Top Critic Average
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.
An incredible entry to the monster collecting genre, Monster Sanctuary combines turn based battles and Metroidvania exploration to make a truly unique experience.
Monster Sanctuary is a delight to play, with levels and monsters radiating such depth and creativity. The complexity of each monster's skill tree is a feature fully welcomed and would be a great addition in other monster games. Monster Sanctuary is a late gem to 2020 that gamers should pay attention to.
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.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Overall, Monster Sanctuary is a delight. Exploring the interconnected world with your team and discovering cool new monsters is always fun, but it's the process of developing your favourite companions that makes the game so hard to put down.
It may seem simplistic on the surface but even if you're like me, someone who has a passing interest in the genre, Monster Sanctuary does do a few things differently to most. It's a monster collecting game sprinkled with platforming, exploration and small puzzles. Monster Sanctuary was the game I needed to play right now, it's simple and very rewarding. It plays flawlessly and has a quaint presentation that harkens back to the days of old. Whether it's the Metroidvania exploration, the amount of monster skill and gear customization, or the enjoyable battle system, there is a lot to love here.
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.
Combining Metroidvania with monster collecting seems like a match made in heaven when you think about it. That’s why, all those years ago, GameFreak and Creatures Inc did just that. Now, Monster Sanctuary comes along and barely improves on the template set by Pokémon Red & Green (& Blue [& Yellow]). While it definitely has its merits, it lacks a certain level of thought and care to set it apart from the average indie game.
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!
Metroidvania with Pokemons working great. But fights should be better balanced.
Review in Slovak | Read full review