This title was reviewed on Nintendo Switch, but is also available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
In a fantasy world where dragons are commonplace, arcane magic resurrects the dead, and bandits are aplenty, there is a hero who will rise up and take a stand. A hero that will survive no matter the odds. This hero will stand up to any trial and come out on the other end much stronger than before, they will not die until their quest is complete. In Monster Slayers, you are not that hero.
No, you are nothing more than fodder.
The first stand out thing in Monster Slayers that stands out to me is the voice acting: While I don’t know any of the Voice actor credits, I can say that they did a good job. And considering the nature of this game there will be a good chance you will hear them all. The music conveys a sense of tenseness and triumph. While I couldn’t pin down any one particular piece I liked, I will say the whole package was better than expected.
Now for the art, Monster Slayers has some serious dissonance when you consider what type of game it is until you understand the background behind it. The art style is rather cartoony and is something you would expect if you were to play a game on sites like Miniclip and Newgrounds back in the day… funnily enough, this game’s beginnings include being a web based game on a little site called Kongregate. The art style serves to give a sense of nostalgia to those days where I would come home from school, jump straight on the computer and play games and while it screams “flash game”, it does it well.
The question you’re probably asking me by now is “what the hell is this game Brad!” and that’s perfectly okay. The story is pretty simple. You’re an adventurer looking to join an adventuring guild just like everybody else, there is a huge amount of would be adventurers and the people in charge are just sending off every would be hero to their doom. Other than that the story doesn’t really seem to exist. While I would normally consider this to be a bad thing I can say that it works to Monster Slayers‘ benefit.
“But Brad, how does having a minimalistic story help?” You may ask. Simple, it’s because this game is a “coffee break Roguelike Deckbuilding” game. To break this down in a simple way it means that Monster Slayers is designed to pick up and play for a short time while you’re on your way somewhere which means: simple progression, minimal information to remember, and a game that’s designed in a way that doesn’t require you to spend 20+ hours creating the perfect build for your character.
When you first start you are given the option of quite a few classes, the standouts being a ranger who focuses on high single card damage and always going first in combat, a merchant who can use their cards to earn a lot of gold and eventually can pay to outright win battles, and a MOTHERFLIPPING DRAGON! The dragon is great because it’s the only class that has character creation play into it’s skill set. Different dragon skin colours gives your dragon’s breath attacks different damage types. Also the dragon gave me some of the biggest amounts of damage in any of my playthroughs.
Now before you think “oh but how will I ever play as all the classes?” just remember this game is a Roguelike and as such, is designed to kill you. A lot. Each time you die you get to make a new character but that’s not all; as you level up and complete quests you get a resource called fame. Fame lets you purchase abilities and upgrades for each class that activate when you play as a new character for that class. In my first playthrough with my ranger he was quite weak but after earning a bunch of fame and blowing it all on ranger upgrades and health upgrades I blasted though the levels that I struggled on. Eventually I started planning out what class I would play next and would buy the upgrades for that class so I could get right into being strong.
Monster Slayers is wicked fun! I wouldn’t recommend playing it for hours on end because the combat is quite repetitive and I hope you don’t have bad eyesight because the UI is a bit of an eyesore at times. But, looking past its faults this game is perfect for playing while you wait for a bigger game to download or while your stuck being a passenger on a bus. Or maybe, like me you don’t have much time for gaming for fun, in which case Monster Slayers would be perfect for you. Whatever your needs, this title is definitely a must have.