Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Developer: Nerdook Productions
I am a sucker for rogue-like games. There is something about the way a good rogue-like plays that keeps me coming back for more. I am also a big fan of deck building, so when I was offered Monster Slayers, a game that fits both of those bills, I was beyond excited. The whole goal of Monster Slayers is simple, slay monsters. You are part of a guild that sets out to destroy these creatures and work your way up to the ultimate evil, the Harbinger. You create a character and choose a class and the game tells you up front not to spend too much time doing so, as you are not destined to live long. Boy are they right, you will die over and over and over in Monster Slayers. You pick a character and run through dungeons until you perish, then start all over with a new character. Experience and gear that you gather carries over however, so with each run you accumulate more things to help your next character get a little further than you did before. The dungeons are all similar but different and you never really know what you are going to run into next.
The deck building comes in the form of your abilities and attacks. You have a set amount of Mana with each character and that is what is required to use skills. This can be increased as you play, allowing for the use of more powerful abilities. Instead of making you draw for your mana like a typical card game, this allows you to know exactly what you are going to start with and make the most of it. This prevents frustrating defeats due to lack of mana. Mana also regenerates between each battle, making continued fighting possible. Health however is a different story. Regaining health is difficult and hard to do. One way to accomplish this is by leveling up, so you must time your level increases to fit where you need health the most. You must choose to either level up and heal and increase your power or risk saving it for a time when you will need it more. This adds a level of strategy to choosing even when to level up and really makes you think before spending any points.
You start Monster Slayer with six different unique classes. Each class has its own cards and abilities that can be used to beat the game. After defeating the Harbinger with a class however, you unlock a second class similar to the first, just more advanced. This brings the class count to twelve for those of you bad at math, and 12 unique classes is more than you get in a lot of AAA titles, much less in small indie titles. Each class is an absolute joy to play with, none of them being so powerful the game becomes boring but none of them are so weak that they cannot be played either. Using each one, leveling them up and unlocking new cards is addicting and will keep you hooked for hours.
Combat is intuitive and enjoyable. Battles don?t take so long that you end up bored but are long enough that you have to approach each one strategically. You don?t want to blow through all of your mana right away and end up a sitting duck come the end of the fight. This again ensures that you plan out each encounter and each trip through a dungeon every step of the way. Monster Slayers is hard and will punish you if you get too cocky and don?t plan ahead.
Monster Slayers is a must buy if you are a fan of this genre. It is $9.00 on Steam and has DLC already out with more on the way. You can easily lose 20+ hours here if you allow yourself and that is only scratching the surface of the content that you can get into if you delve deeper. I do not know what the developers plans are moving forward but I will continue to support and play this game for as long as they release new content and continue with it.