This title was reviewed on Nintendo Switch, but is also available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
If I wanted to look at art, I’d go to an art gallery. If I wanted to watch a movie, Id go to the movies and If I wanted to read a novel, I’d pick up a book. So the thought of a novel based video game doesn’t exactly appeal to me. Even though the story of a game is one of the most important aspects of a game to me, it needs to be somewhat interactive for it to be anything more than a book in my eyes. That’s why for me this interactive novel of a game called Monster Loves You didn’t exactly hit the mark, but it doesn’t mean I don’t see any positives.
The best comparison I can make to give you an idea of what kind of game Monster Loves You is, is that it’s similar to those old school adventure novels where you picked what the character does. Its similar in the sense that it involves a ton of reading and decisions that shape how your character acts and behaves. As a kid these books thrilled and enticed me as they offered a level of interactivity I had never seen before in books. As an adult though, this isn’t what I look for in a game.
Monster loves you offers a variety of different creative adventures you can partake in, all of them involving long bursts of dialogue before giving your character different choices that will affect how people view said character. The choices are given through either little icons reflecting the different adventures or different text options. I found myself craving more from this game, as aside from these small options you never really find yourself interacting with the game and rather take a backseat and spectate what’s going on.
The saving grace though is the story. Like a good book Monster Loves You relies heavily on its well written and interesting story. It’s what keeps you intrigued and with multiple paths for the story to go, you’ll find yourself interested in all the different things you can do giving it good re-playability or re-readability. The only problem is that the story is less like a chapter book and more like a short picture book with you coming to one of the 12 possible endings too quickly. This could be a good thing as it gives you the chance to jump back into it and try out a different type of character, but unfortunately due to the fact that the dialogue isn’t varied, on third or fourth playthroughs; the game can get a little too repetitive and dull.
The story puts you in the shoes of a monster searching for its identity: Are you brave, honest, ferocious, kind, or clever? Are you a mixture of a few or are you purely one? Its fun to test the different combinations and roleplay different personalities of a monster. I dipped my hand in being a purely kind and honest being, one that fights against the stigma that comes with being a monster. On top of this you have a respect gauge that tells you how others feel about you. This is all well and good but the way you build up these gauges are all rather basic. The decisions are obvious and never really make you question what your choice is going to result in.
Monster Loves You looks like a nice picture book, which goes with the overall theme of the story game. Its nothing to write home about and could easily be overlooked as it just doesn’t really stand out. Everything stays still and nothing is really happening in the pictures. The worst part is that your creature can’t even be customised, meaning it’s hard to form a connection with it. All in all, If this game was a children’s book it would have had the exact same effect.
To wrap this all up my stance on visual novel games hasn’t changed but I now believe that if there is such a thing as a good visual novel game than this is a poor attempt at one. Walking away from this game I felt like I left with nothing, usually a game at least proves it’s somewhat capable in one aspect that validates its existence but Monster Loves You doesn’t do that for me.