Monster Sanctuary Reviews

Monster Sanctuary is ranked in the 83rd percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
90 / 100
Jul 17, 2022

By uniting great systems of side-scrolling, turn-based combat and generous touches of a good RPG in the best pixel art style, Monster Sanctuary is a beautiful example that a mixture of several known things can result in something full of identity, charisma and enchantment. And with an expansion of respect, it shows that it is far from exhausting itself.

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Essential
Jan 20, 2021

Monster Sanctuary masterfully mixes several classic components - monster collecting, Metroidvania platforming, and RPG elements - into one impressive package.

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7 / 10.0
Jan 14, 2021

I enjoyed my time playing this, but I can’t say that I’m an avid fan of the genre. Monster Sanctuary does so much more than most of its peers, yet I still wasn’t sold on the concept. If you are a lover of these games, then playing this will be right up your street. But if you’re on the fence, now is the correct time to try it as part of your Gamepass subscription. Do I recommend that you give it a go? Absolutely. Hunting monsters is nothing new, but what this does so well is to build on many well loved mechanics, and enhance them to make for a much more polished and in-depth experience. Can you be the best Monster Keeper in the land? Can you beat everyone else and hatch the best beasts around? Choose your starting monster and begin your journey of discovery.

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8 / 10
Jan 4, 2021

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.

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8 / 10.0
Dec 31, 2020

Metroidvania with Pokemons working great. But fights should be better balanced.

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6 / 10.0
Dec 28, 2020

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.

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Liked-a-lot
Dec 23, 2020

Monster Sanctuary was a nice surprise for me. While on the surface it looks familiar to popular monster-catching games Monster Sanctuary feels like a darn decent RPG that I would recommend to any fan of the genre. It’s Monster Sanctuary’s unique and detailed battle system and generous customisation options that make it stand out from the crowd. I loved exploring the world with my blue wolf I called Stephen and I see myself revisiting it again.

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6 / 10.0
Dec 22, 2020

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.

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8.4 / 10.0
Dec 17, 2020

Monster Sanctuary is a clever amalgamation of the monster-catching and Metroidvania-style genres that works really, REALLY well. I had a good time exploring the world and uncovering its secrets, whilst catching monsters and then using them in strategic battling made for some really enthralling showdowns. It does have the occasional issue here and there that can slow your progress down, but it doesn’t stop the game from being a whole lot of fun to play. If you’re looking for a monster-catching adventure with a unique little twist, you really ought to give Monster Sanctuary a try.

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9 / 10.0
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.

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7 / 10.0
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.

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Daily Mirror
Eugene Sowah
Top Critic
Dec 15, 2020

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.

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9 / 10.0
Dec 11, 2020

For such a small-looking game, Monster Sanctuary is bursting with content and reasons to touch all of it. From the enticing loop of running around an ever-growing map to finding and evolving new monsters, I found myself losing hours at a time to this little gem.

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God is a Geek
Lyle Carr
Top Critic
8.5 / 10.0
Dec 11, 2020

An incredible entry to the monster collecting genre, Monster Sanctuary combines turn based battles and Metroidvania exploration to make a truly unique experience.

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8 / 10
Dec 10, 2020

The unique mix of party-based RPG gameplay and Metroidvania style levels introduces a strangely enchanting combination. The hundred-strong roster of monsters is distinct with diverse skills and fantastic pixel art that compliment the outstanding environments they roam around. There are still a few changes needed to the combat systems, and some of the level design is sadly disappointing, yet the fascinating world of creatures gets its hooks deep with almost 30 hours of potential gameplay.

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9 / 10.0
Dec 10, 2020

With an interesting combination of turn-based battles and metroidvania, Monster Sanctuary is a lovely surprise that arrives in the final minutes of a chaotic year. Behind its apparent shyness, the game hosts striking encounters and more than a hundred charming little creatures. Although the context presented is already notoriously known, the process of capturing, training and battling is renewed properly on the Switch's screen, maintaining immensely pleasant the formula that involves monsters and trainers .

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Nintendo Life
Stuart Gipp
Top Critic
7 / 10
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.

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10 / 10.0
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!

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8.8 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2020

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

8 / 10.0
Dec 7, 2020

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.

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