Monster Slayers (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 23.03.2017

Review for Monster Slayers on PC

Monster Slayers is an independently produced rogue-like game developed by Nerdook, which is better known for Vertical Drop Heroes. This blends two genres that seem fairly apart from each other: dungeon crawling and that of deck building. The RPG aspects of this type of game are mixed with the obsessive elements of trying to perfect the ideal deck to take down the dungeon. The world is besieged by monsters that only the player can stop, and to do it they must send waves of heroes into the grinder in the search of a deck that can finally win.

Monster Slayers is surprisingly addictive. The concept may not sound too fundamentally interesting at first, using cards to fight through a dungeon. However, it is pulled off successfully to such a degree that this is the reason why the game is notable. The drive to find the character or combo that works keeps the player at it for a long period of time.

The player creates a character - and the game even gives the warning to not spend too much time as they will die soon - and off they go. Exploration is done in a map where each room has a single event taking place, such as a fight or a treasure. It is continued this way until the boss is found, and if beaten, then the level is cleared. As they go through, they can modify their deck for combat, which is a major portion of the game.

Combat is done entirely by a small deck of cards, starting around fifteen. Most of these are simply 'attack,' so on a turn the player will draw somewhere around four cards - maybe two attacks, a heal and a block. On the turn, the player must manage using the right cards for the situation before they get new ones. It is entirely random what cards from your deck are drawn, so there is constant tension of hoping 'that one card' comes up to save you.

Screenshot for Monster Slayers on PC

Beyond just the combat and modification of the deck is a cool RPG system. There are various classes and each plays as expected for its archetype, such as Knights being defensive. Equipment can be picked up and give various boosts to the cards. The best decision of the game is to have various one-way decisions, such as levelling up the class to make it permanently move defensive or offensive, or learn certain skills. This has a good effect of balancing that as disposable as the heroes are, there are long range consequences to the player's actions.

Monster Slayers comes together in a way that is largely fun. The only major criticism is that the difficulty can scale wildly. The beginning is mostly an issue of simply figuring out what is happening and becomes easy. However, both the second and the third dungeons suffer from frustrating spikes in difficulty. Often the monsters can vary from easy stomps in one room to absolutely blowing you away in the next. This is harmful to the overall enjoyment, as a carefully crafted character is mowed down due to things that mostly hinge on chance.

The sense of progress is well done and keeps the player hanging around trying to get just a little bit further. The nature of the game and its mix of genres might sound strange, but the degree it was pulled off deserves some credit. Not everything is perfect, but in areas where the game shines, it really is firing on all cylinders. The difficulty spikes absolutely need to be done away with because what is here has the potential to be a great hit for a wide audience, but at the current stage is far too difficult for all but the most hardened to beat.

Screenshot for Monster Slayers on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Various RPG elements add a layer of depth to an already interesting combat system. The card element becomes addictive in a fun way, and slowly building up the characters is a task that many players will quickly come to enjoy. Most of the game connects very well with itself, barring the large issue of randomness in difficulty. To some degree, luck is always expected, but the complete and sudden difficulty cliffs that always occur later on ruin the immersion the rest of the game so carefully crafted. Perhaps a 'hardcore' mode would be a better option because the deadly spikes severely hamper what is otherwise a great game.

Developer

Nerdook Productions

Publisher

Digerati Distribution

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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