Radial Games brings its adventure life-sim game to the Nintendo Switch. Monster Loves You! follows the life and times of a monster that is formed and shaped by the decisions you as the player make. From creation day the newborn monster crawls from a vat of slime growing into elderhood and beyond – building a story about its complete lifecycle.
The game, let us still call it that for now, is more an interactive questionnaire crossed with an olden days text adventure. The only real game mechanic revolves around reading short pieces of dialogue and then providing what you feel is the most suitable answer from a set of pre-defined solutions. Each time you answer it has the potential to move the story down a different path each with differing outcomes. The branching effect means that Monster Loves You! plays much like a TellTale game, munis the small amount of exploration we have come to expect. Answers are important and remembered, so choose wisely.
Set in the small town of Omen, taking cues from fantasy and fairytale each adventure consists of three main stages. As a young Monsterling, your choices are simple but important. You are awarded scores that contribute to your stats in the following categories – bravery, cleverness, ferocity, honesty, kindness, and respect. Do you make friends and earn kindness or attack and earn ferocity. As you grow into a teen the trend continues but choices become more serious, with greater consequences, leading you into adulthood for the final chapter of the story and life. Each section is played over over a number of days signalled by an onscreen counter, decreasing every time a choice is made. Submenus to each stage of life allow some freedom in how you play, it may seem like a simple case of picking each adventure but with more than 900 choices the development team have brought depth to the game. Because of this, you are presented with a different adventure almost everytime you play. The struggle between Monster kind and Humanity becomes apparent, will you buck the trend and help or fight them.
Visually the game is vibrant and colourful, opting for a hand-drawn style giving the monsters a disgustingly cute look. It could easily pass for something you would find in a number one selling child’s book. There isn’t a great deal of technical wizardry going on with in-game animation at a bare minimum but it works and the intake of each story kind of benefits from not having any distractions.
There are 14 endings to unlock, this seems like a lot but each playthrough can be completed from start to finish within half an hour or so, depending on how fast you can read. After my initial playthrough, I decided to start a new adventure but purposely just mashed the A button without taking in any of the detail. Yes, this totally went against the game and something I wouldn’t recommend but it did allow an alternative ending to be unlocked within munites.
Monsters Love You! is something different from the normal but an acquired taste. As a child, I was a big fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure books so there was some appeal for me but this title is aimed at a younger demographic than I fall into. If you remember, they were the series of books where you could tailor the stories outcome as at the end of a chapter you were presented with a choice to make by skipping to the noted page. The devs have done a good job, if a little limited, and the game is suited to the mobile format.
Beard Score: 6/10
Genre: Simulation, Adventure, Puzzle
Release Date: 30/09/18
Publisher Radial Games
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Mobile