Indie Quickie: Monster Loves You!

It takes a lot longer to fully review a game than it does to get a good sense of what a game is. Even with a full-time staff of writers it would be impossible to fully review the thousands of games that are released every year. Indie Quickie is our way to offer snap impressions of the countless indie titles small teams and one-man game studios are releasing literally every single day, and to help guide players to worthwhile games they may not have heard about before.

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What is it? You will experience the full life cycle of a monster in this interactive digital novel.

Who made it and where can you get it? Dejobaan and Radial Games are the tellers of this story about monsters and their relationship with animals and humans. Open up your Steam storybook, and give the tale a read on your Windows PC for $9.99 (or $6.69 during the remaining hours of the Summer Getaway Sale).

How much did we play? I completed one full “read” of the game in a little over an hour, developing a brave, trustworthy monster with a kind heart. Based on the achievements, it looks like there are probably a dozen or so different outcomes to achieve.

Any technical concerns or hardware requirements you should know about? No torn or dog-eared pages to worry about here.

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Why should you play it?

    • Choose Your Own Monster: At a glance, Monster Loves You might appear to be some new breed of Tamagotchi-style pet monster game; however, it’s actually more of a choose your own adventure story in which you birth a monster and follow its journey through life, from monster morsel in a spawning vat of green goo to elder monster responsible for nurturing or sabotaging the fragile relationship between monsters and humans. In fact, there isn’t a whole lot of “game” here, at least not in the traditional sense of what one might expect from a video game. Pointing and clicking is the lone mechanic as you read through dialogue tree after dialogue tree, making decisions that not only determine the outcome of the scenario at hand (do you eat the sick fox, or nurse it back to health?), but also shape the personality and stature of your monster. Choices made either end without consequence or result in the evolution of five main monster attributes, including Bravery, Cleverness, Ferocity, Honesty, and Kindness, and you will either gain or lose points on a scale of 0-100 for each trait. Eventually you will encounter situations with dialogue options that will be determined by a behind-the-scenes dice roll, your chances of success based on the point total for the required attribute. There are no puzzles or mini-games. You don’t even move a character on the screen. Just reading, decision making and, if those first two things are your cup of tea, good times.

    • Family Reading Time: Even though certain story paths can lead to some rather violent conclusions that result in monsters eating babies or tearing animals limb from limb (gobbling down the chunks of flesh while they’re still twitching), by and large Monster Loves You seems ideal for parents and children to experience together. (It’s certainly a lot of fun for grown-ups too, but likely not for the multiple playthroughs necessary to extract maximum value from the purchase.) Like a fairy tale, the game does a good job of teaching moral life lessons with each scenario, whether it has to do with bullying, telling the truth, standing up for one’s beliefs, or having compassion for other living things. The storybook artwork brings the monster world to life in a charming, childlike style with monster designs that are no more terrifying than those a kid might see in an animated movie like Monsters, Inc or Monsters vs. Aliens. The writing is often funny and clever, and should be light enough for children with basic reading skills to comprehend—or for story time the parent can read the dialogue (no voice acting leaves the door open for doing funny monster voices) and present the choices for their child to determine the outcome. Also keep in mind that there are no visual depictions of violence, only in text. So concerned parents can always reword certain events as they recite them to filter out any descriptions that they might deem too graphic for a young, impressionable mind.

Parting Thoughts: Monster Loves You strikes me as a game that will appeal to a very particular audience rather than a broad swathe of gamers, and that’s perfectly fine because Steam needs more unique, niche experiences like this to break up the monotony of shooters, zombie games and indie platformers. For all the games I’ve played on Steam over the years, I haven’t come across anything else like Monster Loves You. That counts for a whole lot in my book.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!