Hello beautiful creatures! Today I’m talking about a new video game that launched in December 2020 called Monster Sanctuary. Anyone who has known me well knows that I love video games. You’ve probably heard me mention Monster Rancher, Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior, World of Warcraft, Soul Calibur, Viva Piñata or Pokemon at the very least. More recently I’ve been playing Jackbox Games like Trivia Murder Party 2 & Quiplash via Zoom with my friends during lockdown.
Read all about my World of Warcraft Obsession.
Where to Find Monster Sanctuary
Monster Sanctuary is currently available on Windows, MAC, and Linux (Steam only). You can also find it on the Nintendo Switch / Xbox One / Playstation 4 and Game pass. Dave bought it for us to try on Steam, but if I end up getting addicted to it the way I think I will, I’ll pick up a version for my Nintendo Switch.
It’s rated E for everyone 10+ by the ESRB.
Help with Monster Sanctuary
Monster Sanctuary has a thriving reddit community. If you need help with the game, you can check out the reddit forums or visit the Monster Sanctuary website. There’s also a helpful Monster Sanctuary wiki.
Monster Sanctuary Game Play
Monster Sanctuary blends monster catching with the feel of a classic platformer and gives it a twist with RPG elements. At times I’m getting hit with nostalgia from Dragon Warrior. Dave feels it strongly reminds him of Pokemon because you start as a young trainer and have tactical 3 vs 3 battles with your monsters. And of course, a lot of people mention the metriodvania genre aspect, which are defined by side scroller classics such as Metriod and Castlevania.
What I really love about the combat style is that it is turn-based. This throws me back to Shining Forces, Phantasy Star and some of the other classic turn-based strategy RPGs I used to thrive on.
It’s a really easy game to pick up and play for a while, but it’s just as easy to save the game and stop. I love games that are respectful of the player’s time and allow you to pause, save, and stop for real life. When games make pausing and saving difficult on top of requiring a huge time commitment to get through a chunk of content, it usually turns me off of the game. I play games to relax and entertain myself, not to become frustrated at game design that punishes the players.
PVP is offered in this game but I have not tried it.
You start with your choice of a spirit beast. I chose a spirit wolf that I promptly named Nyx. Each monster has its own unique talent tree so you can decide how to spend your points to strengthen your companions. I love the flexibility the talent tree provides for you to customize your companions.
For me, after completing my first battle I also ended up with a Blob, which reminds me of the Dragon Warrior Slime monster. It’s a healing pet. The way I crafted my team I keep my spirit wolf and my blob as my two main monsters. I rotate my third slot dependent upon each battle.
If you want to evolve your monster companion you have to head to a place called the Tree of Evolution. You’ll also need to bring a Catalyst with you. You’ll find Catalysts from loot drops and Reward Boxes. I’ve been treating this like Mario in the respect that I’m trying to open every box I can find. You’ll discover that certain monsters have special abilities to help you through challenges.
If you want to evolve your monster into another form, you’ll need to get a Catalyst. Here are the following Catalysts in the game so far: Cocoon, Dark Stone, Demonic Pact, Fire Stone, Giant Seed, Ice Stone, Magical Clay, Majestic Crown, Shard of Winter, Silver Feather, Stardust, Sun Stone, and Volcanic Ash.
Monster Exploration Abilities
Many of the monsters have special exploration abilities. Some may help you fly over an obstacle. Others will move a wall, set things on fire, or use other abilities to help you obtain rare treasure chests. They help you navigate the terrain and find secrets you’ll need for later in the game.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted pet collecting game with fun RPG aspects and turn-based strategy combat, check out Monster Sanctuary. It fills the void that Monster Rancher left in my gaming world.
What new games have you tried lately? What are your current favorite games to play?