the art style even though the environments were fairly uninspired, and I love that the combat feels completely separate from Pokemon. The music isn't very good, so I had the volume off for most of my time playing. The story is weak, but that doesn't matter too much in this sort of game.
    My problem comes in where the Metroidvania aspects seem to be tacked on to expand off the combat system. I feel like the developers made the monster combat and polished up how that system works and then said "waaaaait, let's put it in a Metroid map". That's just what it feels like from my perspective. Maybe if they had mixed up the gameplay where some battles are Metroidvania style where your abilities for battle are based on the monsters you choose.
    There is no catching mechanic, so obtaining a new monster relies on RNG drops (in your favor, it seems, this never gave me issues). Most monsters do not evolve, only a select few use random items that you give to a tree. I suppose this was to differentiate from Pokemon, but if that's the reason than why only give this to a few monsters? Maybe that should have given me a clue that the game doesn't care if you like your monsters or not, it expects you to consider a min-max team. I did not beat the game, because the monsters I had at the final fight were not enough to win and I preferred to walk away with a pleasant experience than look up the meta. I'm not sure why they decided to slap a difficulty curve at the climax of the game. Maybe they forgot the Elite Four isn't leveled to 100 so their lvl 40 cap that the last fights match is fine? Anyway, in a monster collector game I would prefer to win with the monsters I've bonded with along the way, not dump them at the last second. I have no doubt Pokemon haters will praise this game to no end and ignore the mediocrity, they can find a way to glorify an old potato if someone claims it's like Pokemon.
    One last issue, it's disappointing that you get to pick between two white dudes at the start and there's no character customization whatsoever. If I'm not really supposed to care for the monsters, then at least give me some options for my own look (or at least a female character).
    In the end, I would still recommend giving this game a try. It's a good game with some design flaws here and there that leave it middle of the road in the end. It's still going to be more interesting than most of the big releases.

See all 15 User Reviews