Monster Train Demo Thoughts
Developer: Shiny Shoe
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Release Date: May 21, 2020
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I just recently played the Monster Train demo available on Steam because this game caught my eye with the card mechanics and the setting being on a train. Although I played an old version of the game in the demo, I feel like I got a very good taste of what the brings to the table, or in this case, on the train tracks.
The closest game this resembles is Slay The Spire, but the differences are plenty. In Monster Train, there are multiple vertical levels on the train you have to defend before monsters can get to your pyre that you have to defend. There is a limit of how many clan defenders you can place on your side of the train each train level, so placement is very key, although cards can be obtained that can shift a defender up or down the train. Like in other rogue-like games, you have to make hard choices like what cards to upgrade and what types of cards to upgrade (units or spells). As I played more of the Monster Train demo, I realized that how you placed your clan units on the train was a lot more significantly important than card upgrade choices. This is because enemies can move up a level after each round unless they are properly defended again.
The other thing about Monster Train that stuck out to be was how this really felt like a tower defense card game, but with something that fights back at the end, the pyre. It’s your goal to defend your pyre or the run ends. What I really liked about this is that the pyre actually fights back and you can upgrade your pyre if you choose. This adds a totally different dynamic that lends to different upgrade patterns. Monster Train is a rogue-like, but it does have the rogue-lite element of clan levels and exp after each run. There are multiple clans you can choose from and place them in a primary and supporting role, a design that adds many choice combinations for the player.
My lasting Monster Train demo thought is that this is a truly unique game and not a ripoff of other games. The vertical train element is created well and also visually appealing. I definitely want to play the full version of Monster Train and I have a feeling this is going to be VERY addicting game.