Monster Sanctuary Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monster Sanctuary is a charming take on the monster raising formula, albeit not without its faults. In spite of this, Monster Sanctuary is an addictive RPG that is hard to put down. Monster hatching is an incredibly simple process, every single monster has its own skill tree, and combat has been balanced enough so that just about any team can get through the main game in the hands of savvy players. Monster Sanctuary is a diamond in the rough if there ever was one.
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.
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.
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.
Metroidvania with Pokemons working great. But fights should be better balanced.
Review in Slovak | Read full review
There’s a lot to love about Monster Sanctuary. Exploring its world is rewarding and enjoyable, and its turn-based combat packs enough depth to keep you invested. Hitting a brick wall and needing to grind can be frustrating, but the desire to progress is usually strong enough to keep you going. It’s the perfect blend of Pokémon and Metroidvania, and it works exceptionally well. Even if you’re a fan of only one of those, you’ll find plenty to love in Monster Sanctuary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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 .
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
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.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review