It has been a while since my last Steaming Pile entry. That’s not because I haven’t been gaming, its because I’ve been playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Perhaps that’ll end up on the blog as well when I’m finished with it…
Anyway, Monster Slayers is a game very similar to Dream Quest, but easier to beat and easier to look at. In case you haven’t played Dream Quest, you should because its great. Is Monster Slayers better? No, but it is still really good. This blog post (review?) will compare the two games a lot, but mostly focus on Monster Slayers.
The formula of both Monster Slayers and Dream Quest its a roguelite deck-building game with RPG-like battles. You visit different locations on a map, battle enemies with cards in your deck, gain experience and gold, and can modify your deck buy getting new cards from shops, trainers, treasure chests etc. You can also remove cards unwanted cards from your deck in certain situations. You can choose between different classes which have different starter decks, skills and so on: you’ll have to develop a new deck-building strategy for each class. Its simple to play, engaging, and pretty hard: your characters health does not replenish between battles (only if levelling up), so you have to choose your order of battles wisely (and perhaps avoid certain types of enemies if they’re a bad match for your deck). In this regard some aspects of the games are similar to those of Desktop Dungeons. Between runs you can get various unlocks, which makes the game easier (or at least give you more options) in later runs.
The main differences between Monster Slayers and Dream Quest is that Monster Slayers have better graphics (Dream Quest is pretty horrible to look at), an inventory system (you have static equipment separate from your deck, and equipment is saved in a stash between runs), and companions (they give you skills which need to cool down between battles, similar to class skills in Dream Quest). Also the map in Monster Slayers is just a network of connections, while it was tile based in Dream Quest. It seems like Monster Slayers borrows some inspiration from Darkest Dungeon, both regarding the inventory system and the map. Monster Slayers is easier than Dream Quest, the key difference being the enemies. In Dream Quest you can face enemies which are nearly impossible if you do not have cards which counter them; this is a good way of having you avoid building a one-sided deck, but its annoying when you face one those enemies. Monster Slayers doesn’t really have that kind of enemy; some are harder but I haven’t faced “impossible” ones.
What did I think? I’ve played Monster Slayers for 6 hours, and Dream Quest for for 8 hours, according to Steam. For me, that’s a pretty long time. I’ve beaten Monster Slayers twice, but haven’t gotten even close to beat Dream Quest. On the other hand I played Dream Quest first, so a lot of that knowledge could be transferred into Monster Slayers. I wouldn’t have played the games for so long if I didn’t enjoy them, and I’m sure I’ll be coming back for more. Monster Slayers have some UI issues, but the developer has written that he’ll make some updates regarding this.